Whurley Talks Mobility Downtown

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.

Show Us How You Wiggle!

We all create favored paths to repeat destinations, which become so routine to us we don’t think twice as we go along. These routes often help us avoid scary intersections, high-traffic streets, or killer hills in favor of something more pleasant and user-friendly. The idea of the “Wiggle” began in San Francisco where cyclists share a famous winding route for getting through the hilly divide. While Austin doesn’t face the same magnitude of “hills,” we thought we’d tap into the local scene for some trip-tips from Austin cyclers to share with our readers.

Candace shares her wiggle: I live in Cherrywood and I work and play on the East Side and Downtown. So for me, it’s ALL about Comal Street–a cyclist’s haven. It’s very large and I’m in charge! The slow steady incline makes for a nice coast downtown and a gentle workout on the way home. For whatever reason, there’s hardly ever traffic. Eventually, Comal makes you wiggle left around the George Washington Carver library, and then another left, or right, to hug the Texas State Cemetery. Sometimes, if I’m feeling especially appreciative of a beautiful day, I’ll take the long way and do a round through the cemetery before exiting on Comal or Navasota. Either way, all of this takes you straight down to the heart of things where you can easily access 4th Street’s bike path west to get downtown.

We want to hear how you wiggle! Comment below or email us your wiggle at Lauren@MovabilityAustin.org.

Pro-Tips: Plan Before You Party This Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year again — full of work parties, happy hours, and the sort of impromptu merriment that often pairs with indulgence — which means now is a great time to plan ahead with a few handy tips for transit options that will get you (and everyone else) home safely.

Travel in groups:

  • Chances are you’re meeting up with friends, so why not travel together if you are walking or biking to make yourself more visible and/or carpool with a Designated Driver (DD) to stay safe after a long night.

Leave the driving to a pro:

Rideshare:

  • It’s a great time to check out Car2Go for one way travel paired with a DD or share a taxi with friends.

If you drive & then drink, here are options for getting home safely:

  • Square Patrol (848-4553) comes to you via scooter, pops their scooter in your trunk to drive your car to your destination for you, then scoots away. Best of all, they’re free! (However donations of $20 are suggested and rightfully encouraged.)
  • BeMyDD offers three ways to reserve a designated driver.  Click here to make a reservation now, call 1-877-U-BEMYDD to reserve a driver by phone, or use the official BeMyDD mobile app.
  • Take a Pedicab if you live close to downtown.
  • Call Austin Cab (478-2222), The Land Yacht (626-8294), Lone Star Cab (836-4900), or Yellow Cab (452-9999) for a ride home.

Handy Apps: