Transportation

Traffic, public transit, congestion, road construction and closures, I-35, MoPac, US 290, US 183, Ben White Blvd, and policy and planning issues related to transportation and mobility in Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson.

Folks hold shovels at a groundbreaking for a new bypass road.
TxDOT

The Four Points intersection at RM 620 and RM 2222 in western Travis County has been a source of growing frustration for drivers over the years.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

City of Austin workers began changing street signs Wednesday on the road commonly pronounced "MAN-chack." The new signs say "Menchaca" instead of "Manchaca." (The second letter is an E instead of an A.)

Dockless electric scooters on Rainey Street
Emree Weaver for KUT

The Austin Transportation Department is recommending a 15-cent per-trip fee for every ride on a shared dockless scooter, bicycle or moped to help pay for staff to regulate and monitor them.

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.

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: 

Eddie Gaspar for KUT

At 1 a.m. Oct. 11, 52-year-old Sylvia Figeroa lost control of her sedan in Lubbock. At 8 a.m. in Midland County, 44-year-old Gerardo Pérez couldn’t stop in time and collided with a semi towing a tractor. Later, at 11:20 a.m., Nedward Davidson, 62, crashed against a Freightliner truck southeast of Valley Mills. And at 2 p.m., Deputy Matt Jones of the Falls County Sheriff’s Office was struck by a car while helping another vehicle that had slid off the highway.

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.

Julia Reihs / KUT

It wasn’t that long ago that there was no regular transatlantic non-stop service from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport; there will soon be five destinations.

The latest one is Paris. 

Courtesy of TxDOT

Austin could be getting its first HOV lanes.

Spencer Selvidge / KUT

Austin’s regional transit agency, Capital Metro, is taking feedback from the public on a plan to add up to five new rapid bus lines.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUTX

For the next two weekends, the annual Austin City Limits festival will bring thousands of people to Zilker Park. By planning ahead, getting to and from the park – or avoiding it altogether – can be much less stressful.

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.

An intersection on UT campus
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The City of Austin is unlikely to reach its goal of zero traffic deaths or serious injuries by 2025, according to a new report from the city auditor.

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.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport officials said they’re working to let airline passengers know new security standards are coming.

ABIA and other airports across the nation will take only REAL ID-compliant licenses and driver licenses beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

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.

People look down at their phones outside Star Bar
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Another weekend has passed, and for some people in Austin that meant tailgating at the UT-LSU game or heading to local bars. Many used ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft to get home, presumably in an effort to avoid drinking and driving. Places like Rainey Street are often clogged at closing time with people looking for their rides.

An e-scooter in Waller Creek
Julia Reihs / KUT

Starting Friday, geofencing will reduce the speed of rented e-scooters when they enter restricted areas in Austin. Riders will be alerted before they enter an area where scooters are not allowed, such as the Butler Hike and Bike Trail.  

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.

A red bus-only contraflow lane
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Capital Metro and the City of Austin are putting the finishing touches on improvements to the Lavaca Street and Guadalupe Street corridors, designed to reduce transit delays and ease congestion. The changes are highlighted by a new bright-red, bus-only contraflow lane on Guadalupe between 18th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2019-2020 includes more than $500 million for transportation-related items, including projects aimed at improving infrastructure and reducing congestion.

Courtesy of ABIA

Travelers at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport have a new way to get from the Barbara Jordan Terminal to pick up rental cars or catch a rideshare: a driverless shuttle.

MoPac
Luis Perales for KUT

Traffic is a constant on highways in Austin, no matter what side of town you live on. But there’s one thing that isn’t a constant on those highways: billboards. Some, like I-35 are littered with them. Others, like MoPac, have none. For some drivers, that absence is noticeable. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A new weekend, but it’s the same old road construction in North Austin. From this Friday at 9 p.m. through Monday at 5 a.m, southbound U.S. 183 will be closed at I-35 as crews will set large steel beams for a new flyover in the area.

Luis Perales for KUT

Drivers on the MoPac express lanes may get where they’re going a little faster with new speed limits. The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority board voted yesterday to raise the top speed from 65 to 70 mph on its express lanes. The board also raised minimum speed limits on the variable toll lanes to 55 mph.

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