City of Austin code states that a person may ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, however sidewalks are slower than streets, and are not always as safe as they seem. Crossing motorists may not expect such fast-moving sidewalk traffic. Ride carefully, checking before crossing streets and driveways. Slow down for pedestrians, and give an audible signal well before passing them.
Remember: sidewalk riding is illegal in certain parts of central Austin. Click here for a map of areas that prohibit sidewalk riding.
You can make longer trips more bikeable by taking a bus or train part-way. Every full size Capital Metro bus has bike accommodations, as does the Red Line. View more information on biking by bus.
Sharrows are shared lane markings used on roads that are too narrow for bike lanes. Use them by riding straight through the arrow. Sometimes this means taking the full lane, and faster-moving traffic must change lanes to pass safely.
On roads with one lane in each direction, move over (when it is safe) to help approaching cars pass you safely. In wider lanes, sharrows give you a good distance from parked cars on one side and traffic on the other. In both cases, stay visible and alert! Be ready to safely and predictably stop, slow, or change lanes – just like you would do if you were in any other vehicle.
Cycle tracks, also called "green lanes," are separated bicycle facilities that run alongside a roadway. Unlike regular bike lanes, cycle tracks are typically separated from auto traffic by a physical barrier, such as parked cars, bollards, a landscaped buffer, or a curb. Here are a couple of examples:
Additional information about cycle tracks can be found on Bike Austin's website.
The purpose of the Bicycle Advisory Council (BAC) is to advise the City of Austin and other jurisdictions on all matters relating to the use of the bicycle. Meetings are held every third Tuesday of each month at City Hall. All members of the public are welcome to attend and provide input on agenda items. View more information on the BAC.
For your convenience, our map is sold at various bicycle shops around town, but our Bicycle Program staff would also be happy to provide you with a map! Simply visit our office at 505 Barton Springs Road, Suite 700 to get your very own copy. Contact our bicycle staff for additional info.