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.

Emily Donahue, KUT News

The City of Austin says the number of vehicle crashes involving bikes and pedestrians has gone up over recent years.

In 2012, there were a total of 78 fatal crashes in Austin – a 42 percent increase from 2011. A third of those 78 crashes killed pedestrians. Three were fatal crashes involving bikes.

Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Yesterday, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute released results of its study that suggests voice-to-text phone apps or voice devices used in the car are as dangerous as texting and driving. 

Today, lawmakers in the Senate Transportation Committee heard testimony related to a bill by State Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, that would make it a statewide offense to text and drive.

Flickr, David Barrie http://www.flickr.com/photos/addictive_picasso/80085483/

Remember the Sequester? The across-the-board federal budget cuts? Get ready to start feeling the effects the next time you fly. Delays at the Austin airport could become noticeable as soon as Tuesday.

For air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration, mandatory furloughs are in effect: a forced day off for every pay period. That means fewer controllers working airport control towers.

A computer glitch in the reservations system at American Airlines caused all of the carrier's flights to be grounded for at least two hours on Tuesday.

"American's reservation and booking tool, Sabre is offline," American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan told Reuters in an email. "We're working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."

NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the outage was announced about 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Ben Philpott, KUT News

Governor Rick Perry says that he would support using a portion of the sales tax from car sales on roads, highways and other transportation infrastructure.

“With the rapid growth of our population and our healthy economy, the amount we take in on those sales are increasing steadily,” Perry said during the Texas Lyceum Conference on Transportation in Austin.  “I propose that we dedicate the future growth in sales tax collected on motor vehicles to transportation infrastructure.”

flickr.com/rabski

Road closures this weekend will keep drivers away from city hall and a few roads surrounding the University of Texas at Austin. Art City Austin and the Longhorn Run are both this weekend.

Art City Austin is pitched as a hybrid of an art festival and a block party. The festival features an outdoor art fair, local food trailers, live music and more. Volunteers are still needed.

Callie Hernandez, KUT News

Reducing morning traffic congestion is just one of many ideas that will be discussed Friday at the Texas Lyceum conference in Austin. The non-profit, non-partisan statewide group is hosting a summit on transportation.

Among the featured speakers is Dennis Christiansen. He’s director of the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University. Christiansen says more roads aren’t the only answer.

Map Data @2013 Google

Update: The frontage road to the west of I-35 in Kyle will begin transitioning to one-way this morning and continue through Friday, April 12. 

The I-35 frontage road's repainting and repaving is expected to take only one day. and will be changed to handle only southbound traffic.

City of Georgetown https://airport.georgetown.org

The federal government is delaying the closure of 149 airport control towers to deal with a lawsuit filed by companies that operate the towers under contract.

The first closures had been scheduled for Sunday.

In Texas, towers at smaller airports, including those in San Marcos and Georgetown, got emergency funding this week from the Texas Transportation Commission to stay open for 90 days.

flickr.com/tina_kolesnik

The Austin-American Statesman's Capitol 10k run will result in many road closures downtown and around the Capitol this Sunday. 

Some road closures will begin at 3 a.m. and last at late as 12 p.m. and include part of Congress Avenue. For a more details, check out this map by the Statesman.

KUT News

Update: Capital Metro says MetroRail service is back up and running as normal this morning – all the way from Leander to downtown Austin.

Derailed freight cars have been removed from the tracks.

Original Story (April 4, 2013): CapMetro has resumed MetroRail service to the MLK station from their Kramer, Howard and Leander Stations. Trains will run as schedule for the foreseeable future while buses will shuttle passengers between MLK and downtown.

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

It’s no secret Interstate 35 congestion takes a toll on Austinites.

Out of a list of Texas’ 100 most congested roadways, the portion of I-35 running through central Austin is the fourth most congested in the state. Meanwhile, State Highway 130, out east of I-35, is open for business.

Matt Largey, KUT News

Austin is keeping busy this weekend — which means there are a few road closures event and non-event goers alike should look out for.

The Austin Urban Music Festival is coming back to Auditorium Shores this weekend. This year, the two-day festival is featuring musical guests such as Brandy and Anthony Hamilton. Tickets are still available online.

Wikimedia Commons, bit.ly/173mBPJ

Traffic just got a little faster on some highway roads outside of Austin.

The Texas Department of Transportation announced Thursday the increase of speed limits on a few segments of U.S. Highway 183 and State Highway 130 frontage roads.

Joy Diaz, KUT News

More than a dozen streets in Austin are about to be invaded with bulldozers whose mission is to re-shape them. Once the streets are re-worked, the hope is they will in turn help slow down the drivers who use them. On the first week of April, the city will unveil which so-called “traffic calming” projects it will fund.

Twice a year, Austin’s Transportation Renee Orr reviews dozens of applications from Austinites who believe their streets would be safer if there were a way to make drivers slow down.

courtesy city of San Marcos

With Georgetown and San Marcos losing their air traffic control towers due to sequestration-related budget cuts, one private aviation business owner is concerned the impact could be harmful to Austin and Central Texas.

Last week, the FAA announced 149 air traffic control towers across the country would be closed down. This does not mean entire airport closures. But Jay Carpenter, secretary of the Texas Aviation Association, told KUT News last week that the closures just make the airports less safe. 

Joy Diaz, KUT News

On any given day, thousands of bicyclists ride through and park their bikes at the congested UT Austin campus. Some people choose to ride their bikes because finding parking for a car when there are more than 50,000 students plus faculty and staff competing for limited space is tough - so tough in fact, that even some visitors choose to bike to campus.

But many are unaware of a new restriction on visiting cyclists.

Daniel Reese

The capital area’s transportation planning authority, known as CAMPO, is made up of representatives from Austin and five counties of Central Texas. Now CAMPO is considering bringing on a seventh member, Burnet County.

The Austin City Council will vote today on whether it wants to approve Burnet County’s request to join (PDF). The equation might seem simple: As part of the region, Burnet County should have a say in the region’s transportation needs. But with a cacophony of voices speaking for CAMPO, no decision is straightforward.

KUT News

Some airline passengers at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will soon be able to move through security lines faster. The Transportation Security Administration's pre-screening program starts Tuesday at ABIA.

Pre-check allows qualified, pre-screened passengers benefits, such as keeping their shoes and light jackets on when going through security.

flickr.com/atmtx

Hopefully you're wearing green tomorrow – and not planning to drive along 4th Street.

All day on Sunday, West Fourth Street from Colorado to Lavaca is fully closed to car traffic for a St. Patrick's Day Festival. Fado's Irish Pub is hosting the festival, and attendees will enjoy music, food, some liquor and a lot of beer.

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