Transportation http://kut.org en Get Ready for This Red River Street Closure That Lasts Into 2015 http://kut.org/post/get-ready-red-river-street-closure-lasts-2015 <p>You may want to take a drive along Red River Street this weekend: it’s your last chance before the street is realigned to make way for UT-Austin's <a href="http://kut.org/post/how-central-health-seton-uts-medical-school-want-change-health-care-forever">new Dell Medical School</a>.</p><p>Starting Monday, Red River Street will be closed from Martin Luther King Boulevard to 15<sup>th</sup> Street – and it’s not scheduled to re-open until January.</p><p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:58:42 +0000 KUT Staff 10203 at http://kut.org Get Ready for This Red River Street Closure That Lasts Into 2015 Why It's So Damn Hard to Move the Taco Bell Tree http://kut.org/post/why-its-so-damn-hard-move-taco-bell-tree <p><strong><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/03/25/why-its-so-damn-hard-to-move-a-heritage-tree/">From StateImpact&nbsp;Texas:&nbsp;</a></strong></p><p>Back in the 1970s and '80s, it probably looked like something out of&nbsp;<a data-mce-="" href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106677/" style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(96, 120, 144); margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgb(153, 153, 153);">Dazed and Confused</a>. Teenagers pulling up in T-Birds, wind in their hair, to hang out in the parking lot of a Taco Bell. The sun would set in the Hill Country to the west, sending a glow through the branches of an old Live Oak tree. Today the Taco Bell and the teenagers are long gone, but the tree remains, affectionately known as the "<a data-mce-="" href="http://www.austinheritagetreefoundation.com/Taco_Bell_Tree.html" style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(96, 120, 144); margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgb(153, 153, 153);">Taco Bell Tree</a>."</p><p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;">It's also now at an intersection best known for being a traffic nightmare –&nbsp;the Y at Oak Hill&nbsp;–&nbsp; where two highways intersect and a third road feeds into the jumble. In order to improve that intersection, the state embarked on a&nbsp;<a data-mce-="" href="http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=198583" style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(96, 120, 144); margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgb(153, 153, 153);">temporary plan</a>&nbsp;to expand it that would help for the next five years, while something longer term is put into place. The plan included cutting down the Taco Bell Tree, which has been here long before drive-thrus (or even combustion engines).<em style="line-height: 1.5; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;<a data-mce-="" href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/03/12/alright_alright_alright_matthew_mcconaughey_got_it_from_jim_morrison_watch.html" style="font-style: normal; line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(96, 120, 144); margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgb(153, 153, 153);">All right, all right, all right.</a></em></p><p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent;"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141343300&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:53:24 +0000 Terrence Henry 10031 at http://kut.org Why It's So Damn Hard to Move the Taco Bell Tree Why Austin Taxi Drivers Can't Refuse a Ride Based on Destination http://kut.org/post/why-austin-taxi-drivers-cant-refuse-ride-based-destination <p>Have you ever been denied a cab ride in Austin?</p><p>After last week's deadly crash on Red River Street, there's been calls for more and better public transportation and taxi service.</p><p>But during special events like South by Southwest, it seems like more and more Austin taxis refuse to take riders for a variety of reasons. Carlton Thomas with the City of Austin’s Parking Enterprise says the most common reason is that "drivers are not interested in taking the short trips." &nbsp;</p><p>He should know, because all complaints about cab drivers come to his department.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140186225&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 18 Mar 2014 13:59:49 +0000 Joy Diaz 9984 at http://kut.org Why Austin Taxi Drivers Can't Refuse a Ride Based on Destination SXSW Crash Raises Concerns About Barricade Safety http://kut.org/post/sxsw-crash-raises-concerns-about-barricade-safety <p>Every year during South by Southwest, police use barricades to create pedestrian-only streets.&nbsp;They’re meant to protect the large crowds that descend on the city.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">But early Thursday morning, a driver <a href="http://kut.org/post/two-dead-after-driver-plows-sxsw-crowd-suspect-custody">plowed through one of those barricades</a>, killing two people and injuring 23 others.</span></p><p>Now, some people, like pedestrian safety expert Rob Reiter, are questioning if the city should put more protective barriers in place.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">He says crashes like the one last night are preventable if the right types of barricades are used.</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/139459968&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:07:38 +0000 Kate McGee 9960 at http://kut.org SXSW Crash Raises Concerns About Barricade Safety How Driverless Cars Could Change the Way We Travel http://kut.org/post/how-driverless-cars-could-change-way-we-travel <p>Self-driving cars are coming. It’s just a matter of when. Last year, four states passed laws allowing driverless cars on the road. &nbsp;But for Chandra Bhat, director of the <a href="http://www.utexas.edu/research/ctr/">Center for Transportation Research </a>at the University of Texas, the question is how driverless cars will affect <em>other </em>consumer choices people make: where they live, what types of cars they own, when they travel?