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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Here we go AGAIN – Bicycling around Austin

Man, I love to bicycle but just haven’t got a bike anymore; haven’t had one for sometime. But, there is now a proposition before the City Council to spend in excess of $250mm on bike lanes. The Statesman article shows stats representing rider use within the population. Seems that something less than 1% of those going to work on a daily basis in our fair city do so by bike. Less than 1%, that’s right; less than 1%.

And what is this about the City’s Bike Czar, Annick Beaudet, program manager for the city bicycle and pedestrian program. Is this Annick Beaudet’s entire job?

The program was initiated in 1994 so it has been around for quite some time. Initially, the plan was staffed with a manager and two staff members and was to be funded chiefly by grants. The Council asked for pedestrian issues to be included in the program in 1996.

The city of Austin now has a plan that took two years to write, that’s right, two years. They want to get more of outta cars and on bicycles; it seems we are falling further and further behind Seattle and Portland- we really can’t let that happen now can we?

It just seems to me that there is just not enough justification for spending $250,000,000 on bike lanes, trails and bridges; especially within the economic environment we currently are experiencing.

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