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LOBV: Your support needed next Wednesday to avoid rollback of bike lanes on Cherrywood Road

Posted Aug 26 2011 5:57pm

Throughout most of Austin, the Austin Master Bicycle Plan marches forward with new bike lanes added monthly as major neighborhood streets are paved. While there has been great progress, there is a potential setback on Cherrywood Road in the Cherrywood neighborhood.

The Master Bicycle Plan calls for eventually no vehicle parking in bike lanes throughout the city. The reasoning goes that bike lanes are a lane of traffic, and it is both dangerous to force cyclists into the other traffic lane and the obstacles make the facilities less appealing for general use. Using the formula that first successfully developed on Enfield Road and since repeated all over the city, the initial proposal for Cherrywood Road was to remove on street parking on one side of the road while keeping it on the other. This allows enough space for both two way automotive traffic, sufficient vehicle parking for the vast majority of the time, and most importantly bike lanes that are meant to be unobstructed by parked cars.

During the planning process, neighborhood opposition to this plan sprouted up, and there has been virtually no pro-bike lane support. In response, the City of Austin’s latest plan removes bike lanes instead of growing the network of facilities for all street users. There will be one more meeting about the plan, and the League of Bicycling Voters is asking all bike lane supporters, especially those that live in the area, to show up next Wednesday evening in support of the original plan.

Opposition to bike lanes on Cherrywood Rd. threatens to remove them completely. We need you to attend the City’s public meeting this coming Wednesday, August 31st. This is our last chance for a public showing of support for the bike lanes.

Based on feedback at the City’s Open House on July 6th, which included stronger opposition than support, the City was compelled to strip away some of the bike lanes for their second proposal. The opposition is still fighting to have the entire length of bike lanes removed. They will succeed, unless the bike community comes out in large numbers to next Wednesday’s public meeting.

We are asking you to show your support for the City’s Original Proposal for Cherrywood Rd. bike lanes. The City presented this proposal at the July 6th public open house, and it is endorsed by the Austin Bicycle Advisory Council. While the Original Proposal is consistent with both the Upper Boggy Creek Neighborhood Plan and the City of Austin 2009 Bike Plan, the second (current) proposal is not.

Take Action What: Support the City’s Original Proposal for Cherrywood Rd. bike lanes.
How: Attend the Public Meeting
When: Wednesday, August 31st, 6:00-7:30pm (arrive 10-15 minutes early, if possible)
Where: Asbury United Methodist Church, E. 38-1/2 St. and Cherrywood Rd., Austin, TX, 78722

Note that a presentation will begin just a few minutes after 6:00pm, so please arrive promptly.

P.S.: We also need support from within the Cherrywood Neighborhood, but so far only a couple people have spoken up at neighborhood meetings with unequivocal support. We know that there are hundreds of people in the Cherrywood Neighborhood who ride almost every day, but we need to bring them to action at neighborhood meetings. Right now, we are losing this debate. (I say “we”, because I live in the Cherrywood Neighborhood.) If you are a Cherrywood resident, or would like to organize neighborhood support please contact Tom immediately at tom@lobv.org or 512-203-7626. Time is running out, and we have already missed some opportunities.

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