Near-Term Downtown Transportation Plan

The Great Streets Master Plan vision of Fourth Street -- the city's official east-west light-rail corridor -- includes separate lanes for cars, bikes, and maybe trains. However, the latest city proposals make Fourth the route of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, and autos, if they're allowed on Fourth at all, would share the center lanes with rail.
The Great Streets Master Plan vision of Fourth Street -- the city's "official" east-west light-rail corridor -- includes separate lanes for cars, bikes, and maybe trains. However, the latest city proposals make Fourth the route of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, and autos, if they're allowed on Fourth at all, would share the center lanes with rail.

The "Near Term CBD Transportation Improvement Projects" package -- now slated for City Council consideration in October -- contains 15 separate items with an estimated total cost of $17.5 million. The money would come from bonds, cash on hand, utility funds, and Austin's share of the 1é4-cent sales tax (formerly set aside for light rail) Capital Metro is refunding to its member jurisdictions. See "All Tomorrow's Projects" on the facing page.


Downtown Access and Mobility Plan (D.A.M.P.)

Left-turn restrictions on Lamar

No left turns during rush hour from Lