Nueces businesses create ‘Austinites for Downtown Mobility’

in Nueces Bike Blvd

Nueces businesses create 'Austinites for Downtown Mobility'

By: Ashley Porter, News8Austin
Updated: 2/22/2010 7:14 AM

Just as a proposal to transform Nueces Street into a bicycle boulevard comes up for a final public forum, many small businesses along the street have come together to form a group called Austinites for Downtown Mobility.

“We hope that because we are able to show that we have an organization and that we have a mass behind our movement that they will listen to us when they’re planning the street,” Nueces business owner Scott Sayers said. Sayers has run his business on the street for the past 24 years.

Much of the street is made up of small businesses that operate out of refurbished houses. Many of the owners ride bicycles themselves, but they fear that reducing car traffic in favor of bikes along Nueces would clog surrounding streets and affect property values and business.

“This is not an anti-cycling movement. This is more about keeping the streets of Austin unimpeded for all forms of transportation,” Sayers said. “We will not lose our access to our businesses, but they will make it very inconvenient for cars to go up and down the street.”

News 8’s Ashley Porter shows us, the plan has bicyclists behind it and neighborhood business owners rallying for a different solution.

Members of the group have suggested bike lanes or other types of compromises with the City of Austin as options that could work for business owners and bicyclists alike.

“We want to be able to create a safe place, an inviting place for people to bike,” Executive Director of the League of Bicycling Voters Tom Wald said.

Wald said the Nueces plan is responding to requests for safe biking streets that, if created, could lead to more bikers.

“This is primarily meant to serve the people that drive around in their cars, but want to be able to bike,” Wald said. “These are the things they’re asking for.”

The proposal to make Nueces a bike corridor is part of the Austin Bicycle Plan, which strives to increase the use and safety of bicycle travel in the city.

The last public forum about the Nueces plan will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Pease Elementary School.

The Original Austin Neighborhood Association has also urged the city to consider moving the bike corridor to Rio Grande. The association believes that the presence of Pease Elementary and Austin Community College would encourage students to ride their bikes and get more exercise.

This article can be found at News8Austin: Nueces businesses create ‘Austinites for Downtown Mobility’

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