AUSTIN (KXAN) — Shoal Creek Boulevard in central Austin may see some changes soon. The Austin Transportation Department is weighing several different options to see if there’s a better way for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to share the same road.
“I’m concerned about that intersection. I’m concerned about Shoal Creek in general,” said Brock Lawson, who lives on Shoal Creek Boulevard.
Lawson attended the first of three open houses the city hosted to learn about the options the city is reviewing.
The city is looking at Shoal Creek Boulevard in two sections. For the section that extends from 38th Street to Foster Lane, ATD came up with five possibilities:
- Leave the road as is. Right now, it has two lanes of traffic in the middle and on either side is a lane for parking that can also be used as a bike lane.
- One way painted bicycle lanes. Remove parking on one side.
- One way buffered bicycle lanes. Parking remains on both sides, but restricted between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- One way protected bike lanes. Parking removed.
- Two way protected bike lanes. Parking removed on one side.
Upper Shoal Creek is from Foster Lane to 183, and ATD is considering three options for that stretch. They include installing different forms of bike lanes or keeping the status quo.
Laura Dierenfield, Division Manager at the Austin Transportation Department, told KXAN they came up with these alternatives after receiving feedback from hundreds of people. She said:
“When we think about streets, we have to think about how they work for us as a community, and look at them from safety and mobility perspective and how people use them in time and space. Our analysis has included looking at parking utilization throughout the corridor, looking at visibility issues and also looking at connectivity.”
Some people like Lawson said they wouldn’t mind if the city removed parking on one side of Lower Shoal Creek and put in dedicated bike lanes.
Right now, if a car is parked in the multipurpose lane, a cyclist has to go around it by joining the flow of traffic.
“That’s always a hair-raising experience when you hear a car coming up behind you and you’re closing in on a car,” Lawson said. “I don’t park on the street. We do have friends that visit from time to time and they do, but if we had parking on one side, it would accomodate everybody.”
Some people at the open house expressed support for not making any changes.
“Several years ago, they had done a pilot project where they had put in some protected bike lanes, kind of barriers, and they ended up pulling them out because they really didn’t work for the community,” Rita Suva said.
City officials said residents have two more chances to give your feedback in person, or you can fill out a survey online.
- Lamar Middle School Cafeteria. Thursday, March 28th from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
- Northwest Recreation Center Gym. Saturday, March 30th from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.