Austin

News, events, and entertainment happening in and around Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

City officials are in the process of surveying East Austin to determine which buildings qualify for historic preservation, but some residents want to put a stop to any demolition until that survey is complete.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

This story is part of our series, The Road to Zerowhich explores traffic deaths and injuries in Austin and the city's plan to prevent them.

She had already started cooking the eggs and bacon.

Deborah Tatum, 49, was reaching for a can of biscuits when she learned her son was dead. Her daughter rushed into the kitchen, telling her a police officer was on the phone.


A Look Back at Some of Texas' Traffic-Related PSAs

May 11, 2016
Texas Archive of the Moving Image

This week we’re examining Austin’s record-breaking number of traffic fatalities in 2015. But, the issues of pedestrian safety, fatal crashes and roadway engineering are, obviously, not new issues when it comes to public safety on Austin’s roadways.

Here’s a look back at some vintage PSAs involving vehicle, pedestrian and bike safety. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Over the next few months, the Austin Police Department plans to step up enforcement of the city’s hands-free driving law, which prohibits talking or typing on a phone or other handheld electronic device while driving, without the use of a hands-free device.

To do this, police are using unexpected vehicles: Capital Metro buses.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

This story is part of our series, The Road to Zero, which explores traffic deaths and injuries in Austin and the city's plan to prevent them.

Robert Lormond is standing on the corner of Ben White and Manchaca watching his friend, Jerry. Two police officers have stopped him.

“I called him across the street. I didn’t see a police officer and he jaywalked," Lormond says.

There are crosswalks on three of the four sides of this intersection, but Jerry cut across the road—the one side without a crosswalk and that's illegal.

Courtesy of Adrienne White

This story is part of our series, The Road to Zerowhich explores traffic deaths and injuries in Austin and the city's plan to prevent them.

When Adrienne White arrived home on Mar. 5, 2016, she found a note on her door from an Austin police officer that made her panic. 


Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

The city of Austin’s Vision Zero plan is heading to the full city council for final approval next week with the blessing of the city’s Mobility Committee, which voted to send the plan to the full council Monday.

Francis Reilly of the city’s planning department told the Mobility Committee that traffic deaths are a public health problem, like smoking or seat belt use.


flickr.com/rutlo

Austin’s East Riverside Drive has become a hotspot for new housing development. But retailers in the area aren’t keeping pace with increasing demand.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

This is the first story in our series, The Road to Zero, which explores traffic deaths and injuries in Austin and the city's plan to prevent them.

One hundred and two people died on Austin’s roads in 2015 - the most ever recorded. More than 20 have met a similar fate so far this year. Nearly every death involved a car. Yet, in a city where 93 percent of households own a car, Francis Reilly does not. Reilly works in the city's planning office.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft were dealt a stunning blow Saturday, as Austin voters rejected Proposition 1 by a 12-percent margin.
 

The proposition, put on the ballot by a petition circulated by the political action committee backed by Uber and Lyft, would have repealed a city ordinance requiring fingerprint background checks for ride-hailing drivers.


KUT News

Update 9 p.m. Election day totals now are nearly the same as those reported earlier, with 44% in favor and 56% against Prop 1. 

7 p.m. Early voting totals are in for Austin's Proposition 1 election: 44% voted for Prop 1, and 56% voted against. Proposition 1 deals with regulations for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. Both companies have said they'll cease to operate in Austin if the measure does not pass. Uber set a hard-out for 8 a.m. Monday. Lyft set its out for 5 a.m. Monday.

KUT

Austin voters head to the polls today to vote on the question known as Proposition 1, which deals with regulations for ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. Only people who live inside the Austin city limits and are already registered to vote will be able to cast a ballot on this issue.  

You've probably heard something about the ballot measure, but if you're not fully up to speed, we've arranged this handy guide.

Council Votes to Permanently Tighten Water Restrictions

May 6, 2016
flickr.com/camknows

Central Texas is drought-free. The Highland Lakes are full and for the first time in years, Austin was on the brink of ending its water use restrictions. But not so fast – yesterday the Austin City Council passed new water conservation guidelines, which include some permanent restrictions. The city won’t be going back to the way things were before.


Ride-hailing service Lyft notified drivers this afternoon that it would shut down operations in Austin at 5 a.m. Monday if voters reject Proposition 1.

If the measure fails, requirements for fingerprint-based background checks for ride-hailing drivers would be phased in over the next year. Both Uber and Lyft have said they will not operate under those requirements, insisting their own background checks and GPS tracking technology make the service safe. 

Austin City Limits Announces 2016 Lineup

May 5, 2016

The Austin City Limits Music Festival has announced the lineup for its 15th installment of the festival, with heavy hitters Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem and Mumford & Sons headlining the fest. Austin's own Willie Nelson will also join the festivities in his first ACL appearance during the fest's second weekend.

The festival's first weekend will descend on Zilker Park from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, with the second weekend running Oct. 7 to Oct. 9. Tickets for the festival go on sale today at 10 a.m. on ACL's website.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Unbeknownst to some, the City of Austin has licensed five ride-hailing companies for operation. In case you haven’t opened your mailbox or clicked on your TV recently, two of those companies, Uber and Lyft, are currently embroiled in a public vote over what regulations the companies should be subject to.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Uber is facing a federal class action lawsuit after mass-texting its Austin users ahead of the Proposition 1 vote over ride-hailing regulations.

The lawsuit, filed by Austin activist Melissa Cubria, alleges Uber violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when it robo-texted Austinites this week, urging them to support Proposition 1 at the ballot box. The suit argues that Uber's texts violated users' privacy and violated the law, which protects consumers against unwanted voice or text contact from political campaigns "unless in an emergency or with consent of the recipient of the call," according to the suit.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The City of Austin’s Vision Zero plan continued its final parade through boards and commissions Monday with a visit to the Public Safety Commission. And while some commissioners were dissatisfied with the 94-page document, others had little to say.

“About the only thing I can say is the pictures are pretty,” said Commissioner Mike Levy to open the discussion. “It was as if it basically has nothing to do with what the task force did.”

Mose Buchele/KUT

We’ve had a pretty rainy April here in Central Texas, with more rain ahead for May.  During our weekly deluge, you might have noticed a lot of rain seems to fall in the middle of the night.  Well, KUT’s Mose Buchele has always wondered why. So, he took his questions to Time Warner Cable News meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons.

vcucns / flickr

The University of Texas at Austin is working to get a drug that stops people from overdosing on opioids, such as heroin and prescription pills, into the hands of resident advisors and campus police. The student government recently approved a resolution, and advocates are working to get a standing order at the school’s pharmacy.


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