</p><p>Listen to Bhat talk about some of those ways below.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/138936860&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Bhat spoke at SXSW&nbsp;Interactive on Monday about the implications of driverless cars.</p><p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 22:49:01 +0000 Kate McGee 9935 at http://kut.org How Driverless Cars Could Change the Way We Travel Cutting Down on Traffic With an App: Austin Introduces Carma Carpooling http://kut.org/post/cutting-down-traffic-app-austin-introduces-carma-carpooling <p><em>Disclosure: Carma is a sponsor of KUT.&nbsp;</em></p><p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mobilityauthority.com/">Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority</a>&nbsp;cut the ribbon today on a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mobilityauthority.com/monkeewrench/files/resources/Carma_Austin_Press_Release_Feb__27_2014.pdf">new project</a> that could reduce traffic congestion while saving drivers money.</p><p>The project is a public-private partnership between the city and state transportation officials, the CTRMA, Texas A&amp;M and a ride-sharing app: <a href="https://car.ma/index.html">Carma.</a></p><p>Carma is based on the concept of "casual carpooling." Paul Steinberg, vice president of business operations for Carma, calls it a mutually beneficial model that affords people rides and grants drivers access to cheaper toll roads and high occupancy vehicle lanes.</p><p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:35:02 +0000 Kelly Krupa 9867 at http://kut.org Cutting Down on Traffic With an App: Austin Introduces Carma Carpooling Austin Drivers Should Slow Down in School Zones Today Though Lights May Not Flash http://kut.org/post/austin-drivers-should-slow-down-school-zones-today-though-lights-may-not-flash <p>Many area school kids are in class today despite the Presidents' Day holiday. They’re <a href="http://kut.org/post/schools-will-have-make-snow-days-starting-monday" target="_blank">making up for a day missed</a> due to winter weather.</p><p>City of Austin Transportation crews are <a href="http://www.austintexas.gov/news/use-caution-school-zones-presidents-day" target="_blank">working to manually re-program flashing school zone lights</a> warning drivers to slow down. But only about one-sixth were ready before the start of school this morning.</p><p>“If a driver comes up to a school zone and they know that the school is in session and the flasher aren’t going, they should use that same level of caution, drive slower and be aware of students in the area," city spokesperson Samantha Park said. Mon, 17 Feb 2014 18:46:11 +0000 Laura Rice 9796 at http://kut.org Austin Drivers Should Slow Down in School Zones Today Though Lights May Not Flash U.S. One Step Closer To Future Where Cars Talk To Each Other http://kut.org/post/us-one-step-closer-future-where-cars-talk-each-other The United States is one step closer to a future where cars will communicate with each other to avoid accidents.<p>The Department of Transportation announced on Monday it was moving forward with the steps necessary to one day mandate vehicle-to-vehicle — V2V — communication technology on light automobiles.<p>The big deal here is that research — including a 3,000-vehicle test of the system in Ann Arbor, Mich. Mon, 03 Feb 2014 20:37:20 +0000 9702 at http://kut.org U.S. One Step Closer To Future Where Cars Talk To Each Other Is Capital Metro's New MetroRapid Service Leaving Bus Riders Behind? http://kut.org/post/capital-metros-new-metrorapid-service-leaving-bus-riders-behind <p><em>Disclaimer: Capital Metro is a sponsor of KUT.</em></p><p>Capital Metro's new <a href="http://www.capmetro.org/metrorapid2.aspx">MetroRapid</a> bus service launched on Sunday. And with the new route came additional service changes some say give short-shrift to existing riders on Cap Metro's most popular lines.</p><p>MetroRapid line 801 travels from Southpark Meadows to the Tech Ridge area in North Austin. Its route through the urban core – along South Congress Avenue and Guadalupe Street – parallels Cap Metro's 1L and 1M bus lines, the routes with the highest ridership in Austin. And another route – the 101 Express – traveled largely along the same line. (<a href="http://www.capmetro.org/news-item.aspx?id=3107">Read more about service changes</a>.)</p><p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 23:04:10 +0000 Wells Dunbar 9693 at http://kut.org Is Capital Metro's New MetroRapid Service Leaving Bus Riders Behind? Despite Student Protests, Cap Metro to Discontinue North Campus Bus Lines http://kut.org/post/despite-student-protests-cap-metro-discontinue-north-campus-bus-lines <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Tight budgets could leave some UT Austin commuters without a bus line in the upcoming semester, according to Cap Metro.&nbsp;</span></p><p class="p1">The Wickersham Lane (Route WL) shuttle will be eliminated this semester and the Cameron Road route (Route CR) will be shortened this semester, renamed Route Camino La Costa (Route CLC) and then eliminated after the spring semester. &nbsp;</p><p class="p1">The transit authority attributes the cutbacks to a persistent lack of funds from UT's Student Services Budget Committee.