The Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail was converted to a one-way route last week. Photo courtesy The Trail Foundation

Not everyone agrees with the new temporary, one-way direction of the Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail.

The city of Austin Parks and Recreation Department converted the trail to a clockwise-only route last week, in an effort to minimize face-to-face contact among users.

Simple, right? Not that hard to follow, if you’re going to go against recommendations to steer clear of the trail during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trail Foundation, the non-profit organization that maintains and enhances the 10-mile loop around Lady Bird Lake, spent $6,000 to make and install more than 300 signs noting the change. At the same time, the foundation has asked people to avoid the trail right now, because it’s difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance from other users at pinch points along the route.

Somebody has been removing and trashing the one-way direction signs installed on the trail. Photo courtesy The Trail Foundation

According to Trail Foundation counters, about 85 percent of trail users have heeded the one-way rule, which went into effect last week, but many of the directional signs have been reversed, ripped in half or left by the trash.

Come on, Austin, we’re better than this.

Now, foundation staff members are asking anyone who does use the trail to put back up any downed or misplaced signs. And remember, if you do use the trail, please wear a face covering.

“It’s been a struggle for us because it’s against our grain and mission to discourage people from coming. We love this place and it offers wonderful access to nature, but in this moment, it also presents some hazards,” said Heidi Anderson, CEO of The Trail Foundation.

Come on, Austin. We’re better than this.

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