FAN's position on the COA Bicycle Master Plan

#1

I would like for FAN’s membership to take a vote in support of the 2014 Bicycle Master Plan. Currently, the public input process allows for situations where small groups of neighbors can override the master plan. Mesa Drive in NW Austin is an excellent example. COA wanted to stripe in dedicated bike lanes with parking on one side of the street, but angry neighbors didn’t want to lose any parking. COA actually caved and proposed a shared shoulder (Shoal Creek Blvd) instead… which is not in line with the Bicycle Master Plan or the wishes of 600+ community members who signed a petition in favor of bike lanes. The final decision is still pending and the bicycle community is continuing to push for dedicated lanes, but we shouldn’t have to do this every time a small stretch of road is up for restriping!

Here’s my proposed resolution. I would appreciate some feedback on the messaging:

“FAN supports an All Ages and Abilities Bicycle Network as defined within the City of Austin 2014 Bicycle Master Plan. The public ROW should be used to provide transportation services that increase the safety and mobility of residents. As roads are redesigned and restriped, Austin’s Active Transportation Department should be supported in designing infrastructure that maximizes the contribution of bicycling to Austin’s quality of life.”

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FAN Vote: 6 Proposed Resolutions
:FAN: Transportation bond referendum
#2

As one who has nearly been killed multiple times because a “shared shoulder” was blocked by parked cars and trash cans, I can say with certainty that bicyclists need dedicated lanes.The design I favor is where the bike lane runs along the curb, and is protected by parked cars in a lane further out.

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#3

I’d love for FAN to officially support the Bicycle Master Plan.

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#4

I would also love to see our group support the Bicycle Master Plan. It was an incredible effort that brings real cross-cutting transportation, human health, environmental and social benefits and is a big part of why Austin was recently recognized as a 2015 Gold Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

One key way of supporting this plan will be finding a way to fund its fuller implementation. I know AURA and others have been working in this direction, and I hope a well thought out bond proposition may be in the future to support this plan.

For those interested, the Bicycle Master Plan is available here: http://austintexas.gov/page/austin-bicycle-master-plan

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#5

@NatalieGauldin Can you more tightly connect the resolution to the FAN vision? Perhaps cite the specific principles or goals in the vision that implementing the bicycle master plan will help achieve?

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#6

City staff is pretty smart and dedicated to good cycling infrastructure. I also like the design you mentioned, but I wouldn’t limit them to one tool. On some roads, you can’t do that, and a painted lane is better than nothing.

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#7

Should I tack on some whereas statements? These are the principles/goals that I would tie in:

In addition to addressing the unique goals of our individual neighborhoods, we as citizens must never place the needs of individual neighborhoods above those of the city-wide community.

Austin neighborhoods must continually evolve with the changing needs of the City, and we recognize such natural change presents opportunities to improve our neighborhoods. Accordingly, we support the kinds of changes that will enhance the affordability, inclusivity, connectivity, mobility, and quality of life in our neighborhoods.

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#8

Noah,

Where did you interpret a call for a specific facility? All I see is ‘dedicated’ which means ‘not shared with parked cars’. I myself am highly skeptical of protected bike lanes (separated bike lanes) on roads with lots of driveways like Mesa and would tend not to support it, but in this case the facility being proposed is indeed a normal painted bike lane.

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#9

Good citations from the FAN vision, @NatalieGauldin . Not sure if we need to get all formal and such with WHEREAS clauses, though :smile:

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#10

Is there an update on this topic? When will the Mesa issue come to a vote?

I would add that it is important to have a network of bike lanes. The more streets that get excepted, and the more holes in the network, the harder it gets for cyclists to get around. Mesa may seem like one small piece, but it is a small piece of a bigger network.

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#11

As far as I know the Mesa issue is still pending. There was a stakeholder meeting a couple of weeks ago. I’m crossing my fingers for a safe bike lane down the entire stretch!

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#12

BUMP!!

Also, Bike Austin is having a rally tomorrow to support fully funding the Bicycle Master Plan. I can’t go but I support anyone who can.

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#13

Thanks, @jim_bronson! I’ll be there, and I know @NatalieGauldin will be there, too. FAN’s membership voted to support full implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan, and our logo is listed on the Bike Austin petition page.

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