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Austin Mobility News: Jan. 21, 2020

Your weekly news update from the City of Austin Transportation Department
Illustration of Austin skyline, with people traveling by bus, car, bike, scooter, and foot in the foreground.
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In this week's edition:

Officials discuss Project Connect mass transit financing options

project connect and asmp logos on a green background
Austin City Council and the Capital Metro Board of Directors met last week in a joint work session to further discuss how to implement Project Connect to achieve the goal to increase transit use in Austin from 4% to 16% by 2039 set by the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan.

During the work session, City of Austin and Capital Metro finance staff each gave a presentation about their current finances and some potential methods available to locally fund a large investment in a high capacity transit system, including a potential public referendum in November, 2020.
 
The Capital Metro presentation included information about cost considerations, opportunities for federal investment and a transit system analysis that summarized potential system elements and overall ridership.

Community members can review the recorded work session on ATXN and presentation and transcript available now.
 
The next joint work session is planned to continue the discussion on a potential investment program recommendation. Keep an eye on the Austin City Council meeting information center for time and location updates for the next joint meeting.
  • Date: Wednesday, March. 9
  • Time: TBD
  • Place: TBD

Austin now ticketing and towing vehicles parked in bike-only lanes

Photo of street with bike lane and sign that indicates no parking in bike lane.

Community can report vehicles parked in bike lanes via 3-1-1 app

Austin Transportation has begun assigning parking enforcement officers to ticket and tow vehicles illegally parked in designated bike-only lanes. The City plans to expand enforcement in the coming months to improve safety for all travelers. 
 
“Parking in a bike-only lane compels cyclists to enter general travel lanes, which greatly increases the chances of a deadly or serious crash,” said Robert Spillar, P.E., Director for Austin Transportation. “Keeping our bike lanes clear makes our streets safer for both cyclists and motorists alike.”
 
Austin Transportation also included a new reporting tool in the City’s 3-1-1 mobile app that allows individuals to quickly and easily report vehicles blocking bike lanes.
 
Residents can call 3-1-1 or use the 3-1-1 mobile app to report cars parked in designated bike lanes. Austin Transportation's Parking Division will dispatch enforcement officers to locations of reported violations and officers will issue citations and tow illegally parked vehicles.
 
The move to dedicate parking officers to bike lane enforcement is aligned with Vision Zero, which seeks to achieve zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Austin roadways. 
 
“This increased enforcement will allow bicyclists of all ages and abilities to enjoy our city’s bike network with less risk of being hit by a driver,” said Lewis Leff, Transportation Safety Officer for Austin Transportation. “Providing bicyclists with clear lanes of travel also improves predictability and order on our transportation network, which makes our streets safer for everyone regardless of their mobility preference.”  
 
Fines for obstructing a bike-only lane can be up to $300 and the cost to redeem a towed vehicle the same day of impoundment is around $193.
 
Learn more about the Austin Bicycle Program at AustinTexas.Gov/Bicycle and learn more about Vision Zero at AustinTexas.Gov/VisionZero.

Ford and Austin Transportation to announce City:One Challenge winner

An invitation to the City:One Challenge finale event powered by Ford Mobility taking place at 7CO located at 1501 E. 7th St. from 6-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21.
Ford Mobility and Austin Transportation will announce the winner of the City:One Austin Challenge at an event in East Austin today and celebrate all of the challenge participants. All are welcome to attend and can register here. The Austin Transportation Smart Mobility Office and Ford Mobility have worked together over several months to conduct the City:One Challenge, an effort to identify projects that both provide immediate improvements in how Austin community members get around and support long-term mobility. Project submissions are eligible to win $100,000 in funding for individuals to test and deploy their idea in 2020.

During the initial explore phase of the program, the community-led innovation program team met to discuss how improved mobility and transportation could make it easier for East Austin community members to live a healthier life. After several community sessions, one on one interviews, and a lot of research, the Austin City:One team gathered that information into four major opportunity areas. To read about each of those opportunity areas in depth, review the full Austin Challenge Report.

The team then opened a proposal phase to anyone with an idea to address one of those opportunities. In total over 150 proposals were received and the top 12 finalists were selected. The 12 finalists moved into a refine phase of the Challenge. During this phase each finalist met with mentors in innovation and experts in equity to help them build out their ideas before resubmitting their proposals. Read the 12 finalists' proposal submissions.

Attend a North University-Heritage-Rosedale Neighborhood Bikeways Open House on Jan. 30

Map depicting the North University-Heritage-Rosedale Neighborhood Bikeways project limits. Text reads: "Join us for a neighborhood bikeways open house! Ven La Reunion Publica de Negihborhhod Bikeways! Thursday, Jan. 30, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. (Swing by anytime!) Bryker Woods Elementary 3309 Kerbey Lane
Austin Transportation is evaluating local streets in Central Austin neighborhoods as a network of proposed neighborhood bikeways. Neighborhood bikeways are local streets where motor vehicle traffic speeds and volumes are kept low to make it safer and more comfortable to bicycle, walk, and play. Join us at the open house to review a preliminary design and have your questions answered by project staff!
  • Date: Thursday, January 30
  • Time: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. (Swing by anytime!)
  • Place: Bryker Woods Elementary– Cafeteria
    (3309 Kerbey Lane)
All open house materials, including an online survey for the public to provide feedback, will be available on the project website on Jan. 30. Visit AustinTexas.gov/NUHR-Bikeways to learn more about the project goals and proposed changes.

Smart Trips Austin to relaunch in new area this spring

A map of North Austin indicating the Allandale, Brentwood, Coronado Hills, Crestview, Highland, North SHoal Creek, St. Johns and Wooten neighborhoods.
Smart Trips Austin is a program designed to help Austinites find transportation solutions that work for everyday trips. This year, Smart Trips Austin will include the Allandale, Brentwood, Highland, St. Johns, Coronado Hills, North Shoal Creek, Crestview and Wooten neighborhoods. The program is expected to launch late spring and last until late November. Program staff will begin engaging with these communities this winter.

Whether it’s riding the bus, carpooling, biking, walking, or trying one of our city’s ever-expanding mobility options, Smart Trips can help you get around—and avoid traffic in the process. The program is a partnership between the City of Austin and Capital Metro to encourage residents to explore new ways to get around with their friends, families and neighbors.

Smart Trips emphasizes different neighborhoods around Austin throughout the year. However, all Austinites can attend and participate in the free events and receive local transportation information, travel passes and promos, and-one-on one commuting consultations. If you live in the upcoming program area and want to suggest an event or partner with Smart Trips, please reach out to info@smarttripsaustin.org.
 
For those who participated in last year’s Smart Trips Eastside program, the top five bicycle routes are now available as handy DIY Bike Ride Maps. Download them here for beginner-friendly routes you can ride on your own or with friends and family.

Calendar Corner: Jan. 21 - 26, 2020

Bicycle Advisory Council

The Bicycle Advisory Council will receive a briefing regarding the Land Development Code revision and consider approving recommendations regarding Stassney Lane, South Pleasant Valley Road, Cameron Road, and 183 South.
  • Date: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Place: Austin City Hall
    (301 W. 2nd St.)

Bluebonnet Lane Open House

As part of the 2016 Mobility Bond, the Bikeways, Corridor and Safe Routes to School programs are evaluating Bluebonnet Lane from Del Curto Road to Melridge Place and Melridge Place from Bluebonnet Lane to Rabb Road for changes to enhance the safety and mobility of everyone who uses these streets. Join us at the open house to review a preliminary design and have your questions answered by project staff!
  • Date: Thursday, January 23
  • Time: 6 – 7 p.m.
  • Place: Zilker Elementary – Cafeteria
     (1900 Bluebonnet Lane)
All open house materials, including an online survey for public feedback, will be available on the project website on Jan. 23. Visit AustinTexas.gov/BluebonnetLn to learn more about the project background, project goals and proposed changes.
 

About the City of Austin Transportation Department

The City of Austin Transportation Department works to provide the safest and most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable roadways, bikeways and walkways for all Austinites and visitors. Core services include transportation engineering, arterial management, signal timing, signs and markings, active transportation and street design, right of way permitting, development services, special events and more.

In collaboration with area partners, the department leads our community’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries on Austin streets, the achievement of a 50/50 commute type split by 2039 as established in the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, and actively seeks innovative solutions and piloting technology that can decrease the use of single-occupancy vehicles and improve safety through Austin Transportation Department's Smart Mobility Office. For details, please visit AustinTexas.gov/Transportation.
City of Austin Transportation Department
901 S. MoPac Expressway
Building 5, Suite 300
Austin, TX 78746

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