Austin
1:42 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Should Austin Rename the Lance Armstrong Bikeway?

The Lance Armstrong Bikeway opened in 2009. It was an example of the city's enthusiasm for cycling – which was, in part, prompted by Armstrong's success.

It's fair to say that, because of Armstrong's cycling achievements and active role in supporting those fighting cancer, Armstrong was a sort of icon in Austin.

But after Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in an interview with Oprah Winfrey last night, the Austin community is starting to question if his influence in town is appropriate.

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell was one of Armstrong's most vocal supporters – even after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released its report against Armstrong. Now, he's changed his tune a little bit.

“I am disappointed that Lance misled me and so many others in the Austin community and beyond," Leffingwell says in a statement. "However, my goal is to focus on the overwhelming good created by the Livestrong Foundation and I will always be grateful to him for starting the organization that continues to serve the millions of people around the globe fighting cancer.”

Armstrong's yellow jersey has already been removed from the Mayor's office. And today, City Hall says staff has received several calls asking if the Lance Armstrong Bikeway should be renamed. 

For now, the City of Austin has no plans to change the name.