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.

Photo Illustration by Andrew Weber, Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin’s got a checkered past when it comes to digital road signs. The blinking roadway signs have been hacked a few times in the past to warn of zombies, to taunt the OU Sooners and to even pay tribute to the meme-launching death of Harambe. But the City of Austin Transportation Department has decided to harness that creative energy for good, by allowing anyone to submit safe-for-work language for road signs starting today.

Texas Transportation Institute

Researchers from the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute want to know more about Austinites' experiences with ride-hailing companies before and after Uber and Lyft left town.

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

Over the summer, the Austin City Council took a hard stance on criminal background checks for taxi drivers, eventually expanding them from a statewide check to a national one. But last week, council members reversed course on that decision.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Testimony included talk of a birthday.

“Ben turned 10 on Monday at a rehabilitation facility in Dallas,” Kathy Sokolic told members of the City Council Mobility Committee on Wednesday. As we’ve chronicled before, a car hit Sokolic’s nephew, Ben, outside his home in the Mueller neighborhood in September. He survived, but his injuries have left him unable to speak or walk.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Holding back tears, Kathy Sokolic told roughly 30 people seated outside City Hall the story of a bruised heart.

“On the evening of Sept. 12, our 9-year-old,” began Sokolic, before pausing to gather herself. “Our 9-year-old nephew, Ben, was hit by a truck on the residential street just feet from his home.”

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Uber does not have hard feelings about Prop 1.

In a forum hosted by the Austin Monitor, Glasshouse Policy and KUT on the patio of the Ginger Man bar downtown, a representative of the ride-hailing giant expressed regret about the tenor of the multimillion-dollar campaign waged by the company earlier this year. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

A new app’s looking to improve rides for Austin cyclists by using crowdsourced input on roads. Ride Report tracks a user’s bike route and surveys them on road and safety conditions after their ride’s concluded.

The app allows Austinites to plan trips throughout the city, providing suggestions on the best possible routes and conditions based on aggregate user data. After each ride, you can rate your commute “great” or “not great,” and those ratings feed the app’s so-called “stress map,” which color codes the best and worst roads and trails in the city according to the data. 

Downtown Austin Alliance

Streamlined technology and more expensive parking spaces – those are some of the recommendations of a new report that looks at improving parking in downtown Austin.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: Opting to go big, Austin voters on Tuesday night overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1, Mayor Steve Adler’s $720 million transportation bond package.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

One hundred and two people died on Austin’s roads last year – the most in the city’s recorded history. Now, Austin voters are now being asked to okay a $720 million bond to fund road improvements – bike lanes, sidewalks and urban trails. 


Daniel Reese for KUT News

After years of planning and consideration, a proposal to build a commuter rail line from Georgetown to San Antonio is now dead. The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) voted last night to remove the Lone Star Rail District from its long-range plan. 


Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

The first stretch of a toll lane project on MoPac opens Saturday more than a year behind schedule. The northbound, north end segment of the MoPac Express Lane will open from about 2222 to a mile before Parmer Lane. Tolls start at 25 cents and as traffic volume goes up, so will the tolls, with the goal of keeping that one lane flowing at a minimum speed of 45 miles per hour.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Traversing parts of North Lamar Boulevard as a bicyclist or pedestrian – or, even as a driver – can be alarming. The speed limit is high, and substantial barriers exist neither between pedestrians and cars nor between cars going north and those headed south.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: According to an Austin Monitor poll, the fate of the mobility bond is anyone’s guess.

The poll was sponsored by Perry Lorenz and conducted by Public Policy Polling. On Oct. 5 and 6, Public Policy Polling surveyed 585 Austin voters by phone about November’s $720 million transportation bond.

Courtesy of Chariot

A year-old partnership between the City of Austin and the Rocky Mountain Institute has yielded its first results: the Austin expansion of a ridesharing app called Chariot. The service works like a shuttle, with passenger-chosen routes. The first shuttle routes from Chariot will run between the downtown MetroRail stop and Whole Foods and ad agency GSD&M with fares of about $4 per person. More routes will be added as they are voted on through the Chariot app. 


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?


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