AUSTIN, Texas — Austin cyclists experiencing problems with vehicles parked in bike lanes can now report them directly through the Austin 311 App.
Austin Transportation added the category "Bike Lanes" under "Traffic Violations" in the app, and believes it will help them track any problems.
Prior to this change in early December, those issues fell under the category "Other."
"We will definitely be able to identify hot spots, where those violations are happening, and if we need to construct different treatments for that bicycle facility. Then, we can get those to planning groups to make the changes that are necessary," said Jason Redfern, Austin Transportation's parking and enterprise manager.
Since October 2019, Redfern said the City has issued approximately 70 violations for people parking in bike lanes and has towed 17 vehicles.
According to data KVUE requested from the department, in 2018, 366 bicycle issues were reported to the City, and in 2019, that number nearly doubled to 616.
These reports include matters such as parking in bike lanes with "No Parking" signs, parking in bike lanes with no current restrictions and other miscellaneous biking issues.
These complaints were filed via phone calls to Austin 311 or the "Other" category of the app.
Since creating the app changes in December, they've received nine service requests under the "Bike Lanes" category.
Redfern said these changes aim to help the city's Vision Zero goal to make Austin streets safer.
"By someone parking in a bike lane, they are altering someone's path, their typical route," he said. "It adds a level of unpredictability to the roadway that is dangerous for people driving their vehicle as well as the people who are riding their bicycles."
Since the changes are still in their infancy, Redfern said they are working on the kinks, while also looking for ways to address important issues such as bike lane closures and other parking violations.
Austinites can report many other traffic violations and concerns in the city to the Austin 311 app.
They can also call 311 via telephone to report any issues or concerns.
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