Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

ThinkBike Workshop: Austin, Texas

31 October 2022

Ten years ago, when a group of cycling experts from the Netherlands visited Austin, Texas for the 2012 ThinkBike workshop, the city had very little high-comfort bicycle infrastructure in the city outside of the Ann-and-Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.

On the ten-year anniversary of that first conference, Austin again hosted a group of transit, bicycle and land planning experts from the Netherlands—including Richard ter Avest of Goudappel, Erik Tetteroo of HOD works, Josine Reijnhoudt of the City of Utrecht, and Chris Bruntlett of the Dutch Cycling Embassy—for ThinkBike 2022 on Wednesday, October 26th. Thanks in part to the inspiration from that first conference, Austin has transformed over the last decade into a city that today offers 6 in 10 Austinites the choice to use an All Ages and Abilities bikeway to get where they need to go, with 380 kilometers of Dutch-inspired cycleways and 16 protected intersections.

And with the progress made over the last decade, the ThinkBike 2022 workshop focused on how this emerging bicycle network can better serve more Austinites amid the concurrent pressures of affordability, equity and climate change. Big themes discussed included how to give more people convenient, safe access to high quality transit options, the fundamentals of a 10-minute City where one’s daily needs are a 10 minute trip by bike or walking, and how to design streets and intersections that are safer for everyone.

A broad mix of City and Capital Metro staff, design professionals and community leaders attended ThinkBike 2022, which included workshop sessions with Dutch experts and a bike ride through Austin to see some of the highlights of the city’s bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure integrated with affordable housing, street trees offering shade canopy, lighting and wayfinding, including areas that could be improved in the future.

Austin has come a long way towards offering mobility options for how people get around town, but there is also much work ahead to deliver these choices to everyone in Austin. The city continues to build out its All Ages and Abilities network, now integrated with Vision Zero safety projects and in coordination with major transit investments like Project Connect. And on the horizon, the ATX Walk Bike Roll effort will update the City’s Urban Trails Plan, Bicycle Plan and Sidewalk Plan to direct priorities in the years to come.

You can find photos from the ThinkBike event here. On Tuesday, October 25th, Nathan Wilkes from the Austin Transportation Department and Richard ter Avest from Goudappel gave a presentation at Austin City Council’s work session featuring a look back over the last 10 years of progress. You can find a video recording of that presentation here.

This event was made possible with support from the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC and Consul General in Miami.

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Involved partners

Goudappel, HOD works, Gemeente Utrecht

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