Hike and Bike Trail

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake is one of the most popular attractions in Austin. But the city has known for a long time that at least one section of the path is unsafe – and it’s only getting worse.

Jorge Corona for KUT News

Proposed changes to Auditorium Shores – and specifically, changes to the area available to dogs and their owners – have people talking.

As part of a $3.5 million renovation, the city’s proposed moving the off-leash dog area closer to the Lady Bird Lake shoreline – and away from joggers and cyclists using the trail. And while the change would shrink the current off-leash area, it would also restrict dogs entirely from the largest portion of Auditorium Shores – the so-called “Event Lawn.” (See a map of the proposed changes in the slideshow above.)

flickr.com/leftymgp

Update: A final public meeting on proposed changes to Auditorium Shores takes place tonight. And the plans have some dog lovers howling.

With a $3.5 million donation, the city plans to realign the hike and bike trail, put in new turf grass and redesign the off-leash area for dogs – moving it along the shoreline and adding a series of “dog launches” into Lady Bird Lake, but shrinking it in the process.

The donation comes from C3 Presents, the entertainment company that puts on the ACL Music Festival and the Austin Food and Wine Festival. (Its 2012 edition of the Food and Wine Fest, held at Auditorium Shores, was marred by dust.)

Daniel Reese for KUT News

Update: Austin City Council members unanimously approved a rental registration program early this morning (Items 11, 12).

Council members were considering two different proposals. One would have required the owners of rental property in certain areas of the city to register. But the proposal the council approved will require rental properties with multiple health and safety violations to be registered – no matter where the properties are located in the city.

The program requires properties on the registration list to be periodically inspected.

flickr.com/rutlo

Update: A sprawling discussion on the Austin page of Reddit - prompted by a photo of bicyclists on I-35 - has renewed interest in this topic. Read on for more details. 

Original story (April 3, 2013): Despite general public perception – and all standards of common sense – it’s actually legal to ride bicycles on the state highway.

Recently, users on the Austin page of Reddit got into a heated discussion about the legality of riding a bike on Mopac, when one user posted a photo of a couple people doing just that.

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