The name of the Sidewalk Committee should probably be changed to Pedestrian Safety Committee, because we are addressing many issues other than sidewalks as we work on an application for funding from the Texas Department of Transportation (hereafter referred to as TXDOT). Their SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL program has made three million dollars available to improve safety for children going to school. Since this is a state-wide program, we are planning a realistic approach, asking for the most pressing needs this year and planning ahead for future projects as this promises to be an annual event.

Due to time constraints, we decided to limit our project request to improving the block of Bluebonnet on our side of Lamar, making “deadman's curve” at Lightsey and Clawson safer and striping Clawson so as to add a bicycle-pedestrian lane. Since a bicycle safety plan that is already in place calls for guttering, we will include that as well.

This bicycle safety plan will give our application extra weight as it overlaps ours and has been approved.

Our neighborhood Association lies in three school districts, Zilker, Joslin, and Galindo, but surveying all three schools would take more time and resources than we have at this time, so we are concentrating on the largest, Zilker, which impacts the areas we are focusing on the most. Next year will have a new priority.  Our Committee has met several times and we are preparing three surveys that must be completed before we complete our application. The first is a Parent Survey, which will be distributed by Zilker students who live on our side of Lamar. The Second is done by each teacher to determine how each child arrived at school.
The third survey, conducted by members of this committee with the help of Zilker parents was a visual count of how many children arrive by car, bus, bicycle or by foot. Jennifer Marine organized that survey. Eight sleepy people gathered at Zilker School to take part in this count. It was determined that 76% of the students arrive by car, which indicates a need for safer routes and sidewalks.

No sidewalks on Bluebonnet makes walking hazardous

Steve or Ann Lacker have attended every meeting and their energy and expertise have inspired us all. Krista Umscheid-Mt.Joy has added her writing and survey skills. Oscar Lipchak has contributed his survey skills and gathered statistical data. Our President, Bryan King is a constant source of energy and resources, from excellent maps and graphics to getting the straight poop on what is really going on in the political arena.

Bryan and I attended a workshop to help us with the massive requirements, but TXDOT is not making this process easy; however, we are encouraged that we seem to be ahead of the game - so far.

Patricia Fiske,  Chairperson    
SLNA Sidewalk Committee