City of Austin bond funding for safety improvements
In November 2012 voters approved a $15 million transportation bond item for improvements to our section of North Lamar, along with Burnet and Crestview station. This isn’t enough money to do everything, but it’s a good start. Public Works has named Demira Wyatt 974-7213 as the project manager. Members of the North Lamar and NACA neighborhood teams will be meeting with city staff and elected officials in January 2013 to discuss priorities for the bond money.
Details of the proposed North Lamar Boulevard safety improvements, including more efficient intersections, raised medians, complete sidewalks, street trees, and signals for traffic flow and pedestrian crossings. Underlying all these visible changes would be a new stormwater system, replacing the large open ditches with buried pipes.
CAMPO grant for sidewalks
In December 2011, Austin won a grant to improve sidewalks along North Lamar, thanks especially to ADAPT advocacy. In December 2012, the City’s Public Works department formally accepted this money. They are in the process of negotiating the construction details with TxDOT. They anticipate completing sidewalks from Rundberg to Longspur, as well as repairs and completing gaps from 183 to Rundberg.
Construction on our bus rapid transit (BRT) platforms (at Rundberg, Masterson, and Chinatown) took place in fall 2012. The canopies and furniture will be added in early 2013, with service to start in 2014.
Chinatown Center hosted the groundbreaking for Austin’s entire bus rapid system in October 2012. This service along Lamar/Guadalupe to downtown and to Tech Ridge should be more frequent than 1L/1M/101, especially north of Rundberg, with higher capacity buses. Also, the platform-style boarding is faster than the current front-door only approach, so the buses shouldn’t be stopped as long blocking a lane of North Lamar.
There should be opportunities for small-scale transit-oriented development (“micro TOD”) near the three North Lamar/Georgian Acres platforms, such as kiosks for bus ticket sales and mobile vendors for a quick snack on the way. Contact the Chair if you’d like to explore possibilities with other business and property owners.
Recommendation 23: Encourage minority-owned and -run businesses.
Recommendation 75: Construct Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps at all intersections with sidewalks.
Recommendation 78: Place benches and/or shelters at Capital Metro bus stops.
Objective T.6: Improve the safety of pedestrians traveling along North Lamar Boulevard.
Objective T.13: Provide transportation alternatives to those who live, work, or visit.
Objective T.14: Improve Capital Metro bus services along North Lamar Boulevard.
Objective T.8: Improve traffic flow along North Lamar Boulevard.