Protected bike lanes eyed for some downtown streets

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AUSTIN (KXAN) – A new proposal aims to get more cyclists riding through Downtown Austin.

The city’s Bicycle Advisory Council will consider a plan Tuesday to add protected bike lanes on West 5th and 6th streets. The roads are already very busy given all the recent growth on the west side of downtown.

The council has not laid out the exact locations for the lanes, but the goal is to simply make roads safer for cyclists. The proposal comes out of the Bicycle Master Plan which calls for a layout that is easily navigable for anyone between the ages of 8-80.

The City of Austin created similar projects along South Congress Avenue, Barton Springs Road and Cameron Road.

“I would feel a lot of safer about it. I wouldn’t have to worry,” cyclist Jack Ferrara said of the proposed changes. “I feel like everyone else would feel the same on their bikes because accidents happen. These streets weren’t originally built for bikes; that came much later. So, I think now that the law has changed over the years, we should be as protected on both ends for cars and bikes.”

The bike lanes already in place on West 5th and 6th Street could be getting a makeover, which may include adding barriers.

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