In case you haven’t noticed the city has begun their experiment on making Barton Springs Road a single lane for cars and dedicating the other lane to bikes and pedestrians. I thought it would be useful to start a topic to get peoples input on how it is working. My observation thus far is it really hasn’t been as impactful as I thought it would be. I haven’t had a chance to bike along it, but I’m looking forward to that. Some observations of mine:
Coming out of Azie Morton and making a left on Barton Springs road actually seems much better because there is only one lane and it turns to two lanes just after Azie Morton so the flow of traffic out of the neighborhood is much better and unconstrained.
Pedestrian crossing at Azie Morton and Barton Springs is still kind of a mess.
The speed of traffic with all the businesses on Barton Springs road seems much more appropriate and the ability to pull into some of the parking lots is easier - stopping at Juice Land is much smoother.
I like prioritizing people and multi-modal transit over cars. I don’t think I’ve noticed any impact in the time it takes me to leave the neighborhood and get to other areas of town.
Eager to hear everyone’s thoughts.
This is a cool video showing the bike upgrades from Barton Hills Elementary through Barton Springs Road. Pretty clear that its much safer for bikes and pedestrians!
It’s funny how ACL is to blame for everything. Love it or hate it the fact is it provides a space for pedestrians , bikes , scooters where cars used to be. One response to this might be I’m sorry you have to slow down instead of speeding through our neighborhood putting our residents in danger.
Another funny thing is this picture is on Azzie Morton coming out of Zilker where there has always been a backup and as stated above that left hand actually goes a lot faster now. Classic disinformation.
It’s a disaster. And traffic backs up twice the distance. Out to lamar and up the turn lane. Not faster at all but doubly + slower. Two lanes, then one lane then two lanes, then one… They could’ve accommodated bikes and peds without taking away a lane, intermittently. And why pinch the turn in and out off Barton Blvd?
There are no longer breaks in traffic allowing for turning from any side roads. Do you even drive over there?
This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.
Yup. I leave during rush hour in the morning around 8:30 to take my daughter to school. I’m unclear given your description where you’re talking about. But the left turn out of Azzie Morton is super fast now because that’s where it goes from one back to two lanes.
Exiting Kinney I have noticed is a little slower. All in all though we are talking a minute or three max. There used to be stoppages along Barton springs as well when cars would get stuck making a right turn or something. Those are pretty much gone as people go into the bike lane (for better or worse) when they make the turn.
Oh, after re-reading more closely I think you’re talking about turning off of Lamar primarily. Yeah I would imagine that would be the main area impacted. But I also think that’s kind of the intention. Not sure where you live but could maybe go straight up to Treadwell?
Has made it safer…PERIOD.
Ive almost been clipped a handful of times going to juice land. Now…stress free.
Hope they keep 2 lanes west of there tho or mopac traffic will back up. Would be nice tho if we could w the right lane heading east over bridge to right turn only! But no way- would cause too much confusion
Dr. Nicholas Vaughan
Just took a ride to see how it was. Granted Saturday afternoon. Was heading to Bicycle Sport Shop coming out of Barton bluff. Not sure what you mean by the pinch being there it is back toward Azzie Morton.
Certainly from a Bike point of view, this is so so much better.
Biking Barton Springs is now terror free. And the smoother, slower traffic flow when driving it is much more peaceful. (I gotta be transparent: I find substantially lowering the chance of killing or injuring a walker or bike rider to be directly proportional to my happiness and sense of peace while driving)
Crossing at Barton is still a bit unsafe, because the cars consistently break the freaking law, which is (translated from sign graphic) - yield to peeps at or in the crosswalk. I’ve been hard at the learnin’ of people lately, using my bike much like a bull-fighting muleta stuck into the lane if a driver seems unable to comprehend the sign or unwilling to give a shit. *(I can’t attest to the deterrent value of yellow mustard squirting, but it is not at all advisable. It’s also extremely righteous and exciting).
