Mon September 2, 2013
2013 Labor Day Lowdown: Water Rules, Road Closures, No Refusal & More
Another Labor Day is here in Austin. Here’s a rundown of street closures, holiday schedules, rules for the road and more:
Several downtown and South Austin streets are closed or partially-closed this morning for a triathlon.
- Congress is closed from 11th Street to Mary and Cesar Chavez is closed from Congress to Mopac. The First Street Bridge is also closed.
- Riverside Drive and Barton Springs Road are partially closed around Auditorium Shores.
Most of the roads affected will open back up around noon. But a few closures will remain in place until 3 p.m.
What's Open, Closed:
All City of Austin offices are closed this Labor Day. That includes City Council offices, all senior centers and all public libraries.
- The Austin Animal Center is open today from 11 a.m. til 7 p.m. The center is holding an adoption special on "American" breeds – American short-hair cats and certain dog breeds are $35 to adopt today.
- City of Austin pools, golf courses, and tennis centers will also be open for regular hours. So will the Austin Nature and Science Center and the Zilker Botanical Garden.
- City trash, recycling, and yard trimmings collection is on the regular schedule – so Monday pickups will happen today.
- Capital Metro is operating on a Sunday schedule. There will be no MetroRail or UT Shuttles.
Lake Austin likely to be busy this Labor Day weekend. That’s why Austin Police aren’t allowing people to use personal watercraft – that means things like jet skis and motorized surf boards. Kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are still okay.
- Lakes Travis and Buchanan are just 33 percent full. According to the Lower Colorado River Authority, there aren’t any public boat ramps currently open at either lake.
- Austin Police will be on the lookout for people who drive boats while under the influence.
No Refusal, Law Enforcement Crackdown:
Austin Police and the Texas Department of Public Safety are cracking down on drunk drivers this holiday weekend.
- APD is holding a "no refusal" period through 5 a.m. Tuesday. That means police will conduct blood search warrants for suspected drunk drivers who refuse a breath or blood test.
- APD arrested 26 people under the no refusal policy on Saturday and 28 people on Sunday.
- DPS says extra officers will be on patrol and will be looking for people who are speeding and not wearing seatbelts.
Last year, DPS issued more than 4,000 tickets over the Labor Day enforcement period to drivers without insurance. But drivers now have another option. “A new law that is in effect now is that if you can provide proof of insurance on your cell phone, we can accept that information at this time," Trooper Robbie Barrera said.
Another new Texas law that went into effect Sunday requires drivers to treat Texas Department of Transportation vehicles on the side of the road the same as emergency vehicles. That means drivers should move over a lane or slow down by at least 20 miles per hour.