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8: Bull Creek between 45th and Hancock

Linking to anchors currently broken, so you'll have to scroll to see the medium version of the picture you clicked on.

Bull Creek Rd. northbound at 45th St.

Bull Creek Rd. northbound at Hancock Rd.

Hancock Rd. looking eastbound towards Shoal Creek Blvd.
The second section of Bull Creek Rd. in the ride does not have bike lanes and does not need them in my opinion. The road is calmer and utilized fairly heavily for residential parking. Also, since there are homes on both sides instead of the seedy senior citizens' home and TXDOT facility to the south, you get fairly good shade trees here.

The light at 45th is not bad in the morning, but in the afternoon it is programmed to deliver four separate traffic cycles so that only one direction of travel has a green at any time. I still don't know why the behavior of this light changes for the afternoon rush, but it's really annoying - wait times southbound on Bull Creek are several minutes on average.

When Bull Creek ends at Hancock, my route jogs east on Hancock to pick up Shoal Creek Blvd. and continue north. I used to take Shoal Creek Blvd. all the way from 35th/38th St., but discovered that this route on Bull Creek has much less annoying hills, and you can avoid the brain-dead all-way stop on 45th and Shoal Creek. The section of Hancock west of here has already been converted to three car lanes and two bike lanes; but the eastern section is still four narrow car lanes. Luckily traffic is very light so taking the lane is not a problem.

In the first half of 2000, I spent about six months working at a temporary office on Spicewood Springs between Mesa and Loop 360, and when I commuted there I would typically turn left on Hancock and take it over Mopac. This is by far the least stressful crossing of Mopac, but unfortunately this route requires that you climb a couple of large hills later on in order to get up to the elevation at Mesa and Spicewood. Since in the temporary office I didn't have to make the climb from 360 up to the Arboretum (link to slide), I would go this route, but at my old and new offices it's a bit too much hillclimbing in one trip when added to the 360->Arboretum route.

For the curious (and those who might work or live in that area), the route from here would go Hancock west to Balcones, Balcones north, bearing right at the split with (?), through the light at 2222, north up on the hill alongside Mopac to where northbound traffic is required to turn left at North Hills Dr., then left and up the big hill to Hart Lane, then right (north) on Hart Lane across Far West Blvd., then up the big hill to Greystone, then left (west) on Greystone, then down and up a big hill past one 4-way stop and then to another one at Mesa, then right (north) on Mesa to Spicewood Springs.

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