Save the Date. Join Us! - November 13, 2021 Bryker Woods Neighborhood Association's Annual Meeting
Please join us for our annual neighborhood meeting, scheduled for November 13, 2021 at 10 am. The meeting will be held over Zoom, because the Bryker Woods school is not available for us to meet in person. Please look for updates on our Facebook page and through Groups.io. If you have not registered your email address on the Bryker Woods Groups.io page, please do so to ensure you receive all the news of the neighborhood!
Letter from the President Hello My Fellow BrykerWoodsians,
I hope you’ve enjoyed this wet and relatively cool spring and summer after that wild ride of a winter. Between the “snowpocalypse” and COVID-19, we’ve been tested here in Bryker Woods. In many ways, the challenges of the past months have made us grow closer. The camaraderie, the happy hours in front yards, and all the people on the streets walking (because you couldn’t go anywhere else) made us in many ways better neighbors.
I’ve been thinking what makes a good neighbor. Someone you trust for sure; trust with your house, your kids, your pets; someone who’s loyal and has your back like you have theirs. A good neighbor “keeps an eye out” on things, a good neighbor checks your pipes after the electricity has been off for days in the freezing cold, like mine did. Neighbors are special, they are right there, next door, down the street, & around the corner. There’s a familiarity with neighbors you can’t have with other people. Those bonds are strong and can carry us through hard times.
This year, I’m happy to report in spite of all the challenges the Bryker Woods Neighborhood Association (BWNA) has persevered, even thrived. Of course, it’s not hard for a Neighborhood Association to thrive when you’re working for one of the most charming neighborhoods in Austin.
In the last 12-16 months the Bryker Woods Neighborhood Association aligned around six key initiatives, which eventually became committees on the board:
Traffic and Safety: Working with our neighbors to engage the Austin Transportation Department, the City and our District 10 council member to assess and identify neighborhood safety needs;
Social: Engagement, events, philanthropy;
Communications: Electronic newsletters, social media, technology, group email
Historic Preservation: Historic review and protection of a National Register Historic District
Parks and Beautification: Planning and adopting an island (34th and Jefferson), BW iconic trees
Zoning: Leading neighborhoods in land use issues and engagement with future land programs, such as “CodeNext”
Some results have been
• Increased Membership
• A neighborhood survey
• Moved to an e-newsletter
• Adoption of new technologies FB, ND, Group & tools.
• Philanthropy; $5150 to Texas Food Bank
• $500 to the Bryker Woods Elementary Principal's Fund
• Membership flag drive
• Fourth of July Parade
• Holiday Luminarias Project
• Parks and Beautification Plan for green spaces.
• Continue to be a key player in future land ordinances and protection of neighborhoods.
• Continue to promote Historic Preservation in housing and neighborhood monuments.
In this unusual year it’s more important than ever to say “Thank You” to those who’ve worked diligently so the BWNA runs smoothly and keeps the lights on. Our awesome Board, the Board officers who are so generous with their time: Casey Roy-Vice-President, Joyce Basciano-Secretary & Bill Woods-Treasurer.
I also want to acknowledge each of the committee chairs for their outstanding work, who started to make a measurable difference immediately: Chris Epp, Scott Brutocao, Bill Woods, Will Gray, and Michael Curry, and Wendy and Sean Carnegie, who take care of our Zoom meetings, website, and publish our “Good Neighbor” eNewsletter. And Irene Pickhardt , Hal ten Brink, Jeff Ersig, and Celeste Hubert, all of whom give tirelessly of their time to help keep Bryker Woods the lovely neighborhood it is.
We want to thank the donors, businesses, and most important you, the neighbors who make up this great neighborhood. Thank you for guiding and funding positive changes in Bryker Woods. This last period wouldn’t have been possible without you. Some people have lived in Bryker Woods many years, some a few years and some are new neighbors. Wherever you fall along that line, you’ll start to feel the pull of this neighborhood, the community and the common ties that bind us all together. It begins with being a good neighbor and it doesn’t end there. Bryker Woods Forever Together.
Greg Underwood, President
Bryker Woods Neighborhood Association
National Night Out October 5th! Meet Your Neighbors! Hear Live Music! Have Some Pizza!
BENCHMARK BANK is proud to serve as the Presenting Sponsor of the 2021 Bryker Woods Neighborhood National Night Out party.
On Tuesday, October 5th from 6pm to 8pm, join the loveliest neighbors in Austin for an evening of music, food, friendship and fun. We'll meet at a new location at the intersection of Beverly Drive and 33rd Streets. BYOB and all ages welcome!
The neighborhood's favorite house band, The Dovetail Joints, will provide live music for National Night Out!
Pilot Project on 31st Street Update A Letter from St. Andrews
Last week certain members of the BWNA Board met with representatives of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School regarding the City’s 31st Street trail project (the “Yield Street Pilot Project”). The purpose of the meeting was to understand each other’s concerns about the proposed hike and bike trail on 31st, which is current in “pilot project” status. The following is a letter from the School to our neighborhood:
Dear Bryker Woods Neighborhood Association,
It was a pleasure to meet with members of your Board last week to review the opportunities we collectively have to resolve traffic issues on 31st street as it relates to the Yield Street Pilot Project. I think we can all agree that our current situation is complicated at best, and we’d like to be collaborative and creative in any proposed solutions going forward.
We have tried to be valuable and helpful community members (and neighbors) in this long process, which has involved more than two years of conversations and meetings with the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) and Shoal Creek Conservancy. From our perspective, we want to help develop and implement a plan that improves community connectivity while balancing school operational and safety concerns.
We have sought to identify and propose solutions to balance urban trail needs with the needs of the school and neighborhood. Internally, we have adjusted traffic patterns and pickup and drop off locations and times. Externally, we have proposed rerouting of trail traffic, exploring expansion and improvement of sidewalks on the north side of 31st, improving trailhead access, and adding signage and pedestrian crosswalks.
We all know that 31st Street has substantial limitations and we must be thoughtful in the best approach to solve these issues, while maintaining balance for all parties involved. ATD has indicated a willingness to address our concerns and the deficiencies of the Yield Street Pilot Program and we look forward to working with them to find a solution that is beneficial for everyone.
We welcome continued conversation with you all, and look forward to a resolution that helps everyone who works, lives, learns and uses 31st Street and the Shoal Creek Trail.
Chief Operation Officer
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School
Austin Neighborhood Redistricting Bryker Woods Neighborhood Proposed to Move to District 9
The Independent Citizens Redistricting Committee has recently proposed a map that moves Bryker Woods Neighborhood from District 10 to District 9. This is by no means final, but this would mostly separate Bryker Woods from Tarrytown, Oakmont Heights, Ridgelea, and other contiguous areas, and include us with neighborhoods like downtown and as far south as Oltorf. Both the West Austin Neighborhood Group (WANG) and BWNA have written letters expressing a desire to remain in District 10. If you would like to provide your own input about the proposed redistricting, you may email here. If you would like to discuss it with someone, you can contact Matt Dugan at 512-974-7665 and or Lisa Rodriguez at 512-974-3119 and .
In Our Neighborhood Bryker and the West 34th Street Water Improvement Project By Bill Woods
If you've noticed the wire fencing around the island along W34th near Bryker, and the boards protecting some trees, it's because the City is beginning its replacement of the water lines along that area of our neighborhood.
Per the City’s website: The Bryker Water and Wastewater Improvement Project is part of Renewing Austin—an Austin Water program to replace and upgrade aging water lines.Austin Water is protecting our city's water infrastructure by investing in upgrades and repairs of existing water lines. Water line breaks are well documented in this area and the project is necessary to avoid further expenditures to maintain water lines that have broken frequently.
The project will replace about 2,630 linear feet of water lines and 3,800 linear feet of wastewater lines. Austin Water partners with the Public Works Department whose project management staff supervises construction.
If you’d like to receive updates on this project, you may sign up here
Should you need to contact someone with the City regarding an issue, please note Community Outreach:
Emlea Chanslor, Austin Water
512-972-0145 office Email
Jeffrey Hodges, Public Works
Did You Know? Bryker Woods is a Historic Registered Neighborhood
Did you know that Bryker Woods is in the National Register of Historic Places? Some of Austin’s oldest settlements are in The Old West Austin Historic District, west of downtown and east of Mopac. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003, the area comprises three neighborhoods in one: Old Enfield, Pemberton Heights, and Bryker Woods.