Dear City of Austin: traffic related deaths this year will vie for an all time record, with an alarming percentage (like a 1/3rd?) involving bikers/pedestrians. Seems if y’all are in the life savin’ game, a great use of resources might be to put ocifers at crosswalks like at Barton & Barton Springs, Barton Spring’s Zilker crossing, any others that are commonly ignored or new, and any place where cars consistently speed near lots of bikes and pedestrians. Maybe just for a bit. I dunno…just blamestorming here.
I live on Treadwell between Kinney and Garner. Traffic is noticeably heavier/worse in just the few days since the change on Barton Springs. From my perspective, transferring higher traffic volume onto our narrow neighborhood streets is also dangerous. At least on our stretch of the street, drivers speed and use it as a drag strip (that part has been going on for years.) Barton Springs may be safer, but Treadwell absolutely is less safe. I would love to have traffic calming devices back on our street.
Good input. I wonder if there is a way to get the city to put traffic counting devices on the exit streets to see this impact. Of course, if they would finally complete the Collier exit and shut down Hether it would make a huge difference IMHO.
Do you mean shut down Hether at Lamar? I use it frequently to go to the library. It’s a safe place to cross Lamar with the light (driving). I would not support that being shut down. I think that’s a great intersection for one of the “on-demand” crosswalks. Cyclists and pedestrians need to be safe, too. It’s interesting, since the 338 bus shut down and the 803 and 3 no longer go anywhere, I drive MORE now than I did 10 years go. I used to run errands and grocery shop using the bus. Additionally, there are fewer services now than there used to be. I want our neighborhood to be functional.
Well the Lamar Corridor plan calls for making Collier St ↔ Evergreen to become the main crossing and to have Hether be a turn only corridor. The alignment of Collier and Evergreen with a light and left hand turn signals would make more sense and would allow for better pedestrian crossings.
As a whole it is way better. I use Barton springs as a pedestrian and a driver and both feel much safer now.
I agree completely. I have used this road daily for the past two years on foot and by bike. My impression is that we finally have a little room to breathe without getting run over.
I have driven it and observed traffic on my bike at various times of day, but especially 4-6 pm rush hour. Traffic seems to move along pretty well. We might actually spend some time at the businesses now that it’s quieter and less frantic.
Side note: Zoé Tong is taking over at the Austin East Ciders location.
As a bike-only resident of Zilker, I love the Barton Springs changes. But I also hate the gravel.
I LOVE the new layout of Barton Springs road. It’s so much safer for bikes and pedestrians and makes it so much more pleasant to eat outside on that stretch of road.
Slowing down people who choose to drive cars is a small price to pay for improving safety and making our city more walkable and bikeable.
True question: how is it safer? There were always bike lanes.
The difference is, it’s much more dangerous to try to pull a car into traffic because it never stops now. There is a constant, tightly packed flow of cars. Most folks will not let you in, and the traffic keeps coming from Azie Morton, et al after Barton or Lamar light turns red. If you’re a bike, you now cannot cross w/o the cross-walk. And, it’s 70/30 likely folks won’t see you and stop.
Also, 99.9% of people traveling that road are in cars. All Summer, I saw a handful of bikers total, compared to 1000’s of cars/day. (btw, I’m a biker. but biking in 100º+ is also quite dangerous). So for a safety measure making a dubious difference, we’ve cut efficiency of human travel in 1/2, while doubling smog, wait-times, etc. We also are sending lines of traffic headed out of the neighborhood up into the neighborhood, stuck, waiting for a break that never comes. It’s a mistake.
I’ve said elsewhere that I hope the people behind this experiment are genuinely and disinterestedly measuring the impacts in order to generate a meaningful conclusion. I think there are problems with it that can probably be fixed, but I am very concerned about reports of increased traffic through the neighborhood as that is not an acceptable trade-off in my opinion. In terms of safety, I think most people who walk or cycle would say that it feels better than it did before on that stretch of Barton Springs Rd.