As the Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake gets more crowded, Austinites looking for an alternative outdoor rec-and-fitness venue will find at least one spot that's been revamped to better accommodate their activities.

Austin's first dual-track trail—that would be a path that splits to allow runners, walkers, amblers, and the like to take one side and those on bikes and other wheeled vehicles to take the other—was recently completed and is open to the public. The new trail extends from a section of the existing Boggy Creek Trail located between East 12th Street and the MLK Jr. Metrorail station and connects the former to Rosewood Avenue in Central East Austin.

According to a city press release, areas disturbed by the construction of the trail will be restored with a biodegradable erosion control blanket and reseeded, while newly planted areas will help absorb and filter runoff from the concrete trail.  Trail colors were selected to blend with the natural surroundings and to fend of some of the summer heat by reducing the reflection of sunlight.

Fully shielded, energy-efficient lighting that helps minimize light pollution will illuminate the trail at night. For the next month, temporary signs featuring information about sights along the way will line the new trail. (The dual-track trail was completed in February, but the winter storm during that month delayed the installation of the markers—and, presumably, use of the trail for much of that time.)

"This trail improvement is a big step forward for East Austin," said Mayor Pro-Tem Natasha Harper-Madison. "It not only provides better connectivity between neighborhoods and parks, but also between our residents and their community’s rich history. This is the kind of safe, healthy, and accessible investment that sets a new standard for our urban trails across the city.” 

Boggy Creek Trail/dual-track section
Boggy Creek Trail will become part of the EastLink and Red Line trails—two larger, planned urban mobility networks. The trail is also a key connection in the All Ages and Abilities Bicycle Network, which connects streets and trails throughout the city, filling a previous gap between the Cherrywood neighborhood and Lady Bird Lake. 

The project was the result of a partnership among the Austin Transportation Departnment, Austin Public Works, and the city's Parks and Recreation Department. It was funded through the Bikeways and Urban Trails programs of the 2016 Mobility Bond and was supported by the Sidewalks and Special Projects Division.