Transportation

Traffic, public transit, congestion, road construction and closures, I-35, MoPac, US 290, US 183, Ben White Blvd, and policy and planning issues related to transportation and mobility in Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson.

Courtesy Wire Austin

For years now, Austin designer Jared Ficklin has been preaching the gospel of urban cable – the concept of using gondolas whisking commuters and tourists to and from downtown, the airport, wherever, solving at least some of Austin’s transit woes.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

From the Austin Monitor:The price tag of Austin’s second-largest transportation bond proposal ever has been pegged at $720 million, but extra costs could pile as high as $20 million if voters approve the package in November.

The central piece of the plan calls for $482 million to be spent on projects along seven major corridors in town. Of those seven roadways, five include portions that are currently controlled and maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Spencer Selvidge for KUT News

Capital Metro has released the first draft of its Connections 2025 project. It’s an effort to redesign Austin’s public transit system over the next 10 years.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Mayor Steve Adler has christened a $720 million transportation bond the "Go Big Corridor Plan." So it begs the question, is this really that big? Seattle recently placed on a ballot a $54 billion transportation bond. But judging by other news reports, that number seems like an anomaly among municipal bond programs. 

Regardless, there's plenty to unpack when we discuss the "bigness" of this bond. 


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Members of the public have weighed in on Mayor Steve Adler’s $720 million transportation bond proposal, and council members have taken the first two of three votes needed to officially put the bond on a November ballot.

If voters approve the bond measure, it would mean an increase in property taxes of about $5 a month for the average homeowner in Austin.

So, what would the bond buy, exactly?


Delta canceled about 530 flights on Tuesday in addition to about 1,000 canceled a day earlier after a power outage in Atlanta brought down the company's computers, grinding the airline's operation virtually to a halt.

Seth Kaplan, who follows the airline industry, asks the question on everyone's mind: "If every small business on the corner can manage to keep its website running through a cloud-based server and all those sorts of things, why can't Delta Air Lines with all its resources manage to do that?"

Caleb Pritchard / Austin Monitor

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization gave the Lone Star Rail District (LSTAR) an all but fatal kick in the caboose on Monday night.

Members of the CAMPO Transportation Policy Board overwhelmingly voted to begin the process that will remove LSTAR from CAMPO’s long-range plan. The resolution also includes a request to the Texas Department of Transportation to pull funding for LSTAR’s ongoing environmental impact study. 

Callie Hernandez for KUT

Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s transportation bond proposal totals $720 million. At times, the Mayor has said Austin needs to “go big” on mobility.

But some transit activists are asking him to go bigger.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Lots of arguments were made for and against Austin's Proposition 1 ahead of the May election that ultimately sent Uber and Lyft packing.

But maybe the most compelling argument was the ever-present appeal to public safety – that the number of DWI arrests had dropped by nearly a quarter since Uber and Lyft rode into town in 2013. While that local number has been thoroughly raked over the coals (and even revised by APD), a new study suggests that the national impact of ride-hailing on drunk driving has been relatively moot.

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.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

While the Austin City Council rolls out a proposition that would build out bike-friendly infrastructure, Travis County leaders are continuing work of their own on a plan of their own to improve bicycle safety across the region.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Driving on the main lanes of I-35 can involve a lot of weaving, slowing and stopping. In the words of State Sen. Kirk Watson, it’s a mess. And it’s about to get even messier, at least for the next four years or so.


Sarah Jasmine Montgomery for KUT

Sharmar Mohamed Hassan doesn’t know the words in English to describe his bicycle. So he uses his native language, Somali, to tell me it’s a green road bike. And it’s his primary form of transportation in Austin — which, at times, can be a little touch-and-go.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Cars, buses and trucks idle at the four-way intersection at Guadalupe Street and West Dean Keeton Street. A horde of prospective students takes to the crosswalk, the timer counting down. 


Audrey McGlinchy / KUT

It looks like either way you slice it, there will be a mobility bond up for a public vote in November. The real question is, what will Austin voters be deciding on? 

Mayor Steve Adler has drafted one proposal, while Council Members Greg Casar and Leslie Pool have written another. And then there's Council member Ann Kitchen's proposal.  

Ride-Hailing Companies Bring Battle to the Legislature

Jun 8, 2016
Qiling Wang / The Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Representatives from Uber and Lyft urged lawmakers to adopt statewide regulations for the ride-hailing industry during a Texas Capitol hearing on Wednesday, citing what they called burdensome local ordinances that have driven them to leave Austin and other Texas cities.

The companies fielded pointed questions from members of the House Committee on Business and Industry about safety concerns and how local regulations, like those in Austin, impact their operations.

Jeff Heimsath for KUT

From the Austin Monitor: As City Council members careen toward their first chat with the public over a potentially massive mobility bond, a new proposal for light rail investment has risen up from the grassroots.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: Mayor Steve Adler has blasted into the middle of the ongoing conversation about a November mobility bond election by proposing an estimated $720 million package of projects along Austin’s most vital arterials.


KUT News

The Austin City Council has approved a plan aimed at eliminating deaths and serious injuries on the city’s roads by the year 2025.

The plan, called Vision Zero, is based on a philosophy developed in Sweden in the 1990s. The idea is to treat traffic crashes like smoking – basically, as a public health problem that can be prevented. Last year, Austin had 102 traffic deaths – its highest number ever. There have been more than 20 deaths so far this year.


Spencer Selvidge for KUT News

This week, Capital Metro is presenting the latest findings from its Connections 2025 study, which seeks to revamp Austin’s public transit system over the next 10 years.

The new report looks at how Capital Metro’s services fit in with changing demographics, and shows that while Austin’s transit ridership is higher than cities like Dallas and San Antonio, it’s still declining. 

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