Austin Should Be Ashamed About Inadequate Bike Lanes

RECEIVED Thu., May 8, 2008

Dear Editor,
    I am pleased to see your coverage of the bike issues facing the Austin community [“The Revolution Will Not Be Motorized,” News, May 9]. I moved here eight years ago from Oregon and continued to use my bike as my only means of transportation for my first four years here, and those were some scary years. I’m shocked how “green” this town can make itself out to be, yet we have third-class bikeways (and a few lanes that people use for parking). I miss riding my bike. I put on the pounds driving my car around, and I sit my fat ass in traffic, instead of working it rock solid on my bike. The trade-off: At least I have a hunk of metal surrounding me as I drive these mean streets of Austin. However, I just spent 10 days visiting a friend in Santa Cruz, Calif., and I pumped her one-speed cruiser all over that town (and took off about 5 pounds). When approaching a large intersection, the bike lane actually became separated from the car lane with a raised barrier. I was almost moved to tears, or at least moved enough to get my bike fixed and vow to myself to start biking to work two days a week from now on. I sit in traffic Downtown on my way home these days and look at the maddening amount of high-rises shooting up out of the sky, one level every five days, and I wonder, what in the hell are we going to do when people and all their cars fill these buildings? I look at the streets, and I see no bike lanes. Come on! We should be ashamed that there are no bike lanes in Downtown Austin; it’s just damn ignorant city planning.
Amy Jo Fowler
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