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City of Austin looking to expand Shoal Creek Trail to the Domain

The city of Austin held its last workshop Wednesday on plans to expand the Shoal Creek Trail that planners hope could bring more commuters to the trail. (Photo: CBS Austin)

The city of Austin held its last workshop Wednesday on plans to expand the Shoal Creek Trail that planners hope could bring more commuters to the trail.

Current plans are to extend the trail that stops at 38th Street to the Domain, and eventually to the Walnut Creek Trail.

“Which will create the big loop, which is a 30 mile loop around the city of Austin,” Shoal Creek Conservancy board member Clinton Sayers said.

On Wednesday, the city at the Shoal Creek Conservancy heard from the public in its third and final workshop at the Domain.

Sayers said the trail is already a great amenity for the city, and expanding it will build upon that. He also said it’s important to be able to connect downtown to the growing area in the Domain.

Plans show a change to striping on Shoal Creek Boulevard to allow for two-way cycling in the bike lanes. Then the trail will connect to a shared used path the MoPac Project is working on building underneath 183.

Shoal Conservancy is still working on deciding on three different options to get to the Domain. Those could either be along Burnet, MoPac or a new path along the Metro Rail line.

There are also plans to make the trail safer along the current path.

“I use it three days a week to commute to work,” Sayers said.

Sayers said the expansion could also help commuters. There are multiple people who use the path to get to and from work. However, it can be difficult in parts. That’s why organizers hope by improving the pathways, it’ll influence more people to get out of their cars and onto bikes to get to work.

“I would love to have it extend further,” walker Patrick Macken said.

Macken walks the trail at least once a week with his dogs. He’s often wondered why it stops at 38th Street. He thinks expanding the trail will benefit a lot of people up north.

The plans could go to council for approval in the first half of 2018. There is still no estimate on how much this will cost.

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