Comment on the City’s 24th-34th Shoal Creek Trail Gap Proposal
August 16, 2023 | By Shoal Creek Conservancy
The City of Austin Transportation and Public Works Department is gathering public input through October 8, 2023 (extended deadline) on a proposed project to fill the main gaps in the Shoal Creek Trail from W 24th to W 34th Streets, in line with the vision set forth in the Shoal Creek Trail Plan. The project objective is to improve trail connectivity, comfort, and safety conditions within three distinct gap segments along this stretch.
South Gap: W 24th Street to 2800 Shoal Creek Boulevard
Shoal Creek Conservancy strongly supports this proposed design! We appreciate upgrading to a 12-foot wide all ages and abilities shared-use path along N Lamar Boulevard, which is ideal for pedestrian and cyclist comfort and safety when bypassing the landslide area and improving the crossings at N Lamar and Shoal Creek Boulevard.
We recommend that the new protected trail across the bridge put vehicles on the north side and trail users on the south side to prevent contra-flow and increase trail user safety. We also recommend that all trail/roadway crossings be raised and that concrete barriers separate trail users on the bridge for further protection.
Middle Gap: W 29th Street to W 31st Street
Shoal Creek Conservancy strongly supports this proposed design! We appreciate upgrading the sidewalk along N Lamar Boulevard to a 12-foot wide segment from W 29th Street to W 31st Street as an all ages and abilities alternative to the Split Rock Canyon nature trail. We also commend the thoughtful street and intersection improvements along this section of N Lamar Boulevard to enhance comfort and safety for motor vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians.
North Gap: W 31st Street to W 34th Street
The North Gap follows W 31st Street west to an existing Shoal Creek Trail trailhead where the street name then transitions to Shoal Creek Boulevard north of the trailhead.
The City first launched a public process to address this gap in 2020. After installing a pilot trail in 2021, the project team has been monitoring and adjusting the pilot to identify the best configuration of the street for all its users. This latest proposed design is the fifth iteration.
Understanding the unique constraints of this street, the project team has prepared several options to fill the North Gap. The options are divided into two segments: East of the Shoal Creek Trail trailhead and West of the trailhead.
North Gap, East Segment: N Lamar Boulevard to Shoal Creek Trail Trailhead
Shoal Creek Conservancy strongly supports Options 1 and 2, keeping the trail connection on the south side of the street and reducing conflicts with motor vehicles. We are not in favor of Options 3 and 4 which would introduce potentially dangerous street crossings and interrupt the connectivity of the trail.
North Gap, West Segment: Shoal Creek Trail Trailhead to W 34th Street
In alignment with the Shoal Creek Trail Plan that advocates for the trail to be in the greenway, Shoal Creek Conservancy recommends Option 3 which offers an improved and ADA accessible trail “in the park.” The Option 1 and 2 alternatives keep the trail on the south/west side of the street to separate trail users from vehicles, but does not fully align with the vision set forth in the Trail Plan. We are not in favor of Option 4 which would place trail users and motor vehicles in the same right-of-way.
Email [email protected] if you have questions or comments for SCC.
Thank you for helping to improve the Shoal Creek Trail!