Hiking Trails

Austin seeks public input on how to improve walking and biking routes

Austin rolled out its ATX Walk Bike Ride public admission pass in early January 2022. (Courtesy of the City of Austin)

Austin Public Works and the Austin Department of Transportation launched the ATX Walk Bike Roll Public Admission Card on Jan. 12 that allows residents to provide feedback on how to improve walking and biking routes in the city. .

Katie Wettick, manager of the urban pathways program at Austin Public Works, said the urban pathways plan is a continuation of an existing city plan from 2014. With the rapid growth of the city of Austin, city officials Transportation needed to modify the plan to better accommodate residents regarding their transportation needs. The ATXWBR project consists of a combination of three separate plans, including the Urban Pathway Plan, the Sidewalk Plan and the Bike Lane Plan.

“We have a unified plan and serve as one network. It seemed so natural to come together. Also, nice to go out in the audience and ask them what they need,” Wettick said.

The ATX Walk Bike Roll project addresses areas where residents encounter gaps or challenges in their routes, potential locations for new trails, bike paths or connections, and places with difficult crossings. It specifically targets various communities that are typically left behind when it comes to affordable and accessible transportation. Wettick said the plans for the bike paths and urban pathways lacked equity, making an updated plan necessary.

“Our big effort is really about getting a lot of audience feedback and getting audience feedback from a diverse audience. Our goal is that we don’t want to hear from the same people that we always hear from,” Wettick said.

Improvements and updates to ATXWBR will take two years. The project is in Phase 2, which prioritizes projects and determines where they are built. It is expected to be finalized in early 2023. Austin Public Works and the Austin Department of Transportation are encouraging residents who are unable to use the pass card to request a physical feedback form by calling the 512-974-7182 or by sending an email. [email protected].