3 things to know about the new Central Texas bike, pedestrian plan

Active transportation involves using one's body to get around, including walking and biking.

Active transportation involves using one's body to get around, including walking and biking.

Formation of the Central Texas region’s active transportation plan is underway, and residents are invited to provide their feedback at 10 upcoming open house events.

1. This is the first Regional Active Transportation Plan for Central Texas.

Active transportation involves using one's body to get around, including walking and biking.

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which manages transportation planning for six counties in Central Texas, is developing the plan become part of its 2045 long-range plan.

Every five years CAMPO updates its long-range plan, which includes transportation projects from cities and counties as well as the Texas Department of Transportation.

CAMPO staffers reached out to all cities and counties in its planning area to incorporate their existing pedestrian and bicycle plans and data.

“Eventually, what we’ll be able to do is take some of this data and start to work with our local governments on understanding where the gaps are in the system and network, and then start to develop a regional vision from the needs at the local level,” CAMPO Regional Planning Manager Kelly Porter said.

2. A subset of the active transportation plan is the Near Northwest Case Study.

This study includes analyzing pedestrian and bicyclist connections along US 183 in Northwest Austin and southern Cedar Park.

“This is a unique approach to bike and pedestrian planning,” Porter said. “It will balance the needs of people who still want to drive.”

He said some concern in the community has arisen over some proposed concepts for enhancing pedestrian and bicyclist access along side streets, including a proposal to eliminate one traffic lane on Jollyville Road to add bike lanes. Porter said CAMPO is now looking at concepts that would keep all traffic lanes.

“The purpose of the study is to coordinate [planning] efforts and look at the needs, but it is not making anyone implement anything,” he said.

Porter said CAMPO is still incorporating public input on the Near Northwest Case Study and will bring final concepts to the community for review in 2017. He said implementing any proposals would fall to the city of Austin and Travis and Williamson counties.

3. Residents have several options to provide input.

CAMPO is seeking public input on existing bike and pedestrian facilities, safety concerns and future priorities.

Residents may attend any of the 10 open house events, take the survey and make comments on an interactive map or submit comments via email to [email protected]

For more information, visit the Regional Active Transportation Plan website or the Near Northwest Case Study site.
By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels. She enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two cats.