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Austin Mobility News: April 10, 2017


New report explains what ATD heard at Traffic Jam — and what's next

Traffic Jam Engagement Summary cover with photo of representative talking with two members of the public in front of an activity board. ASMP Logo reads getting there together. Title says traffic jam: a mobility solutions workshop for Central Texans engagement summary - at a glance. Approximately 230 people attended the event. 29 home zip codes were represented by the participants at the event. 11 partner agencies and initiatives attended to provide information about their services and projects. 30 participants indicated their top thought was related to travel choice at the Thought Wall. Affordability, Travel Choice and Health & Safety were ranked the "top priority" 19 times each out of 89 total Priority Pyramids. Economic Prosperity was the least reported priority at the Thought Wall and Priority Pyramid. 60 cross-sections were developed at the Street Builder station. Multi-story buildings, transit amenity, bus-only lanes and wide sidewalks were the most used street feature.

ATD, in partnership with Capital Metro, recently hosted the Traffic Jam: A Mobility Solutions Workshop for Central Texans, to educate and engage the community on Project Connect and the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP). Following up on the March 4 event, ATD published an engagement summary last week to explain what we heard from the approximately 230 attendees and what's up next. See highlights above.

The ASMP team is still going out to the community to get feedback on priorities and mobility considerations through May 2016. The community priorities identified and validated through these engagement activities will guide the next phase: scenario planning. The end result of the ASMP process will include projects, programs and policies that will be presented to the City Council for consideration to adopt.

Learn more and access the full Traffic Jam Engagement Summary here.

Bikeways: Help the City identify top priority projects

Screenshot of bike prioritization tool.
As seen above, the Bike Prioritization Tool is a key element of the Virtual Open House that allows users to instantly pinpoint their bicycle priority recommendations (represented by green dots) on a live map.
Interested in biking safely, comfortably, and conveniently around Austin? Visit a Virtual Open House – online through April 2017 – to help ATD identify and prioritize projects to build out the City’s network of bikeways, as called for in the 2014 Austin Bicycle Master Plan.

Below is key information from the Virtual Open House, an online extension of the successful series of 11 Walk + Bike Talks that concluded on April 1 at locations all around town. Your input will help shape which bikeway projects get funded and built first from a variety of funding sources, including the 2016 Mobility Bond.

Bicycle Plan Implementation Framework

City of Austin publishes 2016 State of our Environment report

Cover of City of Austin State of Our Environment Report.
The City of Austin recently published its annual State of Our Environment Report for 2016, and it's filled with valuable information about Austin's creeks, lakes, rivers, aquifers, urban forest, open space, habitat, air quality, and changing climate.

"Austin has made environmental protection a community priority for well over 30 years," wrote Watershed Protection Department Environmental Officer Chuck Lesniak. "That ongoing effort is documented in these pages and the fruits of that work are seen in Austin’s almost unmatched economic vitality and growth and in the fact that Austin has been able to preserve and protect our environmental resources during that growth."

Among the work outlined is that done by ATD's Air Quality Program, which promotes healthy outdoor air for all residents. This includes facilitating a reduction in ground-level ozone to protect residents from respiratory illnesses and help keep the Austin area in attainment with federal standards. Read about these and other City efforts here.

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired provides training to help ATD staff develop Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Photo of Active Transportation team during blindfold activity.
Led by Christopher J. Tabb (out of frame), a Statewide Orientation and Mobility Consultant for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a group of ATD staff members traded off wearing blindfolds and guiding each other around an urban environment.
Like many across the country, ATD staff participated in this year's National Walking Day on Wednesday. This particular walk had a unique purpose, though: To better understand the mobility concerns of different stakeholders as they relate to pedestrian safety, with a special emphasis on the needs of people with barriers to mobility, including those who are blind or visually impaired.

The activity was part of the stakeholder outreach process for development of a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, a holistic plan of action for improving pedestrian safety and walkability in Austin through engineering, education, enforcement and other strategies. ATD is working to complete the draft plan, called for in the City's Vision Zero Action Plan, in summer 2017 and present it to City Council for adoption consideration.

You can read up on the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan and provide input through April using the online Vision Zero Input Map or by submitting your top pedestrian prioritization criteria!

Urban Transportation Commission meeting this week

Photo of front of Austin City Hall.
The City's Urban Transportation Commission will meet tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Board and Commission Room, located at 301 W. Second Street. Topics to be discussed include a proposal to extend downtown parking meter hours to include Wednesday nights. More information about Tuesday’s meeting can be found here.

Check it out: "Austin re-times dozens of signals to keep traffic moving"

Austin news outlet KXAN published a piece Tuesday about ATD's Signal Timing Program, citing recent timing changes that increased east- and westbound green time on the US-183 frontage roads at Georgian Drive/Northcrest Boulevard by more than 40 percent, on average. This will reduce delays for drivers on the frontage roads without hindering left-turn movements on the aforementioned cross streets. As of Friday, ATD has re-timed 150 signals this fiscal year as part of its Signal Timing Program.

Read the KXAN story here.

Check it out: "Austin's Traffic-Safety Signs Are Indeed Weird"

Graphic of roadway with dynamic message sign that says "your safety message here."

We don't normally run two "Check it out" features at a time, but we couldn't help it this week! Check out this excerpt from CityLab's piece about the winners of our #ontheroadATX contest, where we asked people to submit creative safety- and mobility-related messages to display on the dynamic message signs we use to keep Austin road users informed.

"Austin hopes that placing such a campaign in the more unusual setting of a municipality—and referencing regional language and lore—will draw more eyes to safety concerns," wrote CityLab Reporter John Metcalfe. "The city needs all the help it can get on this front: Traffic deaths have been rising over the years, leading to a record number of 102 people being killed in crashes in 2015, a jump of 62 percent from 2014. Though the toll was slightly less grim in 2016, Austin wants to head off future surges in road fatalities, planning redesigns for historically dangerous intersections and adopting its first Vision Zero action plan last spring with the goal of rubbing out traffic deaths and major injuries by 2025."

Read the full article here.

Movability Austin Logo  
Want more mobility news? Visit Movability Austin

Austin Mobility is the City's effort for a fresh approach to looking at walking, biking, transit and driving to solve the transportation puzzle for all of us. We are taking proactive steps to engage and educate the community, which is why you received this news update. 
Contact information:

City of Austin Transportation Department
901 S. MoPac Expressway
Building 5, Suite 300
Austin, TX 78746

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