AUSTIN (KXAN) — Cycling and, in some areas, just walking in Austin can feel treacherous.
This week, the Urban Transportation Commission passed a resolution that will work to get full funding from the city of Austin for the current Bicycle Master Plan at a cost of $150 million. Bike Austin says approving the funding could help bring more protected bicycle paths which ultimately would encourage more people to cycle. The organization estimates that could remove 20,000 vehicles from traveling into downtown Austin everyday.
Jessica Alexander has been cycling in Austin for the past eight years and has witnessed Austin’s growth while on two wheels. “It’s very hard for people to get from point a to point b at times.”
One example of an area that needs better bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is in North Austin at North Lamar Boulevard and Rundberg Lane. The intersection is void of sidewalks and also lacks shoulder and bike lanes.
District 4 Council Member Greg Casar says North Austin is also the part of town with the most young children.
“This is the place we need active transportation options and safe bike lanes so that families can get to and from errands or to and from schools and not worry about being clipped by a car,” said Casar.
Bike Austin tells KXAN that making the most affordable means of transportation, walking and biking, safer will help the roughly 40 percent of regular bicycle riders who make less than $25,000 a year. They also say it will help more Austinites save money by giving up their car, or at least saving money on gas.