transportation http://kut.org en What is a Diverging Diamond Interchange and How Might it Help Traffic in Round Rock? http://kut.org/post/what-diverging-diamond-interchange-and-how-might-it-help-traffic-round-rock <p>State transportation authorities announced this week that they received the green light to build a $6.7 million "diverging diamond interchange" at I-35 and University Blvd. in Round Rock. That's an area that gets a lot of traffic, partly because it's near the only IKEA in Central Texas and the <a href="http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=73">Round Rock Premium Outlets</a>, among many other retail businesses.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 01:01:06 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10724 at http://kut.org What is a Diverging Diamond Interchange and How Might it Help Traffic in Round Rock? Texas' Underfunded Roadways Get Spotlight at Capitol Hearing http://kut.org/post/texas-underfunded-roadways-get-spotlight-capitol-hearing <p>A <a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/83R/schedules/html/C4762014050609001.HTM" target="_blank">select Texas House Committee on Transportation</a> is reviewing the underfunded transportation needs in Texas – and it’s having a difficult time.</p><p>"I don’t want to make this so much of a basic 101, but transportation financing and funding is very complicated for the people that are involved, let alone those who are not," says state Rep. Joe Pickett, (D-El Paso), the committee’s chair.<br /><br />Panel members heard from experts like David Ellis, a senior research scientist with the Texas A&amp;M&nbsp; <a href="http://tti.tamu.edu/" target="_blank">Transportation Institute</a>. He says the <a href="http://www.txdot.gov/" target="_blank">Texas Department of Transportation</a> needs $4 billion more annually to maintain the current quality of roads. That’s on top of the $10 billion a year spent now on road construction and upkeep. He says wear and tear also costs drivers more.</p><p> Tue, 06 May 2014 22:29:23 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10367 at http://kut.org Texas' Underfunded Roadways Get Spotlight at Capitol Hearing Map: Are These Austin's Worst Intersections? http://kut.org/post/map-are-these-austins-worst-intersections <p></p><p>In Austin, it's a constant: Traffic.</p><p>There’s&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/gravel-roads-funding-cuts-texas-transportation-proposals-create-confusion-alarm">recent statewide&nbsp;</a>and&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/travis-county-commissioners-support-long-delayed-sh-45-sw">local efforts</a>&nbsp;to mitigate congestion – which will take substantial investment and extensive construction. So despite proposals in the pipeline, traffic will continue to be a slow-going,&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/austin-traffic-slow-and-growing">fast-growing problem</a>.</p><p>So, it got us wondering: What are the worst intersections in Austin?&nbsp;</p><p><iframe height="480" src="http://mapsengine.google.com/map/embed?mid=zVcpBdHQavKE.kwedjeyW6TOU" width="580"></iframe></p><p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 19:26:35 +0000 Andrew Weber 8999 at http://kut.org Map: Are These Austin's Worst Intersections? Can MoPac Be 'Fixed?' http://kut.org/post/can-mopac-be-fixed <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F108049601" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>About a thousand people a day move to Texas. And if you’re driving on the MoPac expressway at rush hour, it might feel like every one of them is commuting with you.</p><p>That's how Sara Robertson feels most days. She's been commuting on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mopacexpress.com/">MoPac</a>&nbsp;for about eight years.&nbsp;“And every year it gets longer and longer,” Robertson says.</p><p> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 19:26:48 +0000 Ben Philpott 8576 at http://kut.org Can MoPac Be 'Fixed?' Big Roadblock in Texas Transportation Plan: Missing Legislators http://kut.org/post/big-roadblock-texas-transportation-plan-missing-legislators <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F103550301" width="100%"></iframe></p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 13:07:26 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 8441 at http://kut.org Big Roadblock in Texas Transportation Plan: Missing Legislators Is Third Special Session the Charm for Texas Transportation Funding? http://kut.org/post/third-special-session-charm-texas-transportation-funding <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F103400073" width="100%"></iframe>By the time the Texas Legislature's second special session of the year ended yesterday,&nbsp;the House still couldn’t get to a deal that would add more funding for road and highway projects. But a similar measure is back on the table as the third special session is already underway.