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Massive turnout by cycling community at Third Nueces Street Bike Boulevard Open House

Posted Feb 25 2010 9:21am

Opposition to Bike Boulevard shown to be loud but not deep

In the largest turnout to date, the City of Austin held its third and final open house on a proposal for Austin’s first bicycle boulevard on Nueces Street downtown . City staff estimated a total of 500 people attended the meeting while over 300 of these attendees came out in support of the League of Bicycling Voters proposal for the facility .

In an attempt to focus on education and downplay opportunity for grandstanding, city staff had no formal presentation or meeting instead putting up displays of possible traffic calming tools and locations as well as the initial findings of a traffic impact report commissioned by the City. The report found that currently bicycles make up 9% of the traffic on Nueces Street in this corridor and more importantly that proposed traffic calming would do nothing to impact automotive traffic counts since Nueces Street is currently designed to be a serve local traffic and discourage traffic cut through.

While the cycling community had an impressive show of force, the opposition recently formed under the ironically name Keep Austin Moving has appeared to be a vocal, if not numerous group. The group has launched a website and printed yard signs which are currently out on Nueces Street. Their level of support outside of a handful of property owners is questionable when it was pointed out yesterday that their Twitter page had 2 followers (as of this morning it grew to 6) and their Facebook group contained more supporters of the bike boulevard than opponents. (It was probably not helpful that there is a Austin-based moving company under the same name that come up first in search results.) One also wonders how many people have signed their online petition launched over a week ago against the bike boulevard since the word petition is misspelled in a header on that page. Meanwhile, the number of people who signed the League of Bicycling Voters petition in support of the bicycle boulevard has doubled in less than a week.

On a darker note, one of the Nueces business owners talked to me last night about his anti-bike boulevard yard signs being defaced and destroyed. I ask all my readers to please be respectful of these individuals’ businesses and their right to express themselves and to focus your energy on letting people know how the bicycle boulevard will improve mobility and encourage economic growth and correcting false and misleading statements about what the bike boulevard will do .


This was left out of the original post: Next steps on the process include recommendations by staff and review by the Urban Transportation Commission and final City Council. Expect the UTC to look at this at their April meeting and the Council some time in May.

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