An exclusive biking facility has been on the wish lists of some local cyclists, but the College Station City Council decided Thursday that it's a project that's not a high priority.
Council members discussed cyclists' requests for a veloway during Thursday's workshop meeting. During a June council meeting, citizens expressed a need for a safer biking option. A veloway -- a flat, outdoor loop that would be exclusive to cyclists -- was the concept staff presented to council during the workshop.
Venessa Garza, the city's bicycle, pedestrian and greenways senior program manager, said cyclists have expressed several concerns with safety while biking around College Station, including increasing traffic congestion, conflicts on multi-use paths and aggressive off-leash dogs. The city's Bicycle, Pedestrian and Greenways Master Plan already includes several types of facilities focused on transportation and recreatio, including bike lanes, multi-use paths and grade separations.
One example of a veloway is located in Austin. Constructed in the 1990s, Austin's veloway is a 23-foot wide, 3.1-mile bicycle tract in the Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park that can only be used by cyclists and inline skaters. Garza said cyclists have requested such a facility in College Station to have a safer place to ride for recreation, health and fitness.
Initial contacts have been made with Bryan, Brazos County, Texas A&M University and the Bryan/College Station Metropolitan Planning Organization about the idea, Garza said, and if there could be a potential for partnering to find a suitable location on public or private land. Such a project could be funded publicly through grants or certificates of obligation, through parkland dedication funds or privately.
Council members on Thursday were not opposed to the idea of a veloway and continuing a dialogue with local partners but felt it was important to focus on the council's current list of projects.