Transportation

Transportation
11:23 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Urban Rail Prototype Displayed

People got a chance to climb aboard the possible future of Austin's mass transit system on Thursday. Kinkisharyo, a Japanese-based streetcar manufacturer, is taking its new prototype on an American tour.

The streetcar runs on a combination of power from batteries and overhead wires, storing energy when the train brakes and eliminating the need for overhead wires in parts of the route, Kinkisharyo project manager Bill Kleppinger said.

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traffic
12:21 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Report: Red Light Cameras Stop Crashes

Photo by mirsasha http://www.flickr.com/photos/mirsasha/

Red light cameras can cause traffic accidents at intersections to drop by 25 percent, according to a new study by the traffic scientists at Texas A&M’s Texas Transportation Institute.

Red light cameras are installed at 275 intersections across Texas. They automatically snap photos of cars that run red lights. The drivers are sent a ticket in the mail.

The traffic-ologists at TTI examined 11,000 crash records from all those red light camera intersections. They found that red light crashes dropped by a quarter, and right-angle or “T-bone” crashes plummeted by 32 percent.

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Transportation
11:15 am
Fri July 29, 2011

Gas Price Surge Slows As Oil Firms Announce Big Profits

Erik Reyna, KUT News

For the past few weeks, gas prices have been ticking up by between a nickel and a dime a gallon. But the latest price report from AAA shows the rate of increase may be slowing. The average price of regular unleaded rose by only 1.7 cents last week.

A gallon of gas in Austin is an average of $3.602 today. A week ago it was selling at $3.585. Still a lot more than what we were paying a year ago, when regular unleaded was $2.563 per gallon.

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Transportation
12:05 pm
Tue July 26, 2011

Public Comments on Travis County Bond Proposal

The Travis County roads and parks bond proposal includes money to build more sidewalks and road improvements. Photo by KUT News.

Travis County residents are giving County Commissioners their two cents at a public hearing on the county bond package proposal. The proposal, unveiled last week, is a $206 million bond of 36 various transportation, park and utility line projects. This bond is an abbreviated list from an earlier proposal that of about $638 million.

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Traffic
12:46 pm
Wed July 20, 2011

Extension of Downtown Parking Meter Hours Could Be Further Delayed

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The extension of downtown parking meters was already delayed once, from August 1 to September 6, because of delays in equipment orders. But now politics could push that date back even further.

The new rules would extend downtown parking meter hours to run from 8 am until midnight from Monday through Saturday. Currently, meters run from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm.

The extension would also affect meters throughout Austin. Outside the downtown core, meters would run from 8 am until 6 pm.

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Transportation
10:44 am
Mon July 18, 2011

Bankruptcy Halts Construction on MoPac/US 290 Flyovers

Two flyover ramps were being constructed to complete this interchange in southwest Austin.

Drivers looking forward to the completion of two flyover bridges linking MoPac and US 290 will have to wait a few extra months. The contractor building the bridges, Las Vegas-based Wiser Construction, has declared bankruptcy.

“I think they just realized they were in over their head,” Texas Department of Transportation spokesman John Hurt told KUT News.

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Transportation
11:19 am
Wed July 13, 2011

Cap Metro To Examine Naming Rights

Capital Metro's Audit and Finance Committee will look at hiring a consultant to see if selling naming rights to rail stations and park and ride lots would generate more agency revenue.
Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Tight budget times have agencies, companies, families, everybody… looking for creative ways to either spend less money or make more. Capital Metro’s starting to explore that “make more money” option.

The transit agency hired a consultant to look into the value of the naming rights to its rail and “park and ride” stops.  Cap Metro’s Audit and Finance Committee’s meeting at 12 noon today to start talking about the naming rights option, and to see much they might be able to make off the venture. 

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Transportation
2:04 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

Weekend Road Closure Round-Up

Photo by Jesse Wang for KUT News

It's another busy weekend in Austin, but before you hit the roads here’s a round-up of road closures and other traffic news for this weekend.

Construction continues this evening on several connecting fly-over ramps at the intersection of I-35 and Ben White Boulevard. The southbound I-35 frontage road will be closed between the intersections of the eastbound and westbound US 290 frontage roads.

Traffic will be diverted down the US 290 frontage road to the turnaround at Congress Avenue. Ben White Boulevard will also be narrowed between Burleson Road and South Congress Avenue to allow one lane of traffic in each direction.

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Transportation
12:03 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

I-35/Ben White Closures Nearly Done?

This illustration shows where the new connector ramps are being constructed at I-35 and Ben White Boulevard (SH-71).
Photo courtesy of TxDOT

As drivers cope with yet another closure around Ben White Boulevard (SH-71) and I-35 this weekend, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

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Transportation
5:01 pm
Wed July 6, 2011

Deal Struck On Mexican Trucks In U.S.

Photo by Flickr user pantagrapher

U.S. and Mexican authorities today signed an agreement that will allow trucks from both countries to carry goods far beyond the border separating the two.

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Traffic
10:50 am
Wed June 29, 2011

W Hotel Lane Closures and Rush Hour Water Fight This Afternoon

This map shows lane closures around the W Hotel and the location of a "flash mob" rush hour water fight.

