Support Commuter Rail

RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 26, 2004

Dear Editor,
   The undersigned bicycle organizations urge everyone who wishes to see a more bicycle-friendly Austin to vote for Cap Metro's urban commuter rail proposal next Tuesday. Here's why: Cap Metro has a proven track record of supporting bike transportation, accommodating bikes on its buses (the first transit agency in the state to do so), and returning millions of dollars to build bicycle facilities as part of regional mobility efforts. Consistent with this outstanding record, the agency is now committing to provide state-of-the-art bicycle accommodations on rail cars, secure and adequate parking at future rail stations, and safe and adequate bicycle entry to and exit from future rail stations. Moreover, in response to requests from the bike community, Cap Metro has agreed to build hike-and-bike trails (rails-with-trails) parallel to and at a safe distance from the tracks wherever feasible. Since rail corridors usually pass beneath highways and major roads, rails-with-trails can allow people to walk or bike safely beneath barriers such as 183, MoPac, I-35, and Ben White, and help close gaps in our existing bicycle and trail networks. We believe that urban commuter rail can help make Austin one of the premier cities for bicycle transportation, and one of the most liveable cities overall, in the nation.
Robin Stallings, executive director, Texas Bicycle Coalition
Jeb Boyt, president, Austin Metro Trails and Greenways
Preston Tyree, legislative chair, Austin Cycling Association
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