MoPac http://kut.org en 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 City Council Votes to Lower Occupancy Limits http://kut.org/post/austin-city-council-votes-lower-occupancy-limits <p class="p1">The Austin City Council had a long day at the dais yesterday, with a meeting that sputtered along for the better part of 15 hours.</p><p class="p1">"Stealth dorms," fee waivers, economic incentives, an officer-involved shooting, the MoPac sound wall and&nbsp; even a proclamation for KUT's own Cactus Cafe.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">With that in mind, here's a rundown of the council action, and inaction, from yesterday.</p><p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:13:14 +0000 KUT Staff 9784 at http://kut.org Austin City Council Votes to Lower Occupancy Limits 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 Construction Crews to 'Light and Stripe' MoPac From Parmer to Cesar Chavez http://kut.org/post/construction-crews-light-and-stripe-mopac-parmer-cesar-chavez <h2 style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; padding: 0px; outline: 0px; border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&nbsp;</h2><p>Construction crews will install temporary highway lighting along&nbsp;MoPac&nbsp;tonight, and will&nbsp;also remove existing light poles that in the way of the construction of the forthcoming&nbsp;MoPac&nbsp;express lanes.&nbsp;A full map of construction is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mopacexpress.com/construction/whats-new.php">available online</a>.</p><p>The project will add&nbsp;North and Southbound express lanes between&nbsp;Parmer&nbsp;Lane and Cesar Chavez. &nbsp;</p><p> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 16:37:04 +0000 Andrew Weber 9376 at http://kut.org Construction Crews to 'Light and Stripe' MoPac From Parmer to Cesar Chavez Weather Postpones New MoPac Construction (Update) http://kut.org/post/weather-postpones-new-mopac-construction-update <p><strong>Update</strong>: Austin's latest surge of winter weather means postponement of lane&nbsp;restriping work on MoPac.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">While lane closures continue, lane restriping&nbsp; probably won't begin until after Friday's expected rains, and possible freezing precipitation on Saturday. See the tweet below:</span></p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Various lane closures tonight for construction sign installation. Restriping work delayed. Weather may push work to next week. <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23atxtraffic&amp;src=hash">#atxtraffic</a></p>— MoPac Project (@ImproveMopac) <a href="https://twitter.com/ImproveMopac/statuses/408278044646711296">December 4, 2013</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;">Original story</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> (Dec. 9): Construction work on </span>MoPac<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is about to get underway. Overnight lane closures begin tonight as crews install construction signs in preparation for&nbsp;</span>restriping<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> portions of the road.</span></p><p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 18:05:19 +0000 Matthew Alvarez 9296 at http://kut.org Weather Postpones New MoPac Construction (Update) In Austin, Toll Lanes May Give Bus Service a Boost http://kut.org/post/austin-toll-lanes-may-give-bus-service-boost <p class="p1">In 2015, an 11-mile stretch of Austin’s MoPac Boulevard will expand to eight lanes from six. The two new lanes will be tolled, giving drivers the chance to pay a premium to avoid the road’s frequent congestion.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1">While the toll lanes will help ease traffic on the free lanes, neither the Texas Department of Transportation nor any of the local entities involved in the $200 million project are predicting it will transform MoPac into a free-flowing thoroughfare. With robust population growth projected for the region, MoPac traffic is expected to continue periodically slowing to a crawl for decades. When it does, local officials are optimistic that frustrated commuters will notice that it is not only personal vehicles zipping past them on the toll lanes.&nbsp;</p><p> Fri, 29 Nov 2013 19:30:00 +0000 Aman Batheja, Texas Tribune 9288 at http://kut.org In Austin, Toll Lanes May Give Bus Service a Boost 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? Dogs, Trains and a Piano: How Austin Sounds Inspired a New Album http://kut.org/post/dogs-trains-and-piano-how-austin-sounds-inspired-new-album <p>Many people the world over are inspired by the &#39;Austin sound.&#39; But Dallas native and composer Ben Johnson found <em>his</em> inspiration in the sounds of Austin. Literally.</p><p>In fact, &quot;The Sounds of Austin, Texas&quot; is the title of his new album&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;a collection of impressionistic pieces inspired by his adopted hometown, where he studied music in college. Johnson considers his latest album a collection of love songs to Austin.&nbsp;</p><p>Johnson mixes field audio recordings from sites all over the Austin area with his own custom piano compositions, each dedicated to a particular place. &nbsp;<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F114587630" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 11:00:00 +0000 David Brown 8898 at http://kut.org Dogs, Trains and a Piano: How Austin Sounds Inspired a New Album Learn More About Plan to Bury MoPac's Downtown Exit Ramps http://kut.org/post/learn-more-about-plan-bury-mopacs-downtown-exit-ramps <p>There are few things most drivers despise more than sitting in traffic.&nbsp; Add the sweltering heat of a Texas summer day, and you’ve introduced even more suffering.