Traffic

Jon Shapley for KUT

Yet another new high-rise condo complex could be coming to the Rainey Street neighborhood. But before it breaks ground, developers and residents are working to identify the top traffic needs in the area.  

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT News

We’ve all been there. You’re stopped at a red light, it finally turns green, but the driver in front of you doesn’t seem to notice and doesn’t pull forward. You watch helplessly as the light changes to yellow, then red.


Texas Department of Transportation

I-35 was closed for about nine hours overnight at Slaughter Lane so the Texas Department of Transportation could begin tearing down an almost 60-year old overpass. TxDOT opened the highway ahead of schedule Saturday at 8 a.m.

A closure of I-35 is scheduled again from 11 p.m. Saturday night to 10 a.m. Sunday morning, weather permitting. Drivers will be directed off the road at the Slaughter lane exit and can pass the area via the frontage road.

Don't Get Soaked by Buying a Flood-Damaged Car

May 11, 2016
Jocelyn Augustino/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

You may have noticed we've had a damp past few months. Of the many images from the recent downpours across Texas, few of those images communicate the depth of it all better than photos of capsized cars, up to their windshields in floodwaters. Even more dramatic is if your own vehicle has been flooded. Recently, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced it's stepping in to help compensate many of those who have lost their cars due to water damage.

Flickr/S Lowe (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

There's something about toll roads that just isn't very fun. It's probably that part where you have to pay to drive on them. Of course, we help pay for the roads we drive on through taxes and other fees – but it's more in your face when you roll through the toll plaza.

At least one Texas lawmaker is urging the state to pump the breaks.


Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Police in Van Zandt County, Texas, are offering a reward to find the suspected shooter of a 39-year-old man who authorities believe was shot as the result of a road rage incident. This report echoes a series of stories that have been making headlines across the state: from the Marine who shot a student in Denton because she refused his advances, to the viral video of two Austin motorists swinging bats and two-by-fours at each other.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

It’s been just over a year since the City of Austin’s hands-free ordinance went into effect and, in 2015, Austin Police officers cited more than 5,000 drivers in Austin for using devices while behind the wheel.

While that number may seem steep to some, it’s just the start, as APD plans to diversify enforcement efforts and work to integrate hand-held enforcement efforts into the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: The Texas Transportation Commission unveiled a$1.3 billion plan Wednesday targeted at reducing traffic congestion on some of the most clogged Texas roadways.

The plan calls for the Texas Department of Transportation to direct funds for 14 roadway projects specifically designed to relieve gridlock around the state's five largest cities: Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth.

Council Hears First Proposals for Vision Zero Plan

Dec 8, 2015
Callie Hernandez/KUT News

This year, Austin has seen more traffic deaths than any other year on record, with 92 people having died on the roadways in 2015 so far.

Last November, the Austin City Council commissioned the Vision Zero Task Force to find solutions for the perennial problem of traffic deaths, and Tuesday the task force outlined a draft of its proposals to the Austin City Council.

KUT News

Employees of a Colorado-based non-profit will soon move to Austin to begin studying the city’s various commuting woes as part of a partnership finalized Thursday.

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

Here’s a comforting thought: During your morning commute, there’s always one City of Austin employee watching you. Well, watching your car, at least, and the traffic you may or may not be stuck in.

Turns out, that employee may be getting some company in the future, as the city is now considering adding more people to its so-called Transportation Management Center.


I-35 in Austin Named the Most Congested Roadway in Texas

Nov 10, 2015
Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Austin drivers who complain about Interstate Highway 35 have been validated.

A new report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute named the stretch of I-35 between U.S. 290 N and SH 71 as the most congested roadway in Texas.

Image via Flickr/Juan Alvarez (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Earlier this year Pastor Gonzalez Sosa was pulled over for speeding in Caldwell County. Dash-cam audio from that traffic stop indicates both drivers spoke in Spanish during the stop.

Sosa was issued a citation, but his race was recorded as white.

 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr/KUT

Late last week, the number of traffic fatalities surpassed the total number of fatalities on Austin roads in all of last year. Currently, there have been 65 deaths with five months left in the year, compared to 63 in all of 2014. The previous peak for traffic fatalities over last few decades was in 2012, when the city saw 78 road deaths, but, this year, Austin is on track to exceed 100 deaths before the end of the year.

Below, you can view a map of the traffic deaths so far this year.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Austin’s roads are more dangerous than ever. The rate of fatal car crashes is nearly double what it’s been in previous years. It’s only July, and soon the city will have more traffic fatalities so far this year than we did during all of last year. These statistics alone paint a grim picture of road safety in Austin. 

But there's also a human face and voice behind each of these numbers. People like Tina-Michelle Pittsley, the victim of a near-fatal crash in Austin. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

The drenching rains that have fallen on Austin this year have provided sizable benefits: Reservoirs are recovering, lawns are green, and this summer will be cooler as a result. (Maybe a little more humid, too.)

But there are, of course, downsides to the rain, most notably the serious damage to lives and property from flooding. Austin’s infrastructure is taking a hit, too, and you don’t have to go far to find it. It’s right underneath you. 

Yes, we’re talking about potholes. Those holes in the road form thanks to two things: water and traffic, both of which Austin has plenty of lately.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Tens of thousands of bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts have descended upon Austin for this year's Republic of Texas Biker Rally, and tonight they'll swarm downtown for a procession that will shut down 54 square blocks.

The bikers will ride along a nearly ten-mile parade route stretching from the Travis County Expo Center all the way to the intersection of Congress and Cesar Chavez. The bikers at the end of the procession won't leave the Expo Center until the first bikers have already arrived at the end of the route.

Terrence Henry/KUT News

It’s one of the biggest bottlenecks in town, a place where cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians all squeeze into just four travel lanes, and where the University of Texas begins to merge with downtown – a street aptly named "The Drag."

flickr.com/photos/mrlaugh

Austin's downtown traffic flow will change starting next month. The City of Austin is converting Brazos Street from one way to a two way street between East Cesar Chavez and East Sixth streets. 

Austin Transportation Department Director Rob Spillar says a number of cities have gone through this process to slow traffic.

Via Mark Stevens, flickr.com/photos/14723335@N05/

From the Austin Monitor:

Plans to convert downtown’s Seventh, Eighth, Brazos and Colorado streets from one-way to two-way streets are underway.

On Monday, City Council’s Comprehensive Planning and Transportation Committee heard a presentation on a timeline for the change from acting Transportation Department Assistant Director Jim Dale.

“A lot of cities have gone through this process, of being two-way initially, then going to one-way to help move capacity to move a lot more vehicles,” said Dale. “But as we start to look at the pedestrian realm and looking at the complete streets … the two-way conversion does lend itself to a more pedestrian-friendly environment, with a tendency to slow down traffic.”

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