Update: 24-Hour Trails Open for Bikers, Not Hikers
Austin bikers will have the trails all to themselves for a few months, at night anyway.
The city clarified today that the 24-hour hike and bike trail is only open for those on bikes, not those looking to hike, walk or jog on the Butler Trail, Johnson Creek and Shoal Creek greenbelts.
APD released a statement advising only bikers to take to trails, warning that those on foot "will be subject to misdemeanor citation."
Original Post: Hikers and bikers will have some company at night on three city trails starting this weekend.
Six Austin police officers will patrol the Butler trail and the Johnson Creek and Shoal Creek greenbelts 24/7 over the four-month stretch of the city’s pilot program.
Assistant Chief Raul Munguia says he could see the program continuing after the summer.
“If the usage is there, if the general public wants to use the parks, then I say, 'Yes, let’s go ahead and, you know, make it permanent,'” Munguia says. “Also the thing is, you know, if you have one bicyclist that is not up on the roadways and, you know, you have someone that avoids a collision or, God forbid, a fatality, then it’s worth it.”
Munguia urged hikers and bikers to bring flashlights to light the way and always to jog or bike in pairs at night. He also discouraged using headphones or earbuds on the trails, especially at night.
The estimated cost of the pilot program is $350,000 and will conclude at the end of September.