Sunday, May 19, 2013
HIKE & BIKE BETWEEN GEORGETOWN & ROUND ROCK
This map illustrates about the first half of my bicycle commute route to work. A more detailed map can be found in the May 4, 2013 post titled, MY CURRENT COMMUTE ROUTE.
I first rode to work on this route in 2009. Traffic in the morning is nearly non-existent from Georgetown to Round Rock, but the ride home on the east side of the highway is extremely dangerous. TxDOT shot down my proposal to designate the right lane of these frontage roads as bike lanes for specific time frames in the morning and afternoon hours. Their position after a "careful review of my proposal" is that it is not feasible to reduce vehicle capacity during "peak hour" when traffic volume is the highest. This is true in the afternoon when riding home on the east side of the highway, but when riding to work in the morning, between Inner Space Caverns and Rudy's, I am passed by just a handful of cars and trucks...not enough to occupy two lanes, not even during "peak hour".
TxDOT has also stated there are no plans to widen the frontage roads between Georgetown and Round Rock. After my own careful review, what does makes sense is a hike & bike trail that follows the southbound frontage road connecting Rockmoor Drive in Georgetown and the northern-most point of Chisholm Trail Road in Round Rock. I understand there are underground utilities to address, but I'm not suggesting we dig the Panama Canal. It's a hike & bike trail.
If you live in Round Rock, imagine riding your bike to Georgetown...on the west side of the highway. You could visit the caverns without ever starting your car. If you are visiting the caverns, imagine unloading your bikes and riding to Round Rock for some Rudy's BBQ, then returning to the caverns without having to cross over the highway. Imagine living in Georgetown or Round Rock and riding your bike to work on a separate route, away from multi-ton vehicles, without the fear of getting bumped into a ditch or hit from behind by a texting motorist.
Georgetown and Round Rock could work together to connect these two communities by bike. My proposal to TxDOT may have been naive, and the hike & bike trail idea could be totally unrealistic, but we'll never know until someone puts it out there.