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Austin veloway and further developments...

Austin veloway and further developments...

Old 09-26-07, 10:47 AM
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danielmramos
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Austin veloway and further developments...

Austin riders know about the veloway and how it is set up. It is basically a paved closed track that snakes through the south of Austin to allow riders to race around on their bikes without actually going anywhere. I was wondering, why isn't it that Austin doesn't do something like that on a much larger scale that would cirle and criss cross the city in general instead of some isolated patch of land. Wouldn't it be cool if there were designated bicycle highways that weren't part of the car lanes?

Just a dream, although when I lived over in Oahu Hi. they almost had exactly that.
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Old 09-26-07, 07:28 PM
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Money. How much are you willing to pay for this. The existing veloway was donated by Gary Bradley as part of the negotiations to be allowed to build all those houses over the Edwards Aquifer. There is no way the taxpayors would ever approve the millions and millions of dollars you are talking about.
The paper has come out against building a bike bridge across Barton Creek that would cost $4 mill. What you suggest would be much more expensive.
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Old 09-26-07, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
Money. How much are you willing to pay for this. The existing veloway was donated by Gary Bradley as part of the negotiations to be allowed to build all those houses over the Edwards Aquifer. There is no way the taxpayors would ever approve the millions and millions of dollars you are talking about.
The paper has come out against building a bike bridge across Barton Creek that would cost $4 mill. What you suggest would be much more expensive.
Tell those SOB"s that caused most of our traffic problems to pay for it. That would be AMD, Motorola, Samsung and God himself Michael Dell. It would be a drop in the bucket to what they take out of our city.
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Old 09-26-07, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
Money. How much are you willing to pay for this. The existing veloway was donated by Gary Bradley as part of the negotiations to be allowed to build all those houses over the Edwards Aquifer. There is no way the taxpayors would ever approve the millions and millions of dollars you are talking about.
The paper has come out against building a bike bridge across Barton Creek that would cost $4 mill. What you suggest would be much more expensive.
Hey, currently Austin is getting all kinds of money from the feds to put in bike lanes as part of the clean air initiative. If they have the money to put curb islands in on shoal creek, keep them there for a few weeks, then proceed to tear them all out again I believe that they are mismanaging the money and with careful management it would be possible.

How about taking some of the fed money and getting some corporate sponsorships and corporate advertising to flip the bill. Heck, I bet they would be bending over backwards to get it on their green initiative corporate resumes. Think of the prestige Austin would get around the nation as a biking friendly city. All of that publicity for a bit of pavement would pay for itself in increased tourism in no time.
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Old 09-26-07, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by cbip View Post
Tell those SOB"s that caused most of our traffic problems to pay for it. That would be AMD, Motorola, Samsung and God himself Michael Dell. It would be a drop in the bucket to what they take out of our city.
So you have lived here all your life and live off the land?
Your elected officials begged those companies to come to Austin and gave them taxpayer money to do it.
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Old 09-27-07, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
So you have lived here all your life and live off the land?
Your elected officials begged those companies to come to Austin and gave them taxpayer money to do it.
Not MY elected officals, maybe yours. And your point doesnt even make sense. Hell we are the home of Lance Armstrong and we have some of the worst bike path's around. No thats wrong, our roads suck and we have to ride on them.
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Old 09-27-07, 08:36 AM
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I agree, the situation in Austin can be much improved. The local government obviously doesn't think things through very well. Case in point: The shoal creek curb island incident.
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Old 09-27-07, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cbip View Post
Not MY elected officals, maybe yours. And your point doesnt even make sense. Hell we are the home of Lance Armstrong and we have some of the worst bike path's around. No thats wrong, our roads suck and we have to ride on them.
Is it that you don't vote or that you don't live in Austin. Either way means your opinion doesn't matter.
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Old 09-27-07, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
Is it that you don't vote or that you don't live in Austin. Either way means your opinion doesn't matter.
Stay in South Austin please, actually if you were not born in Texas, how about getting the hell out of our state. If I chose to vote or not has nothing to do with this topic. The topic is why dont we have a bike trail network that is for bikes and walkers only, one that covers more than a few miles. I say let the private companies that have screwed up the public transportation in Austin pay for it.
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Old 09-27-07, 08:27 PM
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Well, it isn't like they are hurting in the profit department.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cbip View Post
Stay in South Austin please, actually if you were not born in Texas, how about getting the hell out of our state. If I chose to vote or not has nothing to do with this topic. The topic is why dont we have a bike trail network that is for bikes and walkers only, one that covers more than a few miles. I say let the private companies that have screwed up the public transportation in Austin pay for it.
I am trying to figure out how the City Council members are my elected officials but not yours.
You have answered the question of why this isn't going to get done. If you aren't willing to pay for it, why would people that don't ride bikes be willing to pay for it. Majority rules. Most people in Austin think bicyclists are obnoxious a-holes.
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Old 09-28-07, 06:47 AM
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Wow, do you really think that most people think of bicyclist that way? I thought there were way to many cyclists, cyclist influence, and shops for people to think that way.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by danielmramos View Post
Wow, do you really think that most people think of bicyclist that way? I thought there were way to many cyclists, cyclist influence, and shops for people to think that way.
It should be apparent who it is that thinks cyclists are a-holes, and unfortunatly it doesnt help change anyones mind with an attitude like that.
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Old 09-28-07, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cbip View Post
Not MY elected officals, maybe yours. And your point doesnt even make sense. Hell we are the home of Lance Armstrong and we have some of the worst bike path's around. No thats wrong, our roads suck and we have to ride on them.
I dont think Lance would use a bike path
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Old 09-28-07, 10:07 AM
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I wonder what his opinions are about riding in the city and what is needed to REALLY make the city a bike friendy place?
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Old 10-01-07, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by danielmramos View Post
I wonder what his opinions are about riding in the city and what is needed to REALLY make the city a bike friendy place?
I don't think he cares.
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Old 10-01-07, 11:33 PM
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Austin veloway and further developments...