</p><p>That’s bad news for Austin, a city that was ranked fourth-worst nationally for traffic in 2013.&nbsp; A good deal of this infamous congestion is born along MoPac.&nbsp; Designed in 1961 to meet the needs of less than a quarter of a million people, MoPac has been under strain since the beginning of Austin’s demographic boom.&nbsp; Today, the design is simply incapable of meeting the needs of the city’s burgeoning population.</p><p> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:33:56 +0000 Phoebe Flanigan 8615 at http://kut.org Learn More About Plan to Bury MoPac's Downtown Exit Ramps 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?' You Can Bike on Austin Highways (And Yes, It’s a Horrible Idea) http://kut.org/post/you-can-bike-austin-highways-and-yes-it-s-horrible-idea <p><strong>Update</strong>: A sprawling discussion <a href="http://redd.it/1jg5pv">on the Austin page of&nbsp;Reddit</a>&nbsp;- prompted by <a href="http://i.imgur.com/HGAlkwx.jpg">a photo</a> of bicyclists on I-35 - has renewed interest in this topic. Read on for more details.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Original story </strong>(April 3, 2013): Despite general public perception – and all standards of common sense – it’s actually legal to ride bicycles on the state highway.</p><p>Recently, users on the Austin page of Reddit <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Austin/comments/1b8oy4/so_these_guys_were_on_mopac_yesterday_and_moving/">got into a heated discussion</a> about the legality of riding a bike on Mopac, when one user posted <a href="http://imgur.com/MrhMDei">a photo</a> of a couple people doing just that.</p><p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 17:50:32 +0000 Bobby Blanchard 7171 at http://kut.org You Can Bike on Austin Highways (And Yes, It’s a Horrible Idea) Work Begins on MoPac Toll Lane Expansion http://kut.org/post/work-begins-mopac-toll-lane-expansion <p>Overnight lane closures on MoPac between Lady Bird Lake and Parmer Lane have begun. They'll last from now until the end of July as roadway designers begin a plan to add toll lanes.</p><p>The<a href="http://www.mopacexpress.com/"> MoPac Improvement Project</a> will expand the highway by adding one express lane in each direction.</p> Mon, 20 May 2013 23:15:09 +0000 Austin Feldman 7796 at http://kut.org Work Begins on MoPac Toll Lane Expansion I-35, 290 Among Texas' Top 100 Traffic Problems http://kut.org/post/i-35-290-among-texas-top-100-traffic-problems <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Sections of I-35 and </span>MoPac<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> are singled out in a new report as being among the 100 top traffic challenges in the Texas.</span></p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 23:35:00 +0000 Mark Dewey 6237 at http://kut.org I-35, 290 Among Texas' Top 100 Traffic Problems AM Update: MoPac Flyover to Open, E-book Refund for Texans, Fried Cactus at the State Fair http://kut.org/post/am-update-mopac-flyover-open-e-book-refund-texans-fried-cactus-state-fair <p>Good morning. <a href="http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=30.267153&amp;lon=-97.74306079999997&amp;site=all&amp;smap=1&amp;searchresult=Austin%2C%20TX%2C%20USA" target="_blank">Central Texas winds </a>have slowed down today as Isaac has been downgraded to a tropical storm.</p><p><strong>Traffic Relief for Some Austin Commuters</strong></p><p>Some northbound Austin drivers should see traffic relief starting tomorrow.</p><p>Texas Department of Transportation spokesperson John Hurt tells KUT News that the <a href="http://apps.dot.state.tx.us/apps/project_tracker/projectdetails.htm?projid=011309052&amp;dist=Austin" target="_blank">flyover from northbound MoPac to eastbound U.S. 290</a> will open up sometime late tonight or early tomorrow morning – before most commuters head to work.</p><p>Right now, those drivers have to go through a traffic light and down a frontage road before getting on Ben While Boulevard.</p><p>Hurt says the other part of the project – a flyover from westbound 290 to southbound MoPac – won’t be complete until around Thanksgiving. Thu, 30 Aug 2012 14:01:46 +0000 Hady Karl Mawajdeh & Laura Rice 4982 at http://kut.org AM Update: MoPac Flyover to Open, E-book Refund for Texans, Fried Cactus at the State Fair One Step Closer to Managed Toll Lanes on MoPac http://kut.org/post/one-step-closer-managed-toll-lanes-mopac <p>The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, better known as CAMPO,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mobilityauthority.com/monkeewrench/files/resources/PR_CAMPO_MoPac_ILA_061112.pdf" target="_blank">last night approved</a>&nbsp;its MoPac Improvement Project.</p><p><a href="http://www.mopacexpress.com/index.php" target="_blank">The project</a> will put a managed toll lane in each direction on MoPac, from Cesar Chavez to Parmer Lane. Toll pricing would be adjusted based upon MoPac&#39;s level of congestion at the time of use. The hope is to make traffic on the entire freeway move faster.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.campotexas.org/pdfs/CAMPO_FAQ.pdf" target="_blank">$200 million project</a> was put together by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and is being paid for by<a href="http://www.kutnews.org/post/am-update-mopac-improvement-money-pflugerville-utility-rates-tornado-damage-dallas" target="_blank"> state and federal funding</a>. The agreement between the mobility authority and CAMPO also creates an infrastructure fund. Basically, $230 million in money collected from tolls on MoPac over the first 25 years of its operation will be used to pay for other transportation projects in the area. Tue, 12 Jun 2012 19:26:41 +0000 Laura Rice 4461 at http://kut.org One Step Closer to Managed Toll Lanes on MoPac