ATX Walk Bike Roll is a project of the Austin Transportation and Public Works Department to update plans that guide when and where we build places to walk, bike, and roll. We invite you to watch this video to learn more about how we will update Austin's Urban Trails, Sidewalks, and Bikeway plans. Learn how our plan updates will be different from past plans and why we're centering equity in our planning process.
Centered on Equity
ATX Walk Bike Roll is centered in equity and inclusion, from the way we reach out to communities to the way we make decisions. Historically, many planning efforts across the City and Country have promoted inequity. For example, racially-based segregated zoning and the construction of major roadways through Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. These past wrongs still impact many low-income communities of color today. Through this effort, we’re working to build partnerships across Austin and create more welcoming places for everyone to walk, bike, and roll.
We began with an Equity Scan. We interviewed local leaders of historically underrepresented groups and asked questions like how can we improve outreach and what concerns they have. We also reviewed how City and regional plans and projects have or have not addressed equity. You can read the draft copy of our Equity Scan here.
Our Public Outreach Plan strives to engage a racially and economically diverse set of people about the challenges and opportunities facing historically underrepresented groups - specifically, people of color, in conversations around transportation, access to nature, and neighborhood connectivity. You can read a draft copy of the Public Outreach Plan here. *Please note that the Public Outreach Plan is considered a living, guiding document and will be updated regularly as the project progresses.
Additionally, we're developing an Equity Framework that guides how our team makes decisions and works together with the community. The framework aims to address structural inequities and will be updated often as we learn from the community.
The Values of ATX Walk Bike Roll
ATX Walk Bike Roll (ATXWBR) is about more than just getting you from place to place. We will work with Austinites to consider how ATXWBR will influence other parts of your life. Here are a few examples:
Communities – Urban trails, sidewalks, and bikeways are an important part of our local transportation system. Access to different travel options influences how communities grow, where we choose to live, and how we interact. Not everyone uses urban trails, sidewalks, and bikeways for the same reasons, but transportation options should support these different needs and be welcoming to everyone in our community.
Equity and Diversity – Austin’s transportation options need to serve everyone. Your life experience, race/ethnicity, cultural background, or ability should not make it harder for you to get around. We are starting our planning efforts by looking at the negative effects of past policies and infrastructure investments. Then we will change how we make decisions so that we can do better.
Mobility and Accessibility – Walking, biking, and rolling are safe, affordable, and don’t require a license. Because these travel modes are available to a broad range of ages and abilities, these paths help create more opportunities for people to participate in their community. An accessible path is one most people can use. The City of Austin has prioritized creating more accessible pathways since the American Disability Act highlighted this need in 1990.
Health and Environment – Our transportation system impacts our physical, social, mental, and environmental health. People will walk, bike, or roll more often when they have safe and easy routes to take. This can help cut down on car traffic. Plus, time spent moving outdoors improves our health and can reduce stress. ATXWBR will bring us closer to achieving the City’s climate equity goal to increase “people-powered transportation.”
Connections – Urban trails, sidewalks, and bikeways connect communities to businesses, parks, and neighborhoods. However, small barriers can keep people from getting where they need to go. A ramp alternative to stairs or a trail connecting two dead-end cul-de-sacs are just two examples of short connectors that overcome an obstacle and make a big difference. ATXWBR will identify what’s needed to provide a neighborhood with safe and accessible pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
Transportation and Housing Affordability – As Austin grows, so do rents, mortgages and the cost of transportation. ATXWBR can help by providing a low-cost way to travel through a network of sidewalks, bike lanes, and urban trails with easy access to transit throughout the City.