After glass fell from the W Hotel for the third time in just over two weeks yesterday, the city is taking no chances and is closing lanes around the building until further notice. But one of the alternative routes also happens to be where a group of people are planning an impromptu water fight during rush hour.

From the Austin Transportation Department, here are the closures:

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traffic
4:58 pm
Fri June 24, 2011

Weekend Construction Will Shut Ben White, Not I-35

This is the area where a Ben White Blvd./US 290 closure begins this evening.

Work on a flyover ramp will require shutting Ben White Blvd. this weekend, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. But unlike previous weekends, the closure will not affect I-35. You can see the affected area in the map above. For a more detailed view, check out TxDOT’s map here.

The Ben White Blvd/US 290 closure is scheduled to start around 8 o’clock tonight. Everything is supposed to return to normal by Sunday morning.

Transportation
5:02 pm
Fri June 17, 2011

Road Closures on Ben White and I35

View Ben White Closure in a larger map

Construction on Ben White Freeway interchange will begin at 8 p.m. tonight, and last till Sunday morning. TxDOT will divert west-bound traffic on to east-bound lanes configuring one lane in each direction for about two miles.

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Transportation
12:54 pm
Wed June 8, 2011

Water Work on Walsh Tarlton Begins This Weekend

Lane closures and detours will affect Walsh Tarlton north of Loop 360.
Image courtesy Google Maps.

The City of Austin is warning drivers to be aware of lane closures and detours beginning this Saturday, due to water main work in the area of Walsh Tarlton Lane and Loop 360 - near the Barton Creek Square Mall. The detours will last through the rest of the summer, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. 

From the City:

traffic
1:07 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

I-35 Closed Again Tonight at Ben White Blvd.

This map shows the detour routes in green and the closures in red.

Interstate 35 at Ben White Blvd. will be closed again this weekend for construction work on flyovers intended to connect I-35 with US 290. 

Here’s what will happen as of 8 pm tonight, according to the Texas Department of Transportation:

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Transportation
4:16 pm
Thu June 2, 2011

Weekend Closure at Rio Grande and 24th Streets

View Rio Grande and 24th St. Closure in a larger map

It might be harder to cruise around West Campus this weekend when a major intersection shuts down for construction.

Beginning on Friday at 9 am, the intersection at Rio Grande St. and 24th St. will be closed and will not reopen until Monday at 6 am. The street is being closed because crews are working on water lines, storm drains and road reconstruction.

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traffic
12:17 pm
Thu June 2, 2011

Lane Reductions Until September on Riverside Dr. at S. 1st St.

View Riverside lane reduction June-Sept 2011 in a larger map

It might be disgusting to visualize, but the sewer lines serving downtown are at capacity, and now the city is building another tunnel to relieve central Austin of all its “wastewater”. For drivers, that means lane closures on Riverside Dr. at S. 1st St. until September.

The closures will reduce east bound traffic on Riverside to one lane from the traffic circle in front of the Long Center all the way to S. 1st St. Two lanes will be open westbound.

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Traffic
12:52 pm
Wed June 1, 2011

South Congress Repaving Project Delayed

View South Congress repaving in a larger map

Update at 12:48 pm: The City of Austin has announced it is delaying a repaving project on S. Congress Ave. by as much as a week. Work crews found problems with water lines feeding into the 12-inch water main that runs under S. Congress Ave, and those must now be repaired. The repaving project was going to cause lane closures, and now repairs to water infrastructure will create some construction slowdowns.

"Right now we're looking at [delays] of anywhere from a couple of days to a week, depending on how long it takes the water utility to complete those repairs," Public Works spokesperson Sara Hartley told KUT News.

Harley says the city will revaluate the repaving schedule, and expects to issue a revised timeline later this week.

Earlier: Give yourself a little extra time if you have to drive down S. Congress Ave. between now and mid-July. The City of Austin is re-paving a stretch the road from Riverside Dr. to Oltorf St. Starting today, northbound lanes will be reduced from 8:30 am to 7 pm. Southbound lane closures will be in effect from 7 am until 4 pm.

The city is re-paving the road in portions, starting first with a stretch between Oltorf St. and Annie St. and gradually moving north. The construction will be completed in three phases, as indicated by the different colors on the map.

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Transportation
2:44 pm
Tue May 31, 2011

No Racetrack Yet, But F1 is Financing Roads in Travis County

The site of a planned F1 racetrack in East Austin.
Photo courtesy of Full Throttle Productions.

A proposed Formula One racetrack southeast of Austin is not a done deal, but that hasn't stopped F1 from helping to fund upgrades to a road that would lead to the track.

Tuesday, Travis County Commissioners voted to accept $375,000 from Circuit of the Americas LLC, to use for improvements to FM 812. Those upgrades would prepare the road for heavier traffic on race days at the as-yet-unbuilt racetrack.

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transportation
3:05 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Austin Gas Prices Drop Ahead of Long Weekend

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

We’re still just 25 cents shy of the all-time gas price record for the Austin metro area, but the price for a gallon of regular unleaded dropped nine cents from this time last week.  

The latest fuel price report from AAA Texas says gas is selling for an average $3.72 in the Austin-San Marcos region. That compares with $3.81 last Thursday. The highest recorded average price was $3.975 back in July 2008.

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