Originally Posted by danielmramos View Post
Austin riders know about the veloway and how it is set up. It is basically a paved closed track that snakes through the south of Austin to allow riders to race around on their bikes without actually going anywhere. I was wondering, why isn't it that Austin doesn't do something like that on a much larger scale that would cirle and criss cross the city in general instead of some isolated patch of land. Wouldn't it be cool if there were designated bicycle highways that weren't part of the car lanes?

Just a dream, although when I lived over in Oahu Hi. they almost had exactly that.
Until recently, I lived in Victoria, BC (Canada). There, we have the fantastic Galloping Goose Trail, a >40-mile long multiple-use trail that is a real aid to both commuter and recreational cycling.

When I was the transportation demand management coordinator at the University of Victoria, I commuted 24 km (15 mile) round-trip each day, about half to 2/3 of which was on the Goose, depending on my route.

Most of this was a converted rail bed, the reclamation of which was spearheaded by the individuals who began the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition.

The process to this point was a very long one, but it has transformed cycling in the region significantly.

When I was co-coordinator of Bike to Work Week in 2002, it was clear to me that this route was a huge contributor to the involvement of new--and longtime--cyclists in commuting to work.

Yes, it's a long, long process getting something like this in place. Although the veloway is a small part of a network, its presence can be leveraged to bring about something major.

Allan
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Old 10-02-07, 05:53 AM
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That sounds really great. Can you provide some more details as to what the process was? Also, I noticed that the organization you are associated with is based out of San Antonio. How is the situation in San Antonio? I don't go there very often.

Thanks.
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Old 10-03-07, 08:52 AM
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What I want to know is this: How in the world did Austin get designated as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclist? Are they just stupid? Yes, we have a lot of cyclists. That is it. The bike routes suck. We don't have raised bike lanes or lanes that are protected from traffic. Most of the bike lane are filled with pot holes. It is a JOKE that Austin has been designated as a bike friendly city!
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Old 10-03-07, 12:26 PM
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We don't need bike lanes or paths.

We only need roads.
Separate but equal went out the window a long time ago.
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Old 10-03-07, 02:23 PM
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I agree with you to a degree Lambo. My point about lane and paths is that the other cities that are designated "Biker Friendly" tend to have these. I don't want them, but I am tired of the drivers *****ing and cussing at me. I pay my share of taxes for the roads so I will use them.
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Old 10-04-07, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by pwherman512 View Post
I agree with you to a degree Lambo. My point about lane and paths is that the other cities that are designated "Biker Friendly" tend to have these. I don't want them, but I am tired of the drivers *****ing and cussing at me. I pay my share of taxes for the roads so I will use them.
Amen, brother.
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Old 10-09-07, 04:13 PM
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Austin veloway and further developments...

Originally Posted by danielmramos View Post
That sounds really great. Can you provide some more details as to what the process was? Also, I noticed that the organization you are associated with is based out of San Antonio. How is the situation in San Antonio? I don't go there very often.

Thanks.
After Daniel sent this request, I got in touch with friends in Victoria who were part of the original group who helped bring about the Galloping Goose trail. They were kind enough to pass along a few details about how this rails-to-trails success came about.

This particular project, by the way, was what brought local cyclists together and resulted in the formation of Victoria's cycling advocacy organization (the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition).

In the late 80s and early 90s, there was interest from local cyclists and politicians in cleaning up the abandoned railroad (we're fortunate there to have a number of key politicians who are avid transportational cyclists).

The idea was discussed, and as is often the case, a number of local forces opposed the idea, citing a lack of demand for this type of trail, excessive costs, legal/right of way issues, bunions, I have to pick up the kids after work, blah, blah, blah. (Okay, maybe not the last two...).

Local advocates attending the Pro Bike/Pro Walk conference in 1994 in Portland, OR asked others from around North America, Europe and Australia for suggestions. Here's what one of the Victoria locals said:

"One hint I took back from the main trail builders in the UK was to get a poster made up of the final product - "the dream:" as it were, using a painting by a local artist and to market the dream to the public. So we got a famous local artist (the city newspaper's art critic) to paint a picture of the Galloping Goose over the Selkirk Trestle and surrounding waterway. We got money donated for it as a non-profit. We sold posters and raised more money. It was a roaring success. We still have copies of the poster in the GVCC offices."

"Also another success feature is to get the public together in a large volunteer effort and "rebuild/clean" part of the abandoned rail/trail so that folks can see the resource potential they have. This helps shame local government into getting involved."

Finally, having key contacts inside government ministries was very helpful, and having them keep the lines of communication with municipal and provincial politicians, and other key cycling advocates (including our provincial cycling coalition).

It took several years to get it to fly, and the trail has expanded considerably since. Now it's hard to find a politician who doesn't want to get on the bandwagon.

The development of that trail was one of the most important elements in setting the scene for some incredibly effective cycling advocacy. Powerful stuff.

Allan
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Old 10-10-07, 02:47 PM
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are unused rail tracks a common thing?
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Old 10-11-07, 01:44 PM
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I think so.
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