Austin

A road sign says: "You're not a candle...Don't drive lit."
Photo: Gabriel C. Pérez/Illustration: Matt Largey / KUT

Traffic is one constant of life in Austin. But every so often, there’s something that breaks the monotony of brake lights: a sign reminding you that "You’re not a candle, so don’t drive lit" or "Designate a driver BE-VO the game."

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Nearly 10 years ago, destructive wildfires forced mass evacuations and destroyed thousands of homes near Austin. Today, the city’s soaring growth is raising concern that Austin remains ill-prepared for a wildfire outbreak. California firefighters recently visited the capital city to educate community and city leaders on what they need to do to prepare for and prevent destructive wildfires.

A biker rides in a bike lane down Guadalupe Street.
Julia Reihs / KUT

For years, the City of Austin often waited for complaints before ticketing drivers who parked in bike lanes. Now, that policy is changing: The Austin Transportation Department said Tuesday it plans to increase staffing to eventually dedicate two officers per shift to actively enforce the rules.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As leaders consider how to fund an expansion of Austin's transit system, they've determined borrowing money through bonds may not be enough. So they're considering whether to ask voters to increase taxes to help pay for it.

A Tale Of Land Development In Two Texas Cities

Jan 9, 2020
Renee Dominguez/KUT and Gabriel C. Pérez/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Texas cities often make it onto those "Best Places to Live" lists. But with that popularity comes population growth, and no two cities handle it the same way. That's especially true when it comes to Austin and Houston.

Vehicles drive over the railroad crossing in the Rosewood neighborhood of East Austin.
Julia Reihs / KUT

The Austin Transportation Department has identified several railroad crossings in need of safety improvements for cyclists and pedestrians. The findings come after a citywide review requested by the City Council in September based on recommendations from the city’s Pedestrian Advisory Council and Bicycle Advisory Council.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin public health officials say there's no longer any risk of a measles outbreak associated with a Travis County case reported in December.

Late last month, Travis County recorded its first measles case in two decades. It stemmed from an individual who had traveled abroad. Austin Public Health says the incubation period, which lasts from 10 to 14 days, is now over and there have been no new cases.

A red-painted "contraflow" lane on Guadalupe.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It’s been a few months since buses started going against the flow of traffic on a small stretch of Guadalupe Street near UT Austin. The lane the buses use is painted red to denote that it’s off-limits to cars. Painting the lane require federal approval – and it wasn’t easy to get.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Public Health says a person in Travis County has been diagnosed with measles for the first time since 1999.

Julia Reihs / KUT

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to a ruling that found a ban against camping in public in Boise, Idaho, is unconstitutional. 

A truck and a sign for State Loop 275.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council voted Thursday to begin the process of possibly taking over portions of some of the city’s most prominent roads that are currently controlled by the Texas Department of Transportation. The move could make it easier to make infrastructure and transit improvements, by removing a step in the process.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler sits in a KUT studio before an interview with KUT's Jennifer Stayton last year.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council is moving closer to a vote on a comprehensive rewrite of the city's land development code, which regulates how we use land and build things in Austin. For years, there have been arguments and misunderstandings about just what those rules would mean for the city.

Cars and scooters on Rainey Street
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Beginning Thursday night, Rainey Street will close to vehicle traffic three nights a week as part of a pilot program to ease congestion.

Traffic on South Congress
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The City of Austin is examining ways to make parking in the South Congress area less of a mess.

“It doesn’t work well for the residents, it doesn’t work well for the business owners and their employees and also can be hard to find for visitors heading to the South Congress district,” Anna Martin, consulting engineer with the Austin Transportation Department, said.

Traffic on MoPac
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Millions of Texans are expected to either fly or drive to their holiday destinations this year. Here are some ways to avoid headaches or at least make things easier: 

Trump supporters hold signs welcoming the president
Julia Reihs / KUT

President Donald Trump got away from the impeachment inquiry in Washington on Wednesday and celebrated tech behemoth Apple keeping its Mac Pro computer manufacturing plant in the Texas state capital.

People walk down Rainey Street
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On weekend nights, Rainey Street can be crowded with cars, scooters and pedestrians. Pretty soon, only one of those groups will be allowed on the street.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Capital Metro isn't yet sure whether to favor light rail or rapid bus service as it expands its network, but an analysis shows adding trains would cost more, while buses would move fewer people.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Every Walls is a company man.

The 73-year-old veteran served in the Army in Vietnam. He follows rules, and he follows chain of command. He also shares a camp across the street from the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) with a friend.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

City of Austin lawyers are refuting the claims of an Austin nonprofit that has been campaigning for property owners to protest the possible rezoning of their land under the city’s code rewrite.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The City of Austin does a poor job of tracking the outcomes of people it refers to mental health services, despite the fact that improving access to these providers is one of the city council’s goals over the next couple of years.

Courtesy of TxDOT

Austin could be getting its first HOV lanes.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin Municipal Court is hosting one last driver’s license recovery clinic Friday to help residents who have lost their licenses for failure to pay Department of Public Safety surcharges.

Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Austin will become Ford’s third market to test self-driving vehicles, the company announced Wednesday. The company cited the region’s fast growth and history of innovation as reasons for choosing Austin.

Lower Speed Limits Coming To Some Austin Roadways

Sep 19, 2019
The speed limit on the stretch of South Lamar from Barton Skyway to Ben White Boulevard is getting reduced to 40 mph.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council approved a round of speed limit changes, the latest tangible sign of the city’s efforts to make streets safer.

CTRMA

The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority Board is moving forward with plans to add managed toll lanes to part of U.S. Highway 183 in Northwest Austin. The CTRMA board voted Wednesday to authorize final negotiations with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to complete the $500 million project.

The project would add two tolled lanes in each direction for nine miles, from State Highway 45 to MoPac. Tolls on the new lanes would go up and down depending on demand, and would connect to the existing MoPac Express Lanes, which have the same variable tolling.

A MetroRapid bus
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The daily commute has become a bit crowded for some riders on Capital Metro’s MetroRapid buses. They report severe overcrowding at some points, with buses even passing stops because they’re too full to pick up any more passengers.

Cap Metro Pickup van
Samuel King / KUT

Capital Metro’s app-based Pickup service is expanding to four more sections of Austin over the next two weeks, after launching in Manor in June. It works like the pool function of other rideshare services. People can use the Pickup by Cap Metro app to request a ride from their home to anywhere within a certain zone.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Austin will re-examine its new rules governing homelessness, according to a memo released Friday.

The memo sent to the City Council on behalf of Austin's Homelessness Strategy Office says the city could abandon its idea to make space for emergency encampments in every City Council district.

Daniel Johnson, who is homeless, sits on a bench on Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

Just a couple of months ago, Steve Harrell got a ticket just for sitting in downtown Austin. It was around 4:30 p.m. and he was among a group of other people experiencing homelessness when a police officer approached, pointed at him and issued the citation, he told officials at an Austin City Council meeting last month.

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