Two of Austin Bikeways Picked as Best in Nation for 2017


PeopleForBikes, the largest U.S. bicycling advocacy group with 1.2 million members nationwide, has announced their list of the their “Best New Bikeways” for 2017. Austin’s MoPac Mobility Bridges Project was picked as one of the top ten in the country.

“Austin’s work connecting networks of bike paths and low-stress bike lanes is among the most impressive in the country right now,” said Kyle Wagenschutz, Director of Local Innovation at PeopleForBikes. “Carefully chosen investments like the MoPac bridge and the 3rd Street protected bike lane are part of the reason Austin’s central core was selected for our Big Jump Project, an ambitious attempt to double or triple bike use buy 2020. These projects clearly show Austin wants its bikeways to be not only comfortable for anyone to use, but also convenient to where people want to go. That’ll pay off in health, happiness and congestion-proof mobility.”

The projects were selected based on their level of investment, and importance to creating greater connectivity throughout the city.

“The 3rd Street Protected Bicycle Lane represents the fruits of well-planned and coordinated efforts to make good on a vision to connect the Austin community with a five-mile crosstown bikeway which now serves thousands of people on bikes every day,” said Laura Dierenfield, Active Transportation and Street Design Division Manager, Austin Transportation Department, City of Austin.

Austin is a PeopleForBikes Big Jump City, which connects cities with the resources they need to double or even triple their biking by 2020. It also represents the five year anniversary of the City of Austin’s, Imagine Austin program.

“This project would not have been possible without creative thinking, strong intergovernmental relationships and a strong planning process. It’s also serendipitous that this project opened the month our city comprehensive plan, Imagine Austin, turned five. This project exemplifies Austin Transportation’s commitment to the Imagine Austin priority to become a compact and connected city, as well as our department’s mission to provide a safe, efficient, affordable and sustainable transportation network,” said Annick Beaudet, Assistant Director, Austin Transportation Department, City of Austin.

The rest of the list is as follows:

1) Georgia Path Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia
2) MoPac Mobility Bridges, Austin, TX
3) Jackson Street / Capital City Bikeway, St. Paul
4) 3rd Street, Austin
5) Williamsburg Bridge approaches, NYC
6) Bancroft Way, Berkeley CA
7) Jay Street, NYC
8) 7th Avenue bicycle boulevard, Ellensburg WA
9) Washington Avenue, Minneapolis
10) New York Ave / Michigan Ave couplet, Indianapolis


Honorable mention: Northern Boulevard, NYC; Michigan Avenue, Detroit.

PeopleForBikes bases this list on conversations with local and national infrastructure experts around the country, with particular emphasis on projects that link up continuous networks of low-stress bikeways — the key to making bike transportation an attractive option for Americans of all ages. PeopleForBikes generally define “low-stress bikeways” as physically protected bike lanes; off-street paths; and neighborhood bikeways. This year’s list includes examples of all three.