Riverside Drive around I35 needs to have a bike lane marked on both sides similar to that on Dean Keaton Ave and I35. Currently cyclist have to ride on the side walk or ride in fast traffic. This is especially important for those crossing over and going westbound towards Travis Heights. There are always pedestrians and joggers on the south side of Riverside going both west and east. This would ease up some of the congestion on the side walks, make it safer around bus stops for both and give cyclist their own lane while riding in traffic.

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Nadia Nadia over 4 years ago

Ms. Kent,

Thank you for your comment. The Bicycle Master Plan and Riverside Corridor Plan draw attention to the need for bicycle facilities improvements on East Riverside Drive. The Riverside Corridor Plan includes recommendations to redesign East Riverside Drive as a multi-modal corridor that supports all forms of transportation and the Bicycle Master Plan recommends bicycle lanes on both sides of IH-35. In order to accommodate the proposed light rail or streetcar line along East Riverside Drive the street will have to be redesigned and rebuilt, providing an opportunity to improve different forms of transportation. One way on-street bicycle lanes are recommended on each side of East Riverside Drive.

To see some great illustrative visions please visit:

http://www.austintexas.gov/page/east-riverside-corridor-master-plan

and click on the “Executive Summary (4MB)” for the brief overview or click on “Download Full Plan (10MB)” and navigate to page 14.

Both of these plans received extensive public input, and Riverside Drive was included because of the high demand for better bicycle and pedestrian connectivity.  One of the exciting developments for this area is the future completion of the Boardwalk Trail.  You can learn more about the Boardwalk Trail here:  http://austintexas.gov/department/boardwalk-trail-lady-bird-lake.  The Boardwalk will relieve some of the congestion for cyclists, joggers, and walkers in the area. 

In the short term there are several alternative routes in the area that may feel safer if you are averse to riding with traffic.  If traveling north of Riverside, cyclists can take the sidewalk on the east side of IH-35 that corkscrews down to the Roy and Ann Butler Trail which provides convenient, motor-vehicle separated access to downtown.  When traveling south of Riverside, try using Summit Street to Woodland Avenue.  This route will take you off of Riverside Drive and on to a roadway with much lower traffic volumes and speeds.

We appreciate that you ride your bike, and do understand that there are several destinations on Riverside that are of interest to all citizens of Austin.  Unfortunately, the makeup of the existing roadway:  confined by a steep cliff on both sides, Lady Bird Lake and Blunn Creek, as well as it being a high volume arterial roadway make changing the traffic pattern very difficult.  For this reason, the Public Works, Transportation, Parks and Recreation, and other departments have partnered to provide the Boardwalk Trail as a separated alternative to driving. 

On a final note, and I recommend this to everyone; consider taking a Traffic Skills 101 course.  The course helps all bicyclists (no matter ability or adverse feelings towards risk) feel comfortable and confident riding with traffic.  It is offered twice a month by the Austin Cycling Association.  Find our more at austincycling.org. We all took driver’s education, why not do the same for riding our bicycles?

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any additional question.

Thank you,

Nadia Barrera – nadia.barrera@austintexas.gov

 

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Paul Smith over 3 years ago

There have been several deaths due to cars not following the rules and letting cyclists use the road. A "traffic skills" course for cyclists does not help when you are following the rules and hit by a motorist...

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Jenn G about 3 years ago

I think some very small improvements should be looked at with the sidewalks/driveways, curb cuts that would drastically improve the biking situation on Riverside Drive sidewalks. Many very experienced cyclists do not ride in the street on Riverside because it's so dangerous, yet it is by far the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B, and much less hilly than Woodland.

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