</p><p> Fri, 03 Jan 2014 21:45:39 +0000 Jackie Wattles 9458 at http://kut.org Despite Student Protests, Cap Metro to Discontinue North Campus Bus Lines Even An 85 MPH Highway Can't Fix Austin's Traffic Tangle http://kut.org/post/even-85-mph-highway-cant-fix-austins-traffic-tangle Four decades ago, Austin, Texas, had a population of 250,000 and a reputation as a laid-back oasis of liberal politics and live music. Today, the Austin metro area is home to 1.8 million people and has some of the nation's worst traffic congestion.<p>For years, the city has done little to address the growing problem. But most in the Texas capital now agree something has to change if Austin is to save what's left of its quirky character.<p>The best way to experience Austin traffic may be from inside the police department's new helicopter. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 14:16:03 +0000 Wade Goodwyn, NPR 9386 at http://kut.org Even An 85 MPH Highway Can't Fix Austin's Traffic Tangle Why Highland? Urban Rail Advocates Question Project Connect Process http://kut.org/post/why-highland-urban-rail-advocates-question-project-connect-process <p><em>Disclaimer: Project Connect is a KUT sponsor.</em></p><p><strong>Update</strong>: The Austin City Council unanimously endorsed two locations for urban rail last night: the&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/highland-and-east-riverside-austins-best-spots-urban-rail">Highland Mall region and East Riverside</a>. You can <a href="http://austintx.swagit.com/play/12122013-683/#27">watch citizen testimony and council action</a> on the recommendation.</p><p>As KUT reported, investment in those corridors was proposed by&nbsp;<a href="http://projectconnect.com/">Project Connect</a>&nbsp;– a working group of City of Austin, Capital Metro, and other regional transportation officials.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Project Connect named Highland and East Riverside after what it said was a robust, data-driven public input process – but many rail advocates present at the vote last night questioned the process and the decision.</span></p><p><strong>Original story</strong> (Dec. 12): To hear Project Connect tell it, they’re practically drowning in data. Project lead Kyle Keahey cited some 45 different measures of information and 11 indices when the group announced its recommendation. (You can <a href="http://www.projectconnect.com/connect/resources">look at lots of that data here</a>.)</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/124494381&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 16:12:41 +0000 Wells Dunbar 9353 at http://kut.org Why Highland? Urban Rail Advocates Question Project Connect Process Current Long-Term Plans Do Nothing to Improve Austin’s I-35 Headaches http://kut.org/post/current-long-term-plans-do-nothing-improve-austin-s-i-35-headaches <p><em style="line-height: 1.5;">This article is written by KUT’s reporting partner the <a href="http://austinmonitor.org">Austin Monitor (formerly In Fact Daily)</a>. Below, listen to an interview with author Mark Richardson.&nbsp;</em></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Current long-term plans – such as the&nbsp;</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">2035 CAMPO Transportation Plan</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;– will do little more than maintain the current level of traffic bottlenecks on&nbsp;</span><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Interstate 35</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;and won’t take enough vehicles off the road to significantly cut commute times, according to a report on traffic congestion on the I-35 corridor through Austin.</span></p><p>The report,&nbsp;<em>Long-Term Central Texas IH 35 Improvement Scenarios,&nbsp;</em>was done by the&nbsp;<strong>Texas A&amp;M Transportation Institute</strong>&nbsp;as part of a study ordered by the&nbsp;<strong>83rd Texas Legislature</strong>. It is a comprehensive look at long-term strategies to alleviate traffic congestion on I-35 between Buda and Round Rock.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/124549317&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 22:13:57 +0000 Mark Richardson 9361 at http://kut.org Current Long-Term Plans Do Nothing to Improve Austin’s I-35 Headaches Report: More Austinites Working from Home, Commuting by Bike or Bus http://kut.org/post/report-more-austinites-working-home-commuting-bike-or-bus <p>Austinites are driving less and using public transportation more.</p><p>That’s a finding in a new report <a href="http://texpirgedfund.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/TX_Transp_trans_print_0.pdf">[PDF]</a> by the <a href="http://www.texpirg.org/">Texas Public Interest Research Group</a> (TexPIRG), a nonprofit research organization.</p><p>According to census data, the proportion of Austin workers that commute by private vehicle fell by 4.5 percent from 2000 to 2011. That’s the third largest decline in the country for an urban area.</p><p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 21:31:17 +0000 Laura Rice 9311 at http://kut.org Report: More Austinites Working from Home, Commuting by Bike or Bus NYC Commuter Train Was Well Above Speed Limit Before Crash http://kut.org/post/investigators-examine-wreckage-deadly-new-york-train-crash <strong>Update at 6:50 p.m. ET. Speeding Into Curve; A Mile Or More To Safely Stop:</strong><p>A commuter train headed into New York City was traveling at 82 mph Sunday morning when it entered a curve where the speed limit was supposed to be 30 mph and derailed, National Transportation Safety Board investigators have concluded. Mon, 02 Dec 2013 12:47:36 +0000 Bill Chappell, NPR 9294 at http://kut.org NYC Commuter Train Was Well Above Speed Limit Before Crash