Sayonara Shoal Creek Frankencurbs

City hands down death sentence to street's controversial curb islands

The infamous and much-ridiculed Frankencurbs along 
Shoal Creek Boulevard will soon be jackhammered into 
oblivion.
The infamous and much-ridiculed "Frankencurbs" along Shoal Creek Boulevard will soon be jackhammered into oblivion. (Photo By John Anderson)

In the ongoing melee surrounding how to best accommodate the users of Shoal Creek Boulevard – who include scores of bicyclists, walkers, and joggers – the city's Land Use and Transportation Subcommittee finally handed down a decisive death sentence to the street's controversial "frankencurb" islands, installed last May to calm traffic and keep motor vehicles out of a 10-foot shared bike/parking lane. Public Works Department Director Sondra Creighton said the curb islands will be removed in about a month. The subcommittee – comprised of Council Members Brewster McCracken, Betty Dunkerley, and Lee Leffingwell – also voted to put in sidewalks along the boulevard, and to mercifully relocate the construction of several traffic pilot projects, proposed by McCracken, to a different but similar street.

However, with the removal of the frankencurbs and the subcommittee's vote to leave the road's striping as is, resulting in a 10-foot driving lane and a 10-foot shared use (both bicycles and parked cars) lane on each side, cyclists are not only incensed by the lack of striped bike lanes, but by the dangerous possibility that motorists might mistake the shared-use lane for a driving lane. Bike advocate Michael Bluejay, who spoke in favor of bike lanes at the meeting, said the vote shows that in the minds of the subcommittee "motorist convenience trumps cyclist safety." The subcommittee justified selecting the current striping pattern based on a survey of area residents conducted last October by Public Works staff, in which voters narrowly chose variants of the current striping over another option which restricted parking to one side of the street and included car-free bike lanes. A majority of cyclist and cyclist-resident voters chose the bike lane option, however, which has been city staff's recommendation throughout the five-year process. Before moving to approve the as-is striping, Leffingwell asked for reassurances that "nothing prevents us from changing to another striping plan" in the future. Creighton said the full council is expected to weigh the subcommittee's vote and approve a final striping plan at its March 2 meeting.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

    SOS: The Amendment That Didn't Bark

    SOS slow to submit paired "open government" petitions to city

    City Cuts Scofflaw Cafe No slack

    South Congress Cafe appeals unsuccessfully for code variances for illegal deck and patio
  • NASA Joke Has Aggie Punchline

    It takes a real Aggie to spot an Aggie wannabe

    Tree Flakes?

    Recent Austin tree spats are symptoms of our need for a coordinated plan to manage the urban forest

    Birdshot Blunders

    White House turns what could have been a forgivable hunting accident into suspicious cover-up, replete with excuses, denials, and, of course, no apologies

    Education Irony

    Texas Education Agency gives $10 million to schools slated for closure in AISD repurposing plan

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle