What follows is a posting to the Allandale Listserve regarding the outcome of yesterday’s Land Use and Transportation Committee meeting regarding the restriping of Shoal Creek submitted by Jack Kern [Email address: jackckern #AT# sbcglobal.net - replace #AT# with @ ]. The Statesman also had an article in today’s paper about the outcome of the meeting, “Council likely to ax curb islands.” At its February 13th meeting LUT voted unanimously to recommend to full Council that option three be implemented on SCB.  “Finish removing the curb islands and leave all the striping as is” is a rough quote of the short term instructions to staff.

Staff was also directed to come back to LUT a month from now with recommendations of other streets that would be good candidates for pilot projects.  Ms. Dunkerley asked some questions that resulted in Mr. McCracken stating very clearly that his intent was to give Shoal Creek residents a break after all these years and that the pilot projects would hopefully be started after staff identifies other streets, but that the pilots would not be run on SCB.  In addition, Mr. McCracken indicated that once pilot projects were completed elsewhere, SCB could be revisited to apply any or some combination of the pilots to  SCB.

Three people spoke.  One person whose name I do not recall.  A self proclaimed international bike safety expert with international publications, this gentleman argued dramatically for dedicated bike lanes and claimed that almost half the neighborhood residents unselfishly voted for dedicated bike lanes.  I spoke second.  I challenged the international expert’s assertion that almost half the residents were in favor of dedicated bike lanes.  I pleaded with the subcommittee to not be diverted to considering any thing other than selecting either option 2 or option 3.  Gretchen Vaden spoke last.  She referenced her unbroken five year history starting with the
original working group, said she lives on Shoal Creek, said she hopes whatever happens going forward will include parking on both sides of SCB, and she pleaded that SCB be left its basic pretty street and its character not changed.  (Please accept in advance my apologies if I have mischaracterized comments by either of the other
two speakers.)

In a way, one could argue that all three speakers and all stake holders got some of what each wanted, but not all of what each wanted:

1. Staff was directed to find and identify other places in Austin in which pilot projects, presumably including dedicated bike lanes, can be conducted.

2. The committee voted in favor of option 3, leaving parking on both sides of SCB.

3. While LUT chair McCracken clarified, perhaps as a result of prodding by one of the other committee member’s comments and questions, that his intent is to give folks on Shoal Creek a break for now, he also said there is no reason why, once successful pilots are run elsewhere in Austin, modifications to SCB can’t then be
accomplished.

Assuming Council approves the LUT recommendation, curb islands will be completely removed soon and striping will remain substantively as is now, at least until pilot projects are done elsewhere.  It is my guess that the reentry point to further modify SCB is most likely through the neighborhood planning project process gearing up pretty soon.  I understand that folks who wish to participate on ANA’s neighborhood planning project should contact Gretchen Vaden Nagy, ANA president.