The first area was named for the Enfield Realty and Home Building Company, which subdivided the neighborhood in 1910, and contains some of the city’s oldest colonial-style homes.Pemberton Heights was originally a farm named for James Pemberton, an ancestor of the Fisher family, who inherited the farm and went on to establish the Austin Land Company. The company built a bridge across Shoal Creek in 1927, which eventually led to further development of the Bryker Woods area. The first record of a “Bryker Woods” neighborhood dates from 1936, thought to be a portmanteau from the first three letters of the developers’ last names, Bryan and Kerbey.
Over the years, Bryker Woods was subdivided into about a dozen subdivisions, which include Edgemont (1927), Happy Hollow and Summit Place (1935), Bryker Woods (1936), Bryker Woods Addition “B” (1938), Bryker Woods “C”, “D”, and “Woods Addition” (1939), Bryker Woods “E” and “F” (1940), Bryker Woods “G” (1946), Bryker Woods Annex (1947), and Belmont, Belmont Sec 2 and Annex No. 2 (1951). Most, but not all, of these subdivisions have Deed Restrictions.
Neighborhood Tree Spotlight Majestic Live Oak / 32nd & Beverly
A majestic live oak on the corner of Beverly and 32nd Street has brought joy to generations of Bryker Woods children who have swung from its branches. Perhaps one of the oldest trees in our neighborhood with a great ball of roots, it reigns over a traffic island and welcomes neighbors who sit on a bench under its branches. I am grateful for its beauty and shade on my daily walks.
We'd like our neighbors to join Groups.io for important BWNA updates and to receive this newsletter directly into their inbox.Please register your email address on the Groups.io page. Our moderator verifies residents who supply their name and street address.
Excellent Food Within Walking Distance
Cucina on 35th Street The best pizza in Austin... period.
1608 West 35th Street
Monday-Saturday 11am to 10pm, Sunday: 11am to 9pm
FoodHeads 616 W. 34th Street
Monday through Saturday from 8 am - 3 pm Neighbor Favorites: BLT&Avocado, The Lami,
Steak & Arugula Salad
Spread 1601 West 38th Street (Jefferson Square at Kerbey Lane)
Wednesday-Saturday: 10:00a - 5:00p
Monday & Tuesday: Closed Neighbor Favorites: Spamwich (you HAVE to try it), The Lawful Beet, roasted squash & chicken soup
Visit Tiny's Milk & Cookies next door for homemade ice cream, pastries, and their famous milk and cookies.
34th Street Cafe 1005 West 34th Street
Lunch: Monday - Saturday 10:45am - 4pm
Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday & Saturday 5:30pm - 10pm Neighbor Favorites: Chinese Hack Chicken Salad, chicken piccata, coconut cake.
Oakmont Food Company 1106 West 38th Street
(512) 433-6011 Monday Closed
Tuesday - Friday 7am - 10pm
Weekends 8am - 10pm Neighbor Favorites: Oakmont Salad and the Gluten Free Fried Chicken Salad, Burgers
Specialty Items within Walking Distance
Over the Rainbow Toy Store 1601 West 38th Street (Jefferson Square at Kerbey Lane)
Monday - Saturday 10am - 4pm Austin's oldest headquarters for all things FUN, is operating normal hours with social distancing. Free telephone orders, complimentary gift wrapping, and exceptional customer service makes this a neighborhood favorite.
Lees Meat Market 1601 West 38th Street (Jefferson Square at Jefferson Street)
Monday-Friday 12pm-5:30pm , Saturday 12-4pm Neighbor Favorites: Cooper's cheesesteak sandwich, smoked beef tenderloin, lemon bars
Valentines Luxury Fashion Boutique 1515 W 35th Street (Kerbey Lane Village)
512-436-8270 Open from 10 am - 6pm, Monday through Saturday. Social distancing assured and safer than going to the grocery store.
Looking for Ways to Help Others?
Central Texas Food Bank 6500 Metropolis Drive
Austin, TX 7874
PLEASE CHECK IN with older neighbors as they may not be tech-savvy and could be missing these wonderful resources. Call them, drop a note in their mailboxes, or have your children color a greeting card to leave under their doormats. Every act of kindness you offer another will be returned to you in multiple ways