So two weeks ago, while I was in Austin for a friend’s wedding, I went to visit Mellow Johnny’s bike shop, a Lance Armstrong endeavor at 4th and Nueces in a great old building. We ate at the Juan Pelota cafe inside, which has really really good little prepackaged salads. The espresso I had was really good, surprisingly better than the one I had earlier at Ruta Maya. The bike inventory was impressively varied: cruisers, mountain bikes, practical bikes, roadies. They have a commuter station inside with lockers, showers, and practical biking accessories.
As I ate the killer (no, really) salad, I eyed the magazine rack in the cafe and noticed a big binder. What’s this?
It’s the Austin Master Bike Plan, which was unanimously passed by the Austin City Council 6-0.
I read the whole thing, cover to cover, and it is really really good. An incredible amount of effort and coordination went into creating this document, and I was shocked at the size of the list of citizens who are advising the city on the project. This document is so good that it could perhaps be borrowed from by other aspiring cities, surely saving thousands of hours of research.
I’ll close this post with a quote from Elliott of AustinOnTwoWheels. This quote reminds me of Denton’s lack of execution regarding the council-endorsed bicycle plan from several years ago. Dedication is the hardest part.
I would like to close by saying while this plan has our support, it remains only a words on paper if it is not implemented. When we were circulating this petition, the number one issue that upset people most was that only 1/3rd of the projects in the 1996-98 plan every got completed. By establishingin the new plan, we will not have to wait over ten years to see if progress is being made. In fact, some of the deadlines in the plan will arrive in the next budget cycle and before the terms end for the incoming council. The cycling community is more active and organized that ever before in this city, and I think you can expect us to remain engaged while working with you to ensure progress is made and this plan is honored.