parks http://kut.org en Austin's New Boardwalk Leads to This Cramped Bridge With 'Poor Safety' http://kut.org/post/austins-new-boardwalk-leads-cramped-bridge-poor-safety <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It's a safe bet that the new boardwalk opening along Austin's Lady Bird Lake will attract throngs of people. It’s a sleek, modern, structure. At about 14 feet wide and around a mile long, it provides plenty of space for joggers, cyclists, and people who want to take in a view of the city. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But if those people walk east, intent on realizing the boardwalk's promise of closing the loop of trails around the lake, they will find themselves at the Pleasant Valley Bridge over the Longhorn Dam</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">– a&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">river crossing that is</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;neither sleek nor modern. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">For years city officials have considered it potentially unsafe, and worry it could become more so with added foot traffic from the boardwalk.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So far efforts to improve the crossing have failed.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 19:06:28 +0000 Mose Buchele 10554 at http://kut.org Austin's New Boardwalk Leads to This Cramped Bridge With 'Poor Safety' Austin Charges ACL $53,000. Chicago Has Lollapalooza Pay 28 Times That http://kut.org/post/austin-charges-acl-53000-chicago-has-lollapalooza-pay-28-times <p>The Austin City Limits Music Festival isn&rsquo;t the only production put on by parent company&nbsp;<a href="http://www.c3presents.com//">C3 Presents</a>. In addition to booking and promoting Austin concerts throughout the year, C3 also puts on Chicago&rsquo;s annual <a href="http://www.lollapalooza.com/">Lollapalooza</a> music festival.</p><p>Like ACL, Lollapalooza is hosted on public parkland, requiring a contract with the city. So how do the contracts compare? KUT scoured C3&rsquo;s deals with Austin and Chicago to find out.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F114937389&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 11 Oct 2013 21:14:16 +0000 Tyler Pratt & Wells Dunbar 8914 at http://kut.org Austin Charges ACL $53,000. Chicago Has Lollapalooza Pay 28 Times That How You Can Help Draw the Blueprint for Austin's Urban Forest http://kut.org/post/how-you-can-help-draw-blueprint-austins-urban-forest <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F105286996" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The City of Austin is drafting its first comprehensive <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/department/austin%E2%80%99s-urban-forest-plan">Urban Forest Plan</a>.</p><p>The city hopes to work with Austinites to pinpoint areas of problem tree conditions and to look at possible solutions to transform the drought-stricken city into a truly green one.</p><p> Tue, 13 Aug 2013 20:38:27 +0000 Joy Diaz 8483 at http://kut.org How You Can Help Draw the Blueprint for Austin's Urban Forest President's Pen Establishes New National Monuments http://kut.org/post/presidents-pen-establishes-new-national-monuments President Obama on Monday designated five new national monuments, including one in Maryland dedicated to anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman and another setting aside Washington state's San Juan Islands.<p>"These sites honor the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country," President Obama said in a statement. Mon, 25 Mar 2013 18:18:09 +0000 Scott Neuman 7073 at http://kut.org President's Pen Establishes New National Monuments Austin Considers Allowing All-Night Access to Trails http://kut.org/post/austin-considers-allowing-all-night-access-trails <p><span style="LINE-HEIGHT: 1.5">The Austin City Council could decide today whether to start a pilot program aimed at keeping some hike and bike trails open 24 hours a day.</span></p><p>The proposal by council member Chris Riley has little support from his peers because it comes with the hefty price tag: a little over $3 million a year for extra police patrols. But whether it goes forward or not, the program is making the city think about how it will patrol trails in the future. Thu, 31 Jan 2013 11:13:00 +0000 Joy Diaz 6411 at http://kut.org Austin Considers Allowing All-Night Access to Trails Seven State Parks Could Close Under Proposed Budget http://kut.org/post/seven-state-parks-could-close-under-proposed-budget <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">The&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Texas Parks and Wildlife Department</a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">&nbsp;would close seven state parks during the 2014-2015 biennium under preliminary budget proposals from the House and Senate, and at least one group is ready to fight to keep them open.