South Congress

Laura Rice, KUT News

The food trailer park on South Congress was one of Austin’s most popular. But the trailers had to clear the lot this week to make way for a hotel and retail space.

Four food trailers made the two-mile move to a vacant lot at South Lamar and Bluebonnet Lane – including Austin Frigid Frog Shaved Ice.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Austin relived a slice of the past this weekend. The Lonestar Round Up Car Show kicked off this Friday and hundreds of classic cars are all over town.

What started 12 years ago with only 80 cars, turned into one of the biggest motor shows in the state.

Marissa Barnett for KUT News

South Congress could be missing some visitors by the end of this weekend, and not just because the last of Austin’s South by Southwest visitors have fled to the airport: the land between East Milton and East Monroe streets on South Congress Avenue where nearly a dozen food trailers are parked each day could be vacated any day now.  

When KUT News visited the park on Friday, almost every trailer offered a different closing day: “this Sunday,” “by the end of March,” “sometime around April” or “nothing is certain yet.”

Caleb Bryant-Miller/KUT News

Thinking about watching the bats on Congress Street Bridge the evening?

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Service Department released information today that a bat from under the Congress Street Bridge has tested positive for rabies.

Carole Barasch is with the Health and Human Service Department. She says it isn’t unusual to find a bat with rabies – problems arise when these bats come into contact with humans. The Health and Human Service Department is on alert because it's received word from a third party that an adult female came into contact with a rabid bat at 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3.

The Sustainable Design Assessment Team; Photo courtesy U.S. Army; Photo by NBAE/Getty Images

Three Proposals for Future of Austin's "South Shore"

A team of architects and planners has been studying the south shore of Lady Bird Lake near Congress and South First Street. Last night, they presented three proposals for future of the south shore.

The first focuses on using the area as a natural resource for things like urban agriculture and recreation. The second proposal would include public space but also make room for hotels and food trailers. The third option would include lots of housing and transit.

The expert team will present a more detailed report in the next few months.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/atmtx

In an effort to improve pedestrian safety and calm traffic, the city’s putting the squeeze on South Congress.

Construction starts today on an eight to 12-month project to “bulb-out,” or extend curbs on streets intersecting South Congress, shortening the crossing distance for pedestrians from 90 feet to 57 feet. The bulbs will take the form of concrete islands providing "pedestrian refuges," according to the city.

Of course, construction means traffic delays. The city states “One lane of traffic will be closed on S. Congress in the area where the contractor is working and one lane of traffic will be closed on the cross-streets with detours for the cross-streets.” Does that mean the bulbs are calming traffic already?

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The City of Austin will install 70 new parking spaces of the “back-in angle” variety as part of the ongoing road improvements on South Congress Avenue. Some drivers have insisted on backing in to head-on spaces for years, but the new parking spaces will be specifically designed to do so.

Back-in angle parking is supposed to be safer than head-on parking because it provides better visibility. Car doors would no longer open into oncoming traffic or bicycle lanes. Unloading the trunk or dealing with car seats would also be easier because the back of the car is at the curb, further removed from traffic.