What Shall We Do with the MoKan?

If you’re new to Round Rock, you probably haven’t heard about the MoKan corridor. It’s a 28-mile stretch of abandoned  Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad tracks between Georgetown and Austin. The MoKan line runs straight through eastern Round Rock and divides Pflugerville nearly in half before reaching into the east side of downtown Austin.

On the one hand, this MoKan rail with all it’s right-of-way would make a perfect new road to ease congestion into Austin from Round Rock. It’s one of the few undeveloped open spaces left. This new road would be a much-needed alternative to I-35, Dessau Road, or the 130 toll road.

The folks in Pflugerville have other thoughts about the MoKan. They see it as dividing their community in half with a large multi-lane highway. They would like to see the MoKan become a quiet hiking and biking trail. There are benefits to this plan as well. It would provide residents from Pflugerville, Round Rock, and Georgetown with a bike path towards downtown Austin. There aren’t currently any safe options for a bike rider to cycle downtown.

Austin’s Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) had other plans. They envisioned a light commuter train taking residents to and fro along the route to relieve traffic. This would be similar to Leander and Cedar Park’s Red Line.

Personally, I think I’m leaning towards the hiking and biking path. The route would connect nicely with our existing trail system and provide a great option for a healthy and safe bike ride into Austin.

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