Residents in Northwest Austin are battling over parking and bike lanes. Half of the residents along Mesa Drive say they want the bike lanes to stay for safety reasons. A small group says parking is a necessity.
Kelly Davis and her family use the bike lane on mesa drive near their home, all of the time.
“We run in it, we ride in it, and every time we're up there we see lots and lots of other people doing the same thing,” Davis said.
Now the city is considering removing the lanes. The initial plan for the area included *keeping the bike lanes, but pushback from a group of neighbors led to the current plan which would replace the cycling lanes with shoulders for parking.
“This is the way we keep our kids safe by teaching the rules of the road and having them ride safely in bike lanes and share the road safely with cars,” Davis said.
Bike Austin along with concerned residents met at doss elementary for a ride to raise awareness about the issue.
“A lot of children in the area ride their bikes to this actual school so why would you want to take that away? With the obesity epidemic we have with our children,” Mercedes Ferris, executive director for Bike Austin, said.
Davis says the area's lanes should stay where they are for the purpose of convenience and safety.
“We do have dedicated bike lanes so we would like that as a continuum all the way down to Cat Mountain,” Ferris said.
The residents believe Austin can lead other cities when it comes to cyclists and drivers sharing the road.
“Let's be the fittest city in America. The way to do that is to provide a healthy mode of transportation and biking is that alternate mode,” Ferris said.
“We should reflect on our priorities as a city and as a community and think about what it says when we say that cars are more important than bikes, pedestrians, and people's safety,” Davis said.