Days after injury to child, a new lane for cyclists on Mesa

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – One week after an 11-year-old boy was hit by a car riding home from school, Bike Austin announced Mesa Drive will soon have a designated area for cyclists.

On Feb. 11, Charlie Van Steenwijk was riding his bike home when he was injured at the cornier of Mesa Drive and Far West Boulevard. His parents said he suffered a concussion and two lost teeth, but was fortunate his injuries were not worse.

“We can teach our kids safety, but we as adults have to make sure the infrastructure is in place,” said Charlie’s father Anton.

That infrastructure will soon be changing according to Bike Austin. Though they wanted designated bike lanes on Mesa Drive, their conversations with the city yielded a compromise coming in the form of a parking lane along the roadside. Miller Nuttle with Bike Austin said the parking lane will be wide enough to allow cyclists to ride inside of it. The parking lane is similar to the current setup on Shoal Creek Boulevard.

Nuttle said Bike Austin had conversations with city engineers, transportation director Robert Spillar, and district council member Sheri Gallo. Re-striping on the street is expected to begin before the end of the month according to Nuttle and will include bike markings on the street and green paint on the intersections warning drivers of areas where cyclists could be riding.

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