Travis County wants public input after horse rider struck by car

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Cars drive along Parmer Lane in between in the urban-rural interface._346971

TRAVIS COUNTY (KXAN) — A man continues to struggle in an Austin hospital after being struck by a car while riding his horse. Authorities have not yet released his name, but they say the man in his 40s was riding near the 5200 block of East Parmer Lane in the westbound lane. The horse died in the crash.

In the video of the incident Saturday night, it’s pitch black on that stretch of road. There are no street lights on a road that is getting busier every day. Travis County says many people who live in this area have contacted them asking for sidewalk, trails and more “infrastructure”.

“We’re doubling in population growth every twenty years. We have been doing that for the past sixty years at least,” said the county’s long term planning manager, Scheleen Walker. “There are still a lot of folks who ride horses out in the rural part of the county. I see people riding horses in the city of Austin every day almost.”

The man was hit right in between fertile farmland east of Austin and new construction.

“These are all new developments going in. Major new developments,” Walker says as she points to a map in her office.

A driver ran into a man riding a horse on East Parmer Lane near Harris Branch Parkway. The horse died, the rider was taken to the hospital. (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)

Cars separate cropland from new restaurants and gas stations going up on the corner of Parmer Lane. New homes jut out from the fields. There are few sidewalks and no overhead streetlights. But Scheleen says those are coming soon.

Travis County is seeking out feedback this week.

“It is important for us to understand how people are getting around and how they want to get around and to try and accommodate that,” said Walker.

The commissioners are taking public input until the end of the year to form a “rough draft”. They will present the plan to the public next fall and get your reaction. In early 2018 they will finalize the plan and begin construction. 

If you want to see the Travis County long term infrastructure plan click here for the executive summary.

If you would like to give your input please call 512-854-7664 or email catherine.stephens@traviscountytx.gov

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