On June 27th, the Georgetown City Council will hold a workshop on the Austin Avenue bridges. This project will have a significant impact on our historic downtown and its businesses.
This is the third blog post in our Facts Series. Today, we’ll discuss why the 11-foot lanes on the Austin Avenue bridges are a better solution than the 12-foot lanes being proposed by the City.
Here are four quick reasons why:
1. Remember that our Austin Avenue bridges are SAFE (as we clearly demonstrated in Fact #1).
2. The 11-foot wide lanes are well-suited for the current 35-mile per hour speed limits that are posted on Austin Avenue. Our historic downtown is designed to encourage walkability and pedestrian traffic. We don’t need or want faster speeds on Austin Avenue.
3. The 11-foot lanes are common throughout downtown, including the historically-protected areas around the Courthouse and Square. And, all along Austin Avenue. Therefore, just increasing the lane widths on the bridges doesn’t buy us much!
4. Widening the lanes on the bridges will require extensive construction and traffic disruption. The existing bridge decks will have to be removed and replaced with wider decks. The City estimates that it will take 18-24 months to complete the construction. (We think it will take longer!) It will also cost taxpayers $12-15 million dollars to rebuild the bridges with 12-foot lanes.
In summary, choosing 12-foot wide lanes over the existing 11-foot wide lanes will cost us millions of dollars and a couple of years of traffic disruptions and detours with no significant benefits.
At the Alliance, we’ve studied all five of the options that the City has shortlisted. We’re backing Option 6A, Rehabilitation of the Bridges with a separate pedestrian bridge. Here’s why:
- It meets our needs for traffic and pedestrian safety.
- The pedestrian bridge connects our historic downtown with San Gabriel Trail and Rivery Park.
- It costs at least $5 million dollars less than the construction options.
- It will result in the least disruption to historic downtown Georgetown.
Will you join us?
Please contact your City Council Member and tell them that you support Option 6A, and they should, too.
For help in contacting your Council Member, click here.