Downtown CEOs have a unique perspective on how transportation impacts local businesses. In discussing this matter, we’ve previously spoken with Fred Schmidt of Portalarium, Tim League of the Alamo Drafthouse, and George Scariano, Jr of Royal Blue Grocery.
Whurley is the Co-Founder of Chaotic Moon, a mobile application studio. Chaotic Moon’s services range from helping applications hurdle initial development issues such as brainstorming and design to management of existing applications.
Q: How do you see transportation impacting and/or challenging your business in downtown Austin?
Aside from parking, there are really not a lot of issues for us. Most of our employees live downtown; several ride bikes or skateboards to work.
Q: How do you get to work and to nearby downtown destinations? How well does it work for you?
Either by bike or by skateboard, but skateboarding is my favorite. Having just returned from Amsterdam, I have to say the bike infrastructure here in Austin is amazingly poor.
Q: Do many of your employees use commute options like bicycling, transit, carpooling, etc.? If not, why do you think they aren’t?
We all do. When the weather is bad and I can’t ride my bike or skateboard, I always carpool with my business partner or have my fiancée drop me off on her way to work.
Q: What would you like to see Movability Austin, Cap Metro, or someone else do to help with transportation into and around downtown?
We need much better bike infrastructure, and we need a police force trained on the laws in regards to skateboards.* Many of the police do not understand the law when it comes to skateboarding downtown, so I’m constantly getting stopped (mostly by mounted officers) and told I cannot ride downtown, which is not actually true. We also need some sort of cooperation between skaters, cyclists, and all others that choose alternative systems for commuting to work (or getting around in general). I’d love to see the bike infrastructure that also supports skaters. As it stands, they [skaters] can’t ride in a pedestrian lane or on the sidewalks, but they have the same rights as cyclists? The clear prejudice the police have against skateboarders is a very hot topic with me on a personal level.
* Editor’s Note: Thanks to Whurley for raising the topic of the interplay between law enforcement and transportation, there is often inconsistent treatment of cyclists and skateboarders by law enforcement officials. This will be addressed in a future issue.