Restore Shoal Creek Trail Connectivity at the 26th Street Landslide

Mayor Watson & Austin City Council Members

Images: Austin American Statesman

Shoal Creek Landslides

Major landslides along the Shoal Creek Trail in Pease Park occurred in May 2018 and May 2019, causing significant damage to public and private property. The resulting debris has blocked the Creek and Trail from approximately 26th to 27th Street. Almost five years after the initial landslide event, the Creek and Trail remain blocked. This situation has raised several major issues of public interest:

  1. Loss of trail system connectivity in our citywide active transportation network.

  2. Lack of access to parkland where park users are directed to detour around the landslide site.

  3. Continuing threat of another landslide event presented by the pile of landslide debris.

  4. Rapid erosion of the Creek’s eastern bank caused by landslide debris rerouting the Creek flow, which undermines recently installed bank reinforcements.

Efforts to identify a solution have been on pause for a number of years due to ongoing legal action between the City of Austin and private property owners. We urge the City to:

  1. Expedite the resolution of this litigation so that the City may resume exploration of design and engineering solutions to the creek, trail, and parkland blockages

  2. Dedicate sufficient cross-departmental funding in the FY2024 budget to implement a solution that restores access to the Shoal Creek Trail and impacted park land on the west side of Shoal Creek.

Please don’t miss the opportunity in the upcoming budget cycle to address this longstanding public safety and connectivity issue.

About the Shoal Creek Trail

Austin’s Shoal Creek Trail serves as a serene natural oasis, the site of precious native habitat, and as a vital thoroughfare in our city’s urban trail network. Since completion of the 5.5 mile bikeway along Shoal Creek Boulevard in 2020, the Shoal Creek Trail and Bikeway provide a continuous 10-mile pathway spanning downtown to Highway 183. The Shoal Creek Trail Plan lays the groundwork for the Trail to extend even further north, connecting to the Northern Walnut Creek Trail and other major destinations such as the Domain. The Shoal Creek Trail offers a bevy of delights for dog walkers, joggers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, picnickers, and more, and provides unparalleled access to nature within the urban core.

Read more about Shoal Creek Conservancy and Pease Park Conservancy.

To: Mayor Watson & Austin City Council Members
From: [Your Name]

We respectfully request that Council take expeditious action to resolve the longstanding public safety and connectivity issues caused by the 2018 and 2019 landslide events along the Shoal Creek Trail.