Transportation

Transportation
1:59 pm
Wed February 23, 2011

Parts of Highways 130 & 45 Toll Free This Weekend

Traffic on I-35 could be a headache this weekend, because of work at Ben White Blvd. So TxDOT is making parts of the toll road network toll-free this Saturday to relieve the stress.
Image by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

The Texas Department of Transportation will waive tolls on segments of SH 130 and SH 45 this Saturday, while crews shut down I-35 at the Ben White Freeway (SH-71).

Tolls won't be collected on SH 45 Southeast, SH 130 and a portion of SH 45 North, near Round Rock and Pflugerville between 6:00 a.m. Saturday and 6:00 a.m. Sunday, according to TxDOT spokesman John Hurt. 

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Transportation
10:35 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Capital Metro Plans MetroRail Disaster Drill

Capital Metro plans to conduct a MetroRail emergency drill tonight
Callie Hernandez for KUT News

If you see something that looks like a commuter train wreck in Williamson County tonight, it's only a test.  Capital Metro will conduct an emergency drill involving the MetroRail commuter service starting at 8:00 p.m. this evening somewhere between Leander and Lakeline stations.

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Transportation
4:44 pm
Thu February 10, 2011

I-35 Will Be Closed This Weekend At US 290/SH 71


View US 290 & I-35 Shutdown Fri-Sun in a larger map

Give yourself extra time this weekend if you plan to drive on Interstate 35 near Ben White. The Texas Department of Transportation is closing a stretch of the highway from Friday night until Monday morning to conduct work on ramps linking I-35 with US 290/SH 71.  Traffic will be diverted along the frontage roads.

The map above shows how traffic will be affected. Red lines are closures. Blue lines are closed to through traffic, important to know if you're trying to plan a route around the traffic mess.

Southbound lanes are scheduled to close around 10 pm on Friday.  Northbound lanes will close at 1 am Friday. Everything is supposed to reopen before 5 am on Monday morning.

Here's a more detailed explanation from the city's website.

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cold weather
2:25 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Cold Weather Could Slow Afternoon Traffic

Image Courtesy of Solar Images. http://www.flickr.com/photos/solarimages/

Cold weather and power outages could snarl rush hour traffic this afternoon.  Some intersections, like the one at 6th and Lamar, were backed up for blocks because traffic lights went out.  City official recommend driving with caution.

"They're going to come across some signals that are dark," City of Austin Public Works spokesperson Sarah Hartley told KUT News. "Maneuver them the same way they would a four way stop sign. It's going to be just like your good old traffic education that you learned when you got your license. If it's a four-way stop, the people on your right are the first to go and just alternating turns."

As the power gets restored in each intersection, the stoplight initially flashes red before returning to its normal light cycle.

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cold weather
12:44 pm
Wed February 2, 2011

Some Flight Disruptions at ABIA

Photo by KUT.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is seeing some flight delays and cancelations in the midst of the arctic weather impacting much of the U.S.  Several flights have been delayed up to several hours, and at least a few departing flights have been canceled. 

Remember to call your airline or check your flights online before you head to the airport.

Transportation
11:13 am
Fri January 28, 2011

Panel Calls For Switching I-35 With SH 130 In Central Texas And Increasing Rail Transport

This map shows one proposal from the I-35 Corridor Advisory Committee set up by TxDOT.
Image courtesy TxDOT

To ease congestion in Central Texas, the state should switch part of I-35 with SH 130, remove tolls on 130 and add two tolled lanes on I-35. That's the recommendation contained in a report by an advisory panel to the Texas Department of Transportation.

The I-35 Corridor Advisory Committee’s recommendation involves the following actions:

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Transportation
4:16 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

Avoid Oltorf Between I-35 And East Side Drive This Weekend

Heads up from the City of Austin. You won't be able to drive west on Oltorf this weekend from I-35. You will be able to drive east but traffic could be slower than usual.  Here's the full release.

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Transportation
1:03 pm
Wed January 26, 2011

TxDOT Head Retiring

Amadeo Saenz, Jr. has been executive director of TxDOT since 2007
Image courtesy Texas Department of Transportation

TxDOT's executive director will retire later this year.

A spokesperson at the Texas Department of Transportation confirms for KUT News that Amadeo Saenz, Jr. will retire from the agency on August 31.  A three-member restructuring council of experts presented a report to the Texas Transportation Commission earlier this month.  In it, the group recommended sweeping executive changes at TxDOT, in an effort to regain the trust of the public and the legislature.  But the spokesperson did not say whether the report contributed to Saenz's decision.

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Transportation
1:12 pm
Thu January 20, 2011

ZipCar Starts Hourly Rental Service on Campus

ZipCar starts its car rental service on campus. One of the ZipCar’s parking spots is located near the Jester Residence Hall.
Photo by KUT

Wondering why those green signs are taking up parking spots on the UT campus? That’s ZipCar and they are now on campus. It’s similar to the Car2Go car-sharing program in Austin. ZipCar is also on the Baylor and Rice University campuses.

Students, faculty, staff and community members can rent out a ZipCar vehicle. You’ve probably seen them parked at Gregory Gym and near some dorms. The company rents out full-sized vehicles like trucks and mid-sized sedans. Cars can be rented from an hour to as long as four days.

