Speak up for better walking and bicycling on Shoal Creek at open houses

Shoal Creek Boulevard, between 38th Street and Highway 183, is an important walking and bicycling corridor between north and central Austin. With its gentle curves, plentiful trees, trails, and creekside parkland the street is a prime walking area, not to mention an important arterial for people on bicycles.

However, Shoal Creek could be so much better. There are too few crosswalks, pedestrians often have to contend with turning vehicles when crossing the street, utilities often block the sidewalk, and there are few benches and gathering spaces.

That’s why Walk Austin is collaborating with Bike Austin to push for pedestrian and bicycling improvements on Shoal Creek Boulevard to make this a true Austin gem for people of all ages and abilities.

The pedestrian-related improvements Walk Austin is pushing for on Shoal Creek include the following:

  • Widen, where possible, and improve sidewalk surfaces
  • New marked pedestrian crossings where there is a current lack of crossings
  • Relocate sidewalk-obstructing utilities
  • Mid-crosswalk “State Law: Yield to Pedestrian” signs
  • More benches and public restrooms
  • Protected bicycle lanes (would improve pedestrian safety)
  • Landscaped buffer or rain garden between the protected bicycle lane and a sidewalk, if space allows, while retaining the existing curb lines
  • Lead Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) at 45th St, Anderson Lane, and at Steck Ave
  • A pedestrian underpass at Allandale Rd / 2222
  • Improve the pedestrian connection to Northwest Rec Center
  • Lower roadway speed design from Foster to Steck Ave by reducing travel lanes from 5 to 3 and ensuring lane widths are no wider than 11′
  • Create a safer crossing under Highway 183 with fewer roadway crossings
A possible pedestrian-bicycle underpass at Allandale Rd / 2222
A possible Shoal Creek Blvd, north of Foster Lane

Imagine a Shoal Creek one day bustling with children and the elderly, people walking to work or walking the dog, friends and neighbors stopping to catch up, and folks learning to ride their bicycles alongside seasoned riders. This beautiful, thriving Shoal Creek is within our grasp if we unite to push for it. Explore more possibilities for walking and bicycling improvements in the Shoal Creek Conservancy‘s Shoal Creek Vision To Action Plan.

However, this inspiring vision goes even further. A better Shoal Creek would also make possible The Big Loop, a proposed 30-mile hike-bike loop that would encircle much of Austin north of Lady Bird Lake and would include the existing South Walnut Creek Trail and Walnut Creek Trail, integrating them all into a stunning new facility for all Austinites and beyond. And the Big Loop can only happen if we succeed on Shoal Creek.

With your help, these inspiring visions could be around the corner. On March 26th, 28th, and 30th, the City of Austin will host three Open House events to present design alternatives for better walking and bicycling on Shoal Creek Boulevard. We need you to attend an open house event with the message “I want better pedestrian facilities and protected bicycle lanes on Shoal Creek”. You won’t have to speak, just write your thoughts down. The City will base its decision on this community feedback so please attend one event.

Thank you in advance for supporting this important project.

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