Austin bike routes peddled as best in U.S. for 2017
Gear up for some good news, pedal pushers: Two Austin bikeways have been named best in the U.S. On December 19, People for Bikes, an organization that lobbies for government funding and infrastructure for cyclists, release their picks for the top 10 bikeways in the country.
Coming in at No. 2 are theMoPac Mobility Bridges, a two-mile long system of bike and pedestrian pathways. Opened in June 2017, the $14.5 million project located in South Austin includes:
- A new bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Barton Creek at MoPac.
- Restriping of the southbound lanes of MoPac at the bridge over Barton Creek to improve motor vehicle congestion.
- Improved bicycle and pedestrian connections to Southwest Parkway, Loop 360, and other planned trails in the area (the Violet Crown Trail and the Oak Hills Neighborhood Trail System).
- A bicycle/pedestrian bridge over Loop 360 at MoPac.
- A trail for both cyclists and pedestrians on the west side of MoPac running from Loop 360 to Tamarron Boulevard.
The No. 4 spot was given to the 3rd Street Cycle Track, a system of protected bike lanes on Third Street that runs the length of downtown from the Seaholm District to Trinity Street. Ideal for crosstown commuters, this bike lane is not only protected, but has special red lights to help cyclists navigate cross traffic.
Both of these projects were completed following a 2014 resolution adopted by Austin City Council known as "Complete Streets." As Austin continues to attract more residents — and more cars — the project aims to improve infrastructure that supports alternative forms of transportation.
Now that MoPac Mobility Bridges and 3rd Street Cycle Track have been completed, the City of Austin currently has 12 additional urban trail projects in the works, including the Eastlink Trail which will eventually connect Bartholomew Park to Lady Bird Lake, and the Shoal Creek Trail, which will link the on-street bicycle and sidewalk network from Fifth to 15th streets.