&nbsp;</p><p></p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 13:35:42 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 8437 at http://kut.org Is Third Special Session the Charm for Texas Transportation Funding? Gov. Perry Calls Third Special Session of Texas Legislature http://kut.org/post/gov-perry-calls-third-special-session-texas-legislature <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">Just over an hour after lawmakers ended their second 30-day special session of the year, Gov.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title="">Rick Perry</a>&nbsp;called lawmakers back for a third one, with transportation funding the only issue on the agenda.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box;">"When it comes to transportation, the stakes facing our state could not be higher, and a failure to act now could take years — if not most of a decade — to correct, as traffic congestion increases and harms our quality of life," Perry said in a statement announcing the call.</span></p><p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 00:23:43 +0000 The Texas Tribune 8435 at http://kut.org Gov. Perry Calls Third Special Session of Texas Legislature Abortion Bill Gets OK From Texas Senate After Hours of Debate http://kut.org/post/abortion-bill-gets-ok-texas-senate-after-hours-debate <p>The Texas Senate voted, about 30 minutes before midnight, to pass an abortion bill, Senate Bill 5, with a vote of 20 to 10.</p><p>Before debate began roughly 6 hours earlier on the Senate floor, SB 5 got a significant change.</p><p>The bill's sponsor, State <a href="http://www.hegar.senate.state.tx.us" target="_blank">Sen. Glenn Hegar</a>, R-Katy, filed a substitute version, removing the provision that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of gestation.</p><p>That may be to give other provisions a better chance of passing the Legislature.</p> Wed, 19 Jun 2013 04:44:38 +0000 Trey Shaar & Veronica Zaragovia 8164 at http://kut.org Abortion Bill Gets OK From Texas Senate After Hours of Debate Deadline: Redistricting, Abortion Bills, More Have Week Left at Lege http://kut.org/post/deadline-redistricting-abortion-bills-more-have-week-left-lege <p></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F97400694" width="100%"></iframe>Seven days remain in the current Texas special legislative session. Lawmakers are not finished debating bills on redistricting, abortion, transportation and criminal justice.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 18 Jun 2013 12:49:45 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 8152 at http://kut.org Deadline: Redistricting, Abortion Bills, More Have Week Left at Lege Agenda Texas: Another Chance for Transportation? http://kut.org/post/agenda-texas-another-chance-transportation <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F94701257" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We all know traffic and road conditions are issues across Texas​</span>&nbsp;– from<span style="line-height: 1.5; "> monster traffic jams in our cities to disintegrating rural roads in heavy oil and gas production areas.</span></p> Thu, 30 May 2013 22:30:00 +0000 Ben Philpott 7936 at http://kut.org Agenda Texas: Another Chance for Transportation? Transportation Group Seeks Input on Changes to CAMPO 2035 Plan http://kut.org/post/transportation-group-seeks-input-changes-campo-2035-plan <p></p><p>Starting tomorrow, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization – better known as CAMPO – begins<a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/700455-campo-may-2013-meeetings.html">&nbsp;asking for the public’s ideas</a>&nbsp;on a series of projects.</p><p></p><p>Some projects are being dropped, while others are being picked up for consideration.&nbsp;</p><p> Tue, 14 May 2013 13:26:30 +0000 Joy Diaz 7716 at http://kut.org Transportation Group Seeks Input on Changes to CAMPO 2035 Plan Austin Traffic Calming Seeks to Soothe Neighborhood Traffic – And Aggrieve Speeding Drivers http://kut.org/post/austin-traffic-calming-seeks-soothe-neighborhood-traffic-and-aggrieve-speeding-drivers <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5; ">More than a dozen streets in Austin are about to be invaded with bulldozers whose mission is to re-shape them. Once the streets are re-worked, the hope is they will in turn help slow down the drivers who use them. On the first week of April, the city will unveil which so-called </span><a href="http://trafficcalming.org" style="line-height: 1.5; ">“traffic calming”</a><span style="line-height: 1.5; "> projects it will fund.</span></p><p></p><p>Twice a year, Austin’s Transportation Renee Orr reviews dozens of <a href="http://austintexas.gov/page/latm-ranking-funding-process">applications from Austinites </a>who believe their streets would be safer if there were a way to make drivers slow down.