Students say farewell to the Veloway


Amelie Hayne

Shown above, the veloway trail is closed to students by the gate shown above.

Amelie Hayne, Dispatch Reporter

Beyond the portables behind James Bowie High School lay a hidden path that many students used as a way to travel from school to their house. This path led up to the Austin Bike Trail known as the Veloway, which then led to an access point to a Circle C neighborhood.

Late in the second semester, a large black steel fence closed off the path that was once used by many students to access the Veloway.

Sophomore, James Bowie High School student, Rachel Maaz walked home using the Veloway because she viewed as a quick and easy way to get home. Maaz used to walk home prior to the gate being put up and had no warning about the Veloway being closed off.

“One day I was heading to the path on my way to go home when I noticed that the previous entrance was blocked by a large gate, and there was no safe way to get around it. I had to find another way to get to school and back home, which ended up taking at least double the time it would to just simply walk,” Maaz said.

Junior, Ronan Harriman would bike to and from school. He also relied on the Veloway as a route to travel from school and home. Being able to have a reliable way to get somewhere without any obstacles, is something that a lot of students found comfort in when there was access to the Veloway.

“When using the Veloway I was able to get from my house to the school in 5-8 minutes with no traffic or challenges,” said Harriman.

The absence of access to the Veloway deprived students of not only a quick and easy way to travel between school and their house but also having some daily exercise.

“When the gate was put up I was no longer able to bike to school and get some exercise and now I have to sit in traffic and leave my house a lot earlier compared to riding my bike,” Harriman said.

However, not only students were affected by this change. One of the AP Environmental Science teachers, Mrs.Spiro, would also take her students to the area around the Veloway.

“The creek was a great local water source we could use to analyze water quality, and the surrounding vegetation gave students a real-life example of a riparian zone.  The grassy areas had a considerable number of ground cover species that proved useful for our labs on biodiversity,” Spiro said.

With the addition of the gate, she has to make new plans for labs that her students will be participating in this 2018-2019 school year and years to follow.

“Nature walks along the creek were also a fun pastime after the AP exams were over.  The fence has blocked access to these fantastic educational resources,” Spiro said.