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Transportation
9:46 am
Fri December 31, 2010

Tell The City What You Think About Extending Parking Meter Hours

Callie Hernandez/KUT News

If you're driving downtown for New Year's Eve celebrations, you'll be able to park on the street for free after 5:30 p.m. That would change to midnight under a proposal being considered by the city, and local officials want to know what you think about it.
Outside of downtown, the change would see street parking meters remain in effect from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. instead of the current hours of 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

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Transportation
9:56 am
Tue December 28, 2010

Flights Still Canceled At Austin Airport

A few flights are still canceled at ABIA after a winter blizzard blanketed the northeast with snow.
Image by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The two-day winter storm has ended in the northeast, but the effort to dig out from the snow is still going strong. Some flights to the region from Austin are still being canceled and the Wall Street Journal reports that it could take days to clear the backlog of travelers.

Several factors stood to delay a full resumption of flights, including the need to plow gates and get airport staff and flight crews back in place.

….

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Transportation
2:00 pm
Fri December 24, 2010

There Are Practically A Billion Ways To Track Santa Claus Online

Image courtesy Lady Dragonfly CC http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladydragonflyherworld/

Probably no surprise that the guy credited with distributing gifts to millions of kids is getting more tech savvy. Here are some ways to track Santa's flight path on the WWW.

The official NORAD Santa Tracker is going mobile. Not only can you follow Saint Nick's path on their website, but you can also follow his progress on your cell phone by visiting noradsanta.org or doing a search for "Santa" on your smartphone's Google Maps app.

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Transportation
12:47 pm
Wed December 22, 2010

Economy Airport Parking Getting Scarce

As of 12:30pm Wednesday, four economy parking lots at ABIA were already full
Image courtesy Austin Bergstrom International Airport

With apologies to Clement Moore, "'Twas three days before Christmas, and all through the lots, not a creature was stirring, 'cause there weren't any spots."

The economy parking lots at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport are getting full fast.  As of 12:30 Wednesday afternoon, four of the six lots regular economy lots were already full.

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Transportation
1:15 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

Cedar Park City Council Abandons Bus Service Deal

Proposed Cedar Park bus service route map from CapMetro

No new Capital Metro bus service will start in Cedar Park next month after the Austin suburb's city council voted 3-3 last night on the proposal. The stalemate meant council would not take action to approve the approximately $80,000 that Cedar Park would have to pay Cap Metro for the one year pilot.

"One of my main concerns was that CapMetro receives funding from the federal government because of the population of City of Cedar Park," Council Member Tony Dale told KUT News in explaining why he opposed the deal.

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Transportation
4:10 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

Goodbye Free Downtown Parking?

Image courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/

Our buddy over at the Austin Business Journal, Jacob Dirr, is reporting that the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) wants you to pay for parking downtown until midnight and end free parking on Saturdays.  ATD also wants to extend meter enforcement citywide from 5:30 p.m. until 6 p.m., reports the ABJ.

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Transportation
3:41 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

ZipCar Hourly Vehicle Rentals Coming To UT-Austin

A ZipCar in Washington DC. The company is bringing its hourly car rental service to the UT campus next month.
Image courtesy citta-vita http://www.flickr.com/photos/koshalek/

Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Texas at Austin will be able to rent one of eight ZipCar vehicles positioned throughout campus starting in mid-January. ZipCar is a private company that rents full sized cars on an hourly basis.

ZipCar will be competing with Car2Go, which rents tiny smart cars. Car2Go was only available to city workers for a year under a pilot program. It now offers car rentals to everyone in the city.

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Transportation
3:09 pm
Fri December 10, 2010

Austin Traffic Fatalities 20 Percent Lower This Year

MoPac as seen from the Far West bridge/overpass. Traffic fatalities in Austin are 20 percent lower compared to this time last year, APD says.
Image courtesy mirsasha http://www.flickr.com/photos/mirsasha/

The Austin Police Department just announced the 47th and 48th traffic fatalities of the year.  This time last year, there had been 58 traffic deaths reported in Austin. It's a decrease of about 20 percent.

The 47th fatality was a 76-year-old man who crossed the center line while driving down Anderson Mill Road and smashed into another vehicle just after 4 pm yesterday. Police don't believe alcohol or speed was a factor.

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Transportation
3:38 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Google Map Shows Where CapMetro Buses Could Run In Cedar Park

This map shows roughly where the proposed new line would run, but a Google Map (link below) shows it in much greater detail.
Image courtesy CapMetro

Austin's public transit agency Capital Metro has announced that it will begin a one-year trial service to the exurb of Cedar Park.

Cedar Park City Council still has to vote on the measure at its next meeting on December 16. Under the deal, Cedar Park and Austin Community College would pay CapMetro almost $117,000.

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Transportation
4:04 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Austin Flight Involved In Near Miss At Boston Airport Over Thanksgiving

A plane touches down at Logan International Airport in Boston. Officials released flight control video yesterday showing how an Austin flight was involved in a near miss on the runway over Thanksgiving.
Image courtesy Pylon757 http://www.flickr.com/photos/10037058@N08/

This happened on November 24, but news organizations are just getting air traffic control video showing how a flight from Austin narrowly missed disaster at Boston Logan International Airport.

JetBlue flight 1264 arrived safely with 91 passengers on board, but the pilot turned right instead of left while taxiing to the gate, reports WCVB Boston.

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Transportation
11:31 am
Tue December 7, 2010

Bridge Demolition Will Shut I-35 Overnight in Buda

TxDOT will begin demolishing a bridge over I-35 (not this one) tonight, and it means overnight shutdowns of I-35 near Buda.
Image courtesy splorp http://www.flickr.com/photos/splorp/

Some crucial traffic information if you're planning on driving along I-35 in Hays County: The Texas Department of Transportation says it will close all northbound lanes near Buda exit 217 from 8 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Wednesday.  Traffic will be rerouted along access roads.

TxDOT says they'll repeat the whole procedure with the southbound lanes on Wednesday night during the same time frame. Northbound lanes will not close Wednesday night.

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