</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;">In discussions before the legislative session began, the parks and wildlife department requested that the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Legislative Budget Board</a>&nbsp;allocate an additional $18.9 million from the sporting goods sales tax to keep all parks operational.&nbsp;The preliminary&nbsp;<a href="http://s3.amazonaws.com/static.texastribune.org/media/documents/Summary_of_Legislative_Budget_Estimates_House_201415_Biennium.pdf" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">House</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Appropriations_Bills/83/Summary%20of%20Legislative%20Budget%20Estimates%20Senate%202014%E2%80%9315%20Biennium.pdf" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Senate</a>&nbsp;budgets, released Tuesday, call for only an additional $6.9 million over the next biennium from that tax.</p><p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 01:29:18 +0000 Audrey White, Texas Tribune 6222 at http://kut.org Seven State Parks Could Close Under Proposed Budget City to Shut Off Water to Emma Long Park http://kut.org/post/city-shut-water-emma-long-park <div class="messaging-message" id="aim_msg_50eb6533-0001-00000b-6444e2"><div class="row clearfix"><div class="content buddy "><div><span class="messaging-history styled-scrollable" style="bottom: 50px;" tabindex="24"><span style="font-family:serif;font-size:medium">Starting next Monday, the city will shut off water to <a href="http://austinparks.org/our-parks.html?parkid=247">Emma Long Metropolitan Park</a> for about three months, causing a major inconvenience for campers and others who use the park. Emma Long has 66 campsites, hundreds of places to picnic, and beaches.</span></span><p></p> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 00:55:07 +0000 Nathan Bernier 6092 at http://kut.org City to Shut Off Water to Emma Long Park Part of Zilker Park (Temporarily) Reopens http://kut.org/post/part-zilker-park-temporarily-reopens <p>Part of Zilker Park’s Great Lawn is <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/news/southwest-portion-zilker-metropolitan-park-great-lawn-re-opens" target="_blank">back open for public use</a>—but only for a couple of weeks.</p><p>The entire Great Lawn had been closed since Oct. 1<sup> </sup>in preparation for the <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/photos-over-300-pictures-austin-city-limits-2012" target="_blank">Austin City Limits Music Festival</a>. It’s remained closed for maintenance after the festival.</p><p>Now, the southwest portion of the<a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Parks/Map/zilkermap2.pdf" target="_blank"> Great Lawn and the volleyball courts</a> are back open. But the areas will be closed again starting Nov. 19 for setup for the <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/green-light-zilker-parks-trail-lights" target="_blank">Trail of Lights Festival</a>. Thu, 01 Nov 2012 16:46:15 +0000 Laura Rice 5490 at http://kut.org Part of Zilker Park (Temporarily) Reopens Prop 14: Parks and Recreation http://kut.org/post/prop-14-parks-and-recreation <p>This fall,&nbsp;<a href="http://kutnews.org/post/18-propositions-austin-voters-november">Austin voters will be asked to decide on 18 propositions</a>, including seven bond propositions totaling $385 million. KUT News is examining all seven of the spending propositions; today we take a look at Prop 14, which pump $78 million dollars into Austin’s public park and recreational facilities.</p><p>Some of the parks that would see improvements are the Emma Long Metropolitan Park, the Shoal Creek Greenbelt and Zilker Metropolitan Park. Facilities like the Barton Springs Bathhouse would be renovated and the Dove Springs Recreation Center would be expanded.</p><p>“We have nothing for our seniors out there,” says Dove Springs community leader Ofelia Zapata. She says the recreation center needs the money that Prop 14 would provide.</p><p>“Every neighborhood has a senior center, a multipurpose center, except southeast Austin,” Zapata says. “The time is now to deliver a multipurpose center to meet the needs of the families in our neighborhood.”</p><p> Wed, 10 Oct 2012 20:14:29 +0000 Era Sundar 5300 at http://kut.org Prop 14: Parks and Recreation Two Less Spots, One More Park: Worldwide PARK(ing) Day in Austin http://kut.org/post/two-less-spots-one-more-park-worldwide-parking-day-austin <p>Finding a parking spot in downtown Austin can sometimes be a challenge. Today, for <a href="http://parkingday.org/">Worldwide PARK(ing) Day</a>, there will be two fewer spaces – but supporters say the spaces’ transformation serves a greater purpose.</p><p>Two parking spaces on Congress Avenue between Sixth Street and Seventh Street, outside the Royal Blue Grocery, have been temporarily converted <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/patio-parking-or-parklet-council-considers-urban-spot-conversions">into a “parklet”—</a> where, instead of parking, people are &nbsp;invited to use the space as a park-like area to enjoy lunch, read a newspaper, or even just sit and chat.