Statement of Support for Improving the Quality of Bicycle Travel
in Austin, Texas
Approved by the Austin Yellow Bike Project, November 2007
Adopted Advocacy Statement
The Austin Yellow Bike Project (YBP) is a community supported all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing human-powered transportation for the people of Austin, running a community bike shop, and educating kids and adults. Recognizing that its mission is only worthwhile if adequate bicycling facilities are available, YBP has devised this statement of support for the continued development of such facilities in Austin. This statement will serve two purposes: 1) to inform City Council, staff, and other interested parties of YBP’s general positions on all issues that affect bicyclists, and 2) to guide YBP’s position on all specific issues affecting bicyclists that arise within the City.
YBP advocates for the entirety of the City of Austin to become a safe and friendly environment for bicyclists where the bicycle is a viable alternative to motor-powered modes for trip purposes including – but not limited to – work, shopping, and leisure. Detailed means towards achieving this goal are listed below.
1) Increase the Number of Bicyclists - The more aware drivers are of bicyclists, the safer bicyclists are when they ride. Driver awareness is directly tied to the number of bicyclists on the roadways, so bicycle-related policies should only be enacted if they serve to increase the size of the bicycling population.
2) Improve Network Connectivity - If only certain segments of a traveler’s route are safe to traverse by bicycle, it is likely that a motor vehicle will be used for the trip. Austin has created several barriers to non-motorized modes of transport over the years, namely highways and major arterials, which impede network connectivity. YBP supports all efforts to create a seamless network of bicycle facilities that can be used by all levels of riders.
3) Maintain Safe Bike Lanes - Removing debris, enforcing ‘no parking’ regulations, ensuring rail road tracks and drain grates are aligned perpendicular to the direction of travel, and sustaining a reasonably smooth surface are all important parts of maintaining safe bike lanes. Bicycles are typically used on the sides of the streets, where debris collects, trash cans are placed, and cars park. Clear signage denoting ‘no parking’ in bicycle lanes and enforcement of this rule has many advantages, namely that bicycles can travel safely and separately from motor vehicles and the City can more easily clear bike lanes of debris if cars are not serving as an obstruction.
4) Promote Education - Programs that educate auto drivers, bicyclists, and law enforcement officers about regulations pertaining to bicyclists and sharing the roads can create a safer environment for all transportation system users.
5) Ongoing Support of Bicycle Transportation - YBP supports all efforts by the City to develop, maintain, staff, and fund appropriate programs and citizen advisory councils to ensure that constant progress is being made towards the creation of a safe bicycling environment and increasing the proportion of trips made by bicycle.