</p><p> Thu, 28 Mar 2013 10:46:00 +0000 Joy Diaz 7106 at http://kut.org Austin Traffic Calming Seeks to Soothe Neighborhood Traffic – And Aggrieve Speeding Drivers Marble Falls Bridge to be Demolished with Explosives http://kut.org/post/marble-falls-bridge-be-demolished-explosives <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Texas Department of Transportation has received approval to use explosives to demolish the 80-year-old U.S. 281 bridge over Lake Marble Falls in March. Workers have already begun to take down streetlights, guardrails and parts of the bridge structure.</span></p><p>Kelli Reyna with TxDOT says that using explosives will speed up the process.</p><p> Sat, 16 Feb 2013 00:35:09 +0000 Ryland Barton 6629 at http://kut.org Marble Falls Bridge to be Demolished with Explosives Lawmakers Hunt for Cash to Fix Roads Hit by Drilling http://kut.org/post/lawmakers-hunt-cash-fix-roads-hit-drilling <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">An assortment of state lawmakers, county officials and energy industry leaders are working this session to fix the growing number of roads torn up as a result of increased drilling activity.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif;">“Roads that are designed for a 20-year-life are being used in five years,” said DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler, who is pressing Austin to come up with a fix this session on behalf of several counties in the Eagle Ford Shale.</p><p> Fri, 01 Feb 2013 01:43:00 +0000 Aman Batheja, Texas Tribune 6433 at http://kut.org Lawmakers Hunt for Cash to Fix Roads Hit by Drilling The Good and The Bad of More Cabs in Austin (Updated) http://kut.org/post/good-and-bad-more-cabs-austin-updated <p><strong>Update </strong>(Nov. 2, 7:30 a.m.):&nbsp;Austin City Council members voted 5 to 2 Thursday to grant a total of 30 new taxi permits to two of the city’s cab companies.</p><p>Members of the Taxis Drivers Association of Austin had argued that there are too many cabs on the road and that they’ve seen a decline in income.</p><p>But the two cab companies say the new permits are necessary to help level the playing field between them and their larger competitor.</p><p>"[We are in favor of the vote] In order to improve our company's service to not only our passengers, but to our drivers. We've been waiting since December of last year to find out if were receiving 10 additional permits," Bertha Means of Austin Cab said. Fri, 02 Nov 2012 12:30:39 +0000 Tyler Pratt 5485 at http://kut.org The Good and The Bad of More Cabs in Austin (Updated) Austin Taxi Drivers Say There Are Too Many Cabs on the Road http://kut.org/post/austin-taxi-drivers-say-there-are-too-many-cabs-road <p>Austin taxi drivers are working more but seeing a decline in income and business. And, as you might imagine, many aren’t happy about that. The Taxi Drivers Association of Austin (TDAA) is even more upset that the trend may be exacerbated if the Austin City Council <a href="http://austin.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=315&amp;doctype=agenda" target="_blank">approves 30 new cab permits</a> on Thursday.</p><p>The TDAA says the noticeable decline in business happened after a first round of new cab permits approved by the Austin City Council hit the streets in July. Because, while more taxis on the streets means more options for riders, it means more competition for drivers.</p><p><a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/article/taxicab-permit-impact-analysis" target="_blank">A new report</a> released by the City of Austin’s Transportation Department finds the average cab driver made about one fewer trip in July 2012 than in July 2011. Cab drivers made an average of $461 less this July than last—equivalent to a drop of $2.40 an hour. That’s despite an increase in cab fares but doesn’t take tips into account. Wed, 31 Oct 2012 13:49:45 +0000 Laura Rice 5479 at http://kut.org Austin Taxi Drivers Say There Are Too Many Cabs on the Road Will 'Left Lane for Passing Only' Signs Make a Difference? http://kut.org/post/will-left-lane-passing-only-signs-make-difference <p>Here’s a mantra you may repeat to yourself in Austin traffic (likely in-between bouts of profanity): The left lane is for passing only.</p><p>Despite the fact that passing on the left is the safest practice (and the fact that Texas has <a href="http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/docs/TN/htm/TN.545.htm#545.057">prohibitions against passing on the right</a>), it’s a practice that’s routinely disregarded – just ask any Central Texas motorist.</p><p>The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT) is trying to do something about that, by installing a little reminder on Texas highways: some 3,400 signs stating “<a href="http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/media-room/news/statewide/050-2012.html">Left Lane for Passing Only</a>.”</p><p>Before you get your hopes up, here’s the rub – they’re only going up on highways with speed limits over 75 mph. That excludes Mopac and Interstate 35 as they cut through most of Central Austin.</p><p> Thu, 25 Oct 2012 18:01:45 +0000 Wells Dunbar 5433 at http://kut.org Will 'Left Lane for Passing Only' Signs Make a Difference? Fastest Road in the Country Now Open in Central Texas http://kut.org/post/fastest-road-country-now-open-central-texas <p>The fastest road in the country is now open to drivers in Central Texas. The 85 mile per hour portion of <a href="http://mysh130.com/" target="_blank">State Highway 130</a> opened this morning.</p><p>The toll road stretches across about 41 miles from Mustang Ridge to Seguin. It will soon cost drivers 15 cents per mile—or $6.17 to drive the length of the road—but it’s free through Nov. 10<sup>th</sup>.</p><p>Eighteen-wheelers will be charged 60 cents per mile. But, <a href="http://While he acknowledged that some truck drivers drive faster than 65 mph, most trucking companies try to keep drivers from traveling faster than that speed, both out of concerns for safety and because it reduces a truck's gas mileage, Esparza said." target="_blank">as reported last month</a>, truckers may avoid the toll road altogether because driving over 65 mph reduces fuel efficiency and also raises safety concerns. Wed, 24 Oct 2012 19:21:18 +0000 Laura Rice & Kelli Ainsworth 5439 at http://kut.org Fastest Road in the Country Now Open in Central Texas Cap Metro Rolls Out Mobile Ticketing for F1 Week http://kut.org/post/cap-metro-rolls-out-mobile-ticketing-f1-week <p>Capital Metro is prepping for <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/abia-prepare-heavy-traffic-international-flights-f1">the traffic nightmare</a> that’s likely to be Formula 1 weekend in Austin.</p><p>The transit company will be offering <a href="http://www.capmetro.org/f1/">a free shuttle loop</a> around downtown to help visitors and&nbsp;Austinites&nbsp;navigate road closures. Cap Metro will also increase <a href="http://www.capmetro.org/f1.aspx?id=1652">trips to and from&nbsp;Austin-Bergstrom&nbsp;International Airport</a>, for race fans coming into town and locals heading out to avoid the mayhem. And, for the first time ever,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.capmetro.org/f1.aspx?id=1709">MetroRail&nbsp;will operate on a Sunday</a>.</p><p>But what may be most interesting to those who rely regularly on Capital Metro service is that the company is debuting a mobile ticketing app for use during&nbsp;F1.</p><p>M² (pronounced M-squared) stands for <a href="http://www.capmetro.org/f1.aspx?id=1654">More Mobile App</a>. Starting Oct. 31, the free app will be available in the Apple Store and in Google Play. While the specifics of how the app will work aren’t yet clear – Cap Metro’s description only says “Operators may request you to tap the screen to confirm pass authenticity” – riders will be able to purchase and use one-day or seven-day passes on their phones.<img alt="Description: --break-&gt;" border="0" height="3" src="file://localhost/Users/wd285/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/msoclip/0/clip_image002.png" width="3"></p><p> Mon, 22 Oct 2012 17:29:01 +0000 Laura Rice 5414 at http://kut.org Cap Metro Rolls Out Mobile Ticketing for F1 Week TxDOT Looking at High-Speed Rail from Oklahoma to Texas http://kut.org/post/txdot-looking-high-speed-rail-oklahoma-texas <p>The <a href="http://www.txdot.gov/" target="_blank">Texas Department of Transportation</a> has moved o<a href="http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/media-room/news/statewide/052-2012.html" target="_blank">ne step closer towards the idea of using rail</a> as an option to address highway congestion on Interstate 35. The news comes as the TxDOT kicks off a $14 million, two-year study to explore the possibility of passenger rail service from Oklahoma City to South Texas.</p><p>The study will examine the best possible options for the development of passenger trains that will connect metropolitan areas such as the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Austin, and San Antonio.&nbsp; The analysis will compare different types of services, including both a new high-speed rail system and existing&nbsp;Amtrak routes.</p><p>John Barton,&nbsp;TxDOT deputy executive director and chief engineer,&nbsp;says “passenger rail [is] a strategic component for the future of Texas transportation.”</p><p>The rail study is partially funded by a <a href="http://www.fra.dot.gov/rpd/passenger/2243.shtml" target="_blank">$5.6 million grant</a> from the <a href="http://www.fra.dot.gov/">Federal Railroad Administration</a>’s <a href="http://www.fra.dot.gov/rpd/downloads/HSIPR_Federal_Investment_Highlights_20120203.pdf" target="_blank">High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program</a>, and a 20 percent match by TxDOT.</p><p> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 14:48:45 +0000 Hady Karl Mawajdeh 5345 at http://kut.org TxDOT Looking at High-Speed Rail from Oklahoma to Texas