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Tour Highlights Future Lakefront Development Issues

Lady_Bird_Lake_trail.jpg
Image courtesy courtesy of the Trail Foundation, townlaketrail.org
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The forthcoming Lady Bird Lake boardwalk won't solve all of the walkability issues along the lake, and the city is looking for input on how to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

The City of Austin will host a walking tour of the south shore of Lady Bird Lake tomorrow to get public input on future development along the shore from Auditorium Shores to the area near I-35. The tour of the roughly 100-acre strip is open to the public and will feature a dozen experts on development, cultural and environmental issues that could arise over the next 20 to 30 years of development.

Alan Holt, a planner with the Planning and Development Review Department, says the tour will begin a long process of public outreach as the area develops, but that it will also highlight connectivity issues that won't necessarily be mitigated by the boardwalk project, which is nearing completion. 

"Right now, if you would walk down to the shore, or to the lake or to the boardwalk, you have to hop fences to get into gated communities to do that, or walk through acres and acres of parking lots," Holt says. 

"You know, there aren’t any good pedestrian connections that get you down there. So it’s not only connectivity along the lake, but it’s connectivity to the lake." 

Holt says redevelopment will inevitably take place, and he hopes the tour will begin a conversation on environmental issues in the area, as well — specifically, the distribution of flood waters. 

The waterfront 1.5 mile tour begins tomorrow at 10 a.m. at One Texas Center, lasting roughly two hours, and will feature the Urban Achievers Brass Band.

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