ATXplained

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Every day at KUT, we try to think about what you want to know. That’s what drives the decisions we make about the stories we tell. But we wanted to try an experiment to bring you, the audience, closer to the news and storytelling we do at KUT.

So we started our ATXplained project – a crowdsourced reporting project in which we ask you what you want us to investigate and what stories you'd like us to tell. 

It's simple. You ask a question, we put it to a vote and, if your question gets chosen, a KUT reporter, with your help, will set out to try and answer that question.

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Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The City of West Lake Hills started with a drunken plot of revenge.

A decade before Emmett Shelton founded the city in 1953, his brother, Polk, had political aspirations. But when he failed to win the 1937 Democratic primary for a seat in Congress – losing to Lyndon B. Johnson – the brothers and their friends hatched a different plan: build a city to keep their political enemies out.

At least that's how the legend goes.

For newcomers expecting a First Street where Cesar Chavez Street is located, technically, Cesar Chavez is First Street.
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

If you live in Austin, you know we like to do things our own way. That includes how we name our streets. But it can sometimes be confusing. For example, shouldn’t First Street be in the place of Cesar Chavez, parallel with all the other numbered streets downtown? 

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

Austin has grown through the years – more people, more traffic – and with that growth has come lots and lots of mattress stores. If you ever make the drive on Anderson Lane in North Austin, you know there is no shortage of places to buy a mattress.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

About 85,000 people visit Hippie Hollow every year.

The park on the shore of Lake Travis, just outside Austin, is well-known as a place where you can go to get some sun – without the tan lines. It's thought to be Texas' only clothing-optional public park.

But how did it get that way?

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

When you're driving down Lamar Boulevard between Lady Bird Lake and Fifth Street, do you ever look at the walls of the underpass beneath the train bridge? Do you look at those blank blue signs on the walls of the underpass and wonder: What the heck are those things?

Laura Bauman does. So she asked about them for our ATXplained project.

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