The Over-Under on Town Lake Trail

It was an interesting morning along the hike-and-bike trail, with the near intersection of two very different Austin strata. First, Mayor Wynn crossed my path near the Pfluger Bridge, upholding his personal interest in Austin fitness. If we’d been running in the same direction, I’d have taken time to pester him about the least usable “central option” [.pdf] chosen for the bridge extension or follow up on Sal’s assault post, but instead we crossed with hearty “good mornings!” and went about our business of sweating.

Less than a mile away, I came upon EMS and AFD attending to a man alongside the banks of Barton Creek. The victim and his compatriots appeared to be transients, two of whom had been sitting and chatting idly when I ran by earlier. I didn’t stick around to oggle another’s misfortune (because I had to sprint home to blog about it!), but I’m hoping from the lack of news coverage that this case was more OD than DOA.

Long gone are the days when day workers could get picked up around the corner from council chambers, and you have to wonder how long the ARC and Salvation Army will withstand the tide of redevelopment. Since the city’s policy towards the homeless mostly resembles a broom, many former downtown residents (not counting towards the 25,000 goal, apparently) end up trolling the Homeless Highway along Town Lake and the Greenbelt. Which makes the hike-and-bike trail a central meeting place between Austin and its least-profitable demographic (I hear the transients tip HORRIBLY when dining at Uchi). As wealth and tourism expand along the river, the disparity in trail users will continue to grow … at least until the homeless get booted even further out. Rollingwood seems like a good destination; it’ll give the cops something else to do besides drop tickets along Bee Caves.

1 Comment so far

  1. M1EK (unregistered) on July 22nd, 2006 @ 8:58 am

    Ah, the center arm. Brings bicyclists through a corridor where they only have to come to about four or five extra stops (some without right-of-way) before rejoining the Lamar corridor. What a great idea; I’m sure all the cyclists riding in traffic on Lamar today will jump at the opportunity to add all those extra rest-stops.

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