AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Georgetown held a public open house on Wednesday night at the Georgetown Public Library to get feedback on its plan to make roads safer for cyclists.
According to Ray Miller, the acting director of public transportation for the City, there are currently 30 miles of bike trails citywide and with the "Bicycle Master Plan," the City is planning to add 50 more.
A big part of this change is promoting bicycle safety in the community. Some of the expected changes listed in the plan include more pavement marking on the streets, buffered and protected bike lanes and off-street trails.
City leaders are looking at areas downtown, along Interstate Highway 35 and University Avenue. At the Austin Avenue Bridges near the San Gabriel River, there will be a new dedicated bike and pedestrian bridge built on the east side of the main road.
Miller says right now there are no bike lanes around the square or anywhere downtown, which is something that could be added with this plan.
Miller said overall this is about creating a safe cycle network that anyone can use.
“It’s not just for recreational use,” Miller said. “It’s also something that we – the plan talks about helping support the economy. It offers that different mode of transportation for people that want to use it for more than just recreation.”
While some details are still being ironed out, Miller said the plan could cost about $15.7 million.
Paul Littlefield, owner of Georgetown Cyclewerx says he's been biking his whole life.
"I've been riding and racing bikes since I was five years old," said Littlefield.
He also told KVUE before attending the open house the demand for bikes in Georgetown is growing, just like the city is at its rapid pace.
“It’s been pretty crazy – just the traffic out here in front of the store alone has been a huge increase," said Littlefield. "The more people, the more bikes."
He also said he feels safe biking within the city limits, but more improvements could be made in order for Georgetown to be bike-friendly.
“I’d like to see designated safe routes around town ... you know, additional signage," said Littlefield.
He thinks a master plan would be important especially since he says more people are riding them to get around in general.
“Bikes are becoming more legitimate forms of transportation all the time," said Littlefield.
Don Ness, another person who attended the open house, told KVUE beforehand the plan is a good start.
"I think it's a step in the right direction," said Ness.
City leaders created this plan in partnership with the University of Texas to help collect data. The City has been planning this since 2016, and the city council’s first vote on the plan is just around the corner, in November. A second reading of the changes is expected in December.
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