Since we’re still talking about that new bike and pedestrian bridge that crosses Barton Creek and Highway 290 alongside MoPac Boulevard (we are, aren’t we?), I tracked down someone who is using the bridge to ride to work.
Terry Bowness, who lives in the Travis Country neighborhood and works as a design engineer at Cirrus Logic in downtown Austin, started commuting by bike the week via the new route a week after the bridge opened last month.
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When he worked at Silicon Labs, Bowness occasionally rode his bike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt to get to work. That root-and-rock studded route, appropriate only for mountain bikes, took more than an hour. He couldn’t feasibly do it very often.
The new pedestrian bridge, though, makes biking to work on a regular basis possible. His 7.3-mile ride takes between 30 and 40 minutes, and he showers once he gets to his office.
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“It’s good exercise, I hate traffic, and I can actually go during peak rush hour and get here in the same amount of time,” Bowness says. “It’s better than sitting in a car and burning gas. Plus, I just like to ride.”
Bowness, 47, has been making the trip once or twice a week since the bridge opened.
“The only thing to be careful about is on the ride home. It’s definitely more uphill than downhill, and it’s full blast sun,” he says. “If you’re not used to that, make sure you’re ready.”
Bowness says he sees other bicyclists and pedestrians using the bridge every time he crosses it.
“I know it’s expensive and I’ve seen stories in paper with people complaining about tax dollars going to this,” Bowness says. “But if people can use this to get into work and it takes cars off the road, I think there should be more stuff like this, not less.”