</p><p>The parklet conversion and local appreciation of Worldwide PARK(ing) Day is being overseen by the <a href="http://www.centraltexascnu.org/">Central Texas chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism</a>, which seeks to promote smarter civic design. It notes that Worldwide PARK(ing) Day started in 2005, when a San Francisco design firm converted a single metered parking space into a temporary pocket park.</p><p> Fri, 21 Sep 2012 15:52:45 +0000 Laura Rice 5124 at http://kut.org Two Less Spots, One More Park: Worldwide PARK(ing) Day in Austin How Do Austin Parks Compare to the Rest of the Country? http://kut.org/post/how-do-austin-parks-compare-rest-country <p>Austin&rsquo;s &ldquo;ParkScore&rdquo;&nbsp;was announced today by the nonprofit <a href="http://www.tpl.org/">Trust for Public Land</a>.</p><p>What&rsquo;s a ParkScore? The assessment looks at parks in the 40 largest U.S. cities, including Austin. The Trust for Public Land studies park systems from several different standpoints.</p><p>&ldquo;The best possible score would be five park benches,&rdquo; Peter&nbsp;Harnik, director of the trust&rsquo;s Center for City Park Excellence, tells KUT News.</p><p> Wed, 23 May 2012 18:47:42 +0000 Jerusalen Garcia Jordan & Ana Gonzalez 4308 at http://kut.org How Do Austin Parks Compare to the Rest of the Country? Does the Portland Loo Have a Future in Austin? http://kut.org/post/does-portland-loo-have-future-austin <p>You can add another entry to the list of big city amenities Austin is missing: a <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/austin-aztex-going-florida">professional sports team</a>, a <a href="http://kutnews.org/post/why-cant-austin-have-elaborate-subway-system">subway system</a>, and now &ndash; ubiquitous public toilets.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2012/01/why-portlands-public-toilets-succeeded-where-others-failed/1020/">Atlantic Cities blog</a> has a paean to the Portland Loo, a standalone toilet free to the public, as the Rose City prepares to <a href="http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/in-other-news/Content?oid=5419659">launch their fifth public restroom</a> with &ndash; what else? &ndash; an inaugural flush.</p><p>To what does Atlantic Cities attribute the Loos&rsquo; success? A minimal, &ldquo;defense-first design&rdquo; that puts a spigot for washing up outside; sturdy, reinforced doors; and bars at the top and bottom of the structure. Wed, 25 Jan 2012 19:47:54 +0000 Wells Dunbar 3530 at http://kut.org Does the Portland Loo Have a Future in Austin? Free Movies In Republic Square Park For Next Four Wednesdays http://kut.org/post/free-movies-republic-square-park-next-four-wednesdays <p>If you like to watch movies <em>al fresco</em>, but don&#39;t have the coin for Austin&#39;s <a href="http://original.austindrivein.com/?category_name=blog">newest drive in theater</a>, you can join families in <a href="http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/downtown/republicsq.htm">Republic Square Park</a> for free films over four weeks in the spring.</p><p>Films begin at dusk. Vendors will sell food. A temporary playground will be set up for kids. Your dog is welcome if it&#39;s on a leash.</p><p>Here are the dates and titles.</p> Wed, 06 Apr 2011 20:45:51 +0000 Nathan Bernier 1061 at http://kut.org Free Movies In Republic Square Park For Next Four Wednesdays 59 Percent Of Austin's Inner City Residents Don't Live Near Park http://kut.org/post/59-percent-austins-inner-city-residents-dont-live-near-park <p>Austin is a long way from achieving a goal set in 2009 of having a park within walking distance of everyone in the city. Fifty-nine percent of inner city residents do not live near those kind of open space amenities, according to the city's Urban Parks Stakeholders Group (UPSG).</p><p>The UPSG made <a href="http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/edims/document.cfm?id=147441">this presentation</a> to the City of Austin's Planning Commission last week, and it included some stark comparisons.</p> Mon, 31 Jan 2011 17:38:07 +0000 Nathan Bernier 698 at http://kut.org 59 Percent Of Austin's Inner City Residents Don't Live Near Park Devil's River Land Deal for TPWD Off The Table For Now http://kut.org/post/devils-river-land-deal-tpwd-table-now <p>Texas Parks and Wildlife Commissioners decided yesterday to delay considering the <a href="http://kut.org/items/show/23030">Devil&#39;s River land deal</a> at their regularly meeting this week. Instead, TPWD staff has been asked to continue working on the project and to explore other ways the agency can aquire land for a new state park or preserve in the Devil&#39;s River area.</p><p>Commission chairman Peter Holt of San Antonio released this statement in a <a href="http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/?req=20101103b">TPWD press release</a>:</p> Thu, 04 Nov 2010 15:35:44 +0000 Erika Aguilar, KUT News 203 at http://kut.org Devil's River Land Deal for TPWD Off The Table For Now