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Bike Austin rolls out new campaign

Monday, April 18, 2016 by Caleb Pritchard

Several members of City Council, including Mayor Steve Adler, joined Bike Austin on the front plaza of City Hall on Thursday morning to highlight the advocacy group’s new report calling for more investments in bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure. The seven-page “Pathways to Equity” report sketches out a data-rich argument demonstrating how so-called active transportation projects can tackle Austin’s triune crisis of affordability, mobility and inequity. It cites the American Automobile Association’s estimation that the average annual cost of car ownership is $8,220, while bicycle commuters spend only $308 per year. “Fully funding the Bicycle Master Plan, which prioritizes protected, all-ages and -abilities bicycle paths to high-capacity transit, and aims to capture short (under 3 miles) trips to economic centers and schools, will cost $151 million,” according to the report. On the November ballot, Council could consider adding the question of whether to fund the Bicycle Master Plan, but time for making that decision is running out. “Now is the time for people in this community to step up and start talking about their mobility priorities,” Adler said emphatically. Asked why Austin voters should prioritize money for bike lanes, Bike Austin’s Mercedes Feris told the Austin Monitor, “We want to keep our money local. The money that we put in for the bond package is our money, so let’s keep it local. If we put it in our bike infrastructure, it’s staying local. Big, massive highways aren’t actually just for us.”

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