Austin’s quick protected lane opens a bridge to student biking

August 28, 2014

Here’s a nine-photo essay by Austin bikeway engineer Nathan Wilkes that shows how a protected lane can cheaply add a lot of value to a major project.

The bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Little Walnut Creek, pictured above, officially opened Monday after 17 years of planning. Hart Elementary students were

The project was initiated as we were nearing completion of a 17 year long project to install a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over a creek that separated two neighborhoods and eliminated a geographic barrier for students to get to Hart Elementary.  The connection resulted in the students of Hart Elementary being within walking and biking range of the school and the cancellation of many school bus routes to the school.  Chad is now the Division manager that oversees Urban Trails program (managing the bridge construction) and our Child Safety program, which worked with the school to donate bikes to kids who would pledge to ride to school.  In coordination with these efforts, the Bicycle Program (my side of the house) pursued installing a two-way cycle track to serve the these kids and their route to school.  The cycle track is on both sides of the bridge and makes seamless transitions between on and off-street infrastructure.  It was amazing to see a major bridge connection, encouragement programs and on-street protected lanes come together at one moment

little walnut


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