APD: Portion of Lance Armstrong Bikeway a 'haven for drugs'


by KRIS BETTS / KVUE News and photojournalist MATT OLSEN

Bio | Email | Follow: @KrisB_KVUE


Posted on September 9, 2013 at 10:20 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 9 at 10:41 PM

AUSTIN -- Commuters are complaining about part of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway. They say it has become a hot-spot for drugs and crime. And Austin police agree.

"We’ve had issues with this area with drugs before. It’s a haven for drug dealers and people who wanted to commit crime." Aust Police Commander Jason Dusterhoft said.

The section of the bikeway Dusterhoft is referring to runs from 4th street at Trinity, to just East of IH-35.

Dusterhoft tells KVUE News that recent downtown stings have ended in the arrests of around 88 people, and a lot of them happened right there.

“We really believe by going after that many dealers, 88 of them, it's going to make a pretty big difference," Dusterhoft said.

Bicyclists say their biggest concern is the lack of lighting, especially at night when loiterers crowd the bike path.

The Austin Police Department has “ordered two portable lights that are solar powered and we're going to put those there as soon as we get them. We're also looking at putting a halo camera down there so officers can watch that area 24/7,” said Dusterhoft.

The portable lights are a temporary fix. Dusterhoft says they are meeting with area stakeholders, including downtown hotels, the Austin Convention Center and Austin Energy this Thursday to find a more permanent solution.