Transportation

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

Local money alone is not enough to improve public transit and ease traffic congestion in the region, Capital Metro CEO Randy Clarke said at a board of directors meeting Monday.

For years, the region’s transit agency has been working to develop Project Connect, a plan to build a transit network that can move more people faster. Austin City Council members joined the Cap Metro board to explore how to pay for it.

Hyperloop One

Texas’ Hyperloop dreams are no longer confined to a pipe.

Officials in North Texas plan on putting some money behind an environmental impact study of a 700-mph train between Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington. That project, ideally, would later expand to a network that would include Austin, as well.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Jumping the gun works, it seems.

While city staff were devising a pilot program to govern dockless bikes and scooters, expecting to bring a proposal to council members in June, two companies dropped their electric scooters throughout the city. Now the Austin Transportation Department has proposed fast-tracking approval of the pilot program.

Will You Subscribe To Your Next Car?

Apr 3, 2018
mangopulp2008/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you are a millennial, you may be among those who value time over ownership, so you may not be interested in buying car. But what if you could get a car without having to buy it, all for a flat fee that includes insurance and maintenance?

There's a new route to car access emerging, and it doesn't involve ownership at all. Instead, you subscribe to a brand. And who's disrupting the auto industry?  Turns out it's the auto industry itself.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Researchers from UT Austin's Urban Information Lab have created an interactive map that overlays research on so-called transit deserts to pinpoint which Austin neighborhoods have the least access to public transportation compared to demand.

Junfeng Jiao, lead researcher on the project, says the calculus is more than simply measuring the distance between your front door and a bus stop.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Traffic is terrible.

City and state officials are really good at counting cars to see how terrible traffic is and how it got that way, but that sort of data collection doesn’t exist for bike and pedestrian traffic. New research hopes to change that.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The Capital Metro board has approved a major overhaul of its bus system, affecting more than half of all routes in the area. The vote was 6 to 2.

While some buses will run more often, other routes will be eliminated. The changes will go into effect June 3. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

B-cycle, Austin’s bike-share system, recently added three new stations as part of an 18-station expansion over the next 18 months. All the new stations will be close to or in downtown, adding to the company’s existing 51 docks.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The bus stop at the southeast corner of 12th Street and Chicon once featured vibrant plaques commemorating the history of East Austin. But the plaques have fallen into disrepair since being installed in 2003. Now, Capital Metro wants to redo the bus stop to honor the area's African-American legacy.

Texas A&M University

From Texas Standard:

Conflicts among drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians lead to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries each year. Transportation researchers want to solve the problem by redesigning intersections so that all kinds of traffic have their place, and can keep an eye on one another.

Stephanie Tacy for KUT

Residents of the Rainey Street neighborhood struck a deal last year with a developer looking to build new condos in the area. It agreed to conduct a comprehensive traffic study, determining what the most pressing transportation needs are and how they could be affected by new development.

Pavel Mezihorak for KUT

The Capital Metro board of directors on Monday unanimously approved a plan to overhaul its transit service. Cap Metro says Connections 2025 is designed to improve rider experience by creating a 24/7 transit system and expanding service.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If you’ve ever tried to park in downtown Austin, you’ve probably found yourself circling the streets a few times before finding a spot. The city is exploring changes to make more parking available during peak traffic time – but that could mean cutting back on free parking hours.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Testimony included talk of a birthday.

“Ben turned 10 on Monday at a rehabilitation facility in Dallas,” Kathy Sokolic told members of the City Council Mobility Committee on Wednesday. As we’ve chronicled before, a car hit Sokolic’s nephew, Ben, outside his home in the Mueller neighborhood in September. He survived, but his injuries have left him unable to speak or walk.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Traversing parts of North Lamar Boulevard as a bicyclist or pedestrian – or, even as a driver – can be alarming. The speed limit is high, and substantial barriers exist neither between pedestrians and cars nor between cars going north and those headed south.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: According to an Austin Monitor poll, the fate of the mobility bond is anyone’s guess.

The poll was sponsored by Perry Lorenz and conducted by Public Policy Polling. On Oct. 5 and 6, Public Policy Polling surveyed 585 Austin voters by phone about November’s $720 million transportation bond.

Courtesy Wire Austin

For years now, Austin designer Jared Ficklin has been preaching the gospel of urban cable – the concept of using gondolas whisking commuters and tourists to and from downtown, the airport, wherever, solving at least some of Austin’s transit woes.


Spencer Selvidge for KUT News

Capital Metro has released the first draft of its Connections 2025 project. It’s an effort to redesign Austin’s public transit system over the next 10 years.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Mayor Steve Adler has christened a $720 million transportation bond the "Go Big Corridor Plan." So it begs the question, is this really that big? Seattle recently placed on a ballot a $54 billion transportation bond. But judging by other news reports, that number seems like an anomaly among municipal bond programs. 

Regardless, there's plenty to unpack when we discuss the "bigness" of this bond. 


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Members of the public have weighed in on Mayor Steve Adler’s $720 million transportation bond proposal, and Council members have taken the first two of three votes needed to officially put the bond on a November ballot.

If voters approve the bond measure, it would mean an increase in property taxes of about $5 a month for the average homeowner in Austin.

So, what would the bond buy, exactly?


Caleb Pritchard / Austin Monitor

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization gave the Lone Star Rail District (LSTAR) an all but fatal kick in the caboose on Monday night.

Members of the CAMPO Transportation Policy Board overwhelmingly voted to begin the process that will remove LSTAR from CAMPO’s long-range plan. The resolution also includes a request to the Texas Department of Transportation to pull funding for LSTAR’s ongoing environmental impact study. 

Gabriel Cristóval Pérez / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: While most of Austin slept early Friday morning, City Council gave the green light to a mobility bond with little historical precedent.

Just after 1:30 a.m., following a tortuous and fraught discussion marked by simmering tensions that at times neared outright hostility, Council voted 8-3 to direct staff to prepare ballot language for a $720 million grab bag of road, sidewalk, bike and transit infrastructure.

Sarah Jasmine Montgomery for KUT

Sharmar Mohamed Hassan doesn’t know the words in English to describe his bicycle. So he uses his native language, Somali, to tell me it’s a green road bike. And it’s his primary form of transportation in Austin — which, at times, can be a little touch-and-go.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: It appears that United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has decided that Austin is not a Smart City.

On Tuesday, Ohio’s two members of the U.S. Senate announced that their state capital, Columbus, won the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge and the $50 million purse that comes with the title.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Cars, buses and trucks idle at the four-way intersection at Guadalupe Street and West Dean Keeton Street. A horde of prospective students takes to the crosswalk, the timer counting down. 


Graphic by Andrew Weber/KUT

From the Austin Monitor: A poll commissioned by the Austin Monitor with the help of sponsors shows that more people approve of Mayor Steve Adler’s job performance than that of City Council as a whole — with 51 percent of respondents endorsing Adler’s leadership, compared to 40 percent approval for Council.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: Mayor Steve Adler has blasted into the middle of the ongoing conversation about a November mobility bond election by proposing an estimated $720 million package of projects along Austin’s most vital arterials.


Flickr/faungg (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Traffic, congestion, delayed drive times – problems Texans know all too well.

The state's population boom has lawmakers and transportation officials scrambling to alleviate traffic issues. Last session the Legislature passed a constitutional amendment diverting millions from Texas' Rainy Day Fund into transportation projects. While one easy answer to our transportation woes is to build more roads, not everyone agrees.

 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

From The Austin Monitor: With their eyes on a possible transportation bond election in November, City Council members on Thursday kicked off a process for determining which items the public will be asked to weigh in on this fall.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: The Texas Transportation Commission unveiled a$1.3 billion plan Wednesday targeted at reducing traffic congestion on some of the most clogged Texas roadways.

The plan calls for the Texas Department of Transportation to direct funds for 14 roadway projects specifically designed to relieve gridlock around the state's five largest cities: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth.

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