The summer heat is the talk of the town. Greenways cool it down. We have lots of important news, so let’s get started!
The Red Line Parkway is on the ballot
Earlier this week, the Travis County Commissioners Court set the ballot for the bond election items this November. Included in the transportation item is the Howard Lane Shared-Use Path, which funds construction of a key portion of the Red Line Parkway! The project also will immediately provide safe biking and walking connectivity to CapMetro Rail Howard Lane Station, McNeil High School, Northwest YMCA, McNeil Crossing, and Wells Branch.
We couldn’t have done this without your support: over a hundred supportive comments to Travis County and our hundreds of donors. If you haven’t yet supported our work this year with a donation, we encourage you to do so now. Our donors are our primary source of support for our work to secure construction funding for the Parkway.
Red Line Trail Study
The Red Line Trail Study is underway! The study, led by CapMetro, will identify a feasible and safe alignment for the Red Line Trail with recommendations for near-, mid- and long-term implementation, given the many constraints along the 32+ mile corridor. CapMetro has hired a consulting team and they are currently compiling the existing conditions of the corridor. Community engagement is expected to begin soon, so stay tuned and share this email with your friends so they can sign up for updates too.
The Red Line Trail Study is one component of the overall Parkway Plan that will bring the Parkway to life. We'll keep you posted as we get nearer to other planning efforts.
Wayfinding Grant from AARP
We’re excited to receive a Community Challenge grant from AARP to provide pop-up wayfinding along the Red Line Parkway! The wayfinding signs will guide people, especially those 50 years and older, to existing trail and street segments of the Red Line Parkway, plus will spread the word to help complete the 32+ mile Parkway.
This will be a rapid deployment, so look for the new signs by this fall. If you want to be a part of this effort, send an email to [email protected] and stay tuned for more information soon.
New Red Line Trail Design Released for Braker Lane to Northern Walnut Creek Trail
The Austin Urban Trails Program released 60% designs for most of the Red Line Trail from Braker Lane to Northern Walnut Creek Trail (at MoPac). This new section will pass through one of our city’s densest residential and commercial districts, plus connect to two Capital Metro Rail stations, Q2 Stadium, and connect into the Walnut Creek Trail system. You can review the designs at the city’s website and take the survey by August 31st.
The Red Line Parkway Initiative is thankful to see this project moving along, but we have unresolved concerns with two portions of the design. One portion would put trail users next to highway traffic, unnecessarily exposing trail users to noise pollution, air pollution, and crash danger. This design would also create an unsafe trail intersection and would route people away from the green space access that urban trails are intended to provide. We will work with staff toward resolving these issues, and may provide opportunities for the public to learn more about these issues and engage in discussion. The other portion in this project area has not yet been released to the public (or us), so we will work with staff to ensure public engagement on that section prior to construction.
Share your photos of the Red Line Parkway
Help us build our photo archive of the Parkway! If you've snapped any photos recently while you're out cycling, getting some fresh air, or volunteering, we'd love your help expanding our collection of images from up and down the Parkway.
To share some Parkway magic, you can either:
- Share directly from Google Photos with [email protected],
- Post on social media and tag @redlineparkway, or
- Email a high resolution copy to [email protected]
More Parkway Updates
- Ten years ago this month, CapMetro, City of Austin, Safe Streets Austin, Texas Rollergirls, and hundreds of others celebrated the opening of the first segment of the Red Line Trail from Highland Station to Crestview Station along Airport Blvd. The photo above shows then Austin City Council Member Chris Riley and then Bike Austin Executive Director Tom Wald cutting the ribbon by bike.
- Next week, TxDOT will release the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the I-35 Capital Express Central project. Assuming the project moves forward, we can look forward to both Red Line Parkway crossing being car-free and likely with adjacent caps. You can learn more about the project and sign up for updates at the I-35 CapEx Central website.
- Austin Urban Trails just released the results of the MoKan Trail community feedback and how they plan to move forward with the project. This section of the MoKan Trail will connect the Red Line Parkway at 5th & Pedernales to Govalle Park and the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. Learn more and find links in this recent Urban Trails newsletter.
- Austin Transportation and Public Works will move forward with improved bicycling and walking accommodations along North Loop Boulevard, East 53rd Street, and Hancock Drive. These improvements will provide better access to and from the Red Line Parkway corridor. Read more in this recent project newsletter from the city.
- The East 5th Street Rail and Trail improvements public survey closed earlier this week. We will continue our work to ensure that this project makes use of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to complete the missing section of trail through the Plaza Saltillo area.
Thank you for being a part of the Red Line Parkway community. If you haven't yet had the opportunity to donate this year, you can do so now at rlpi.org/donate.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
The Sinclair Black Family Trust
Hill Abell & Laura Agnew
Noah Wright & Elizabeth Buchanan
Red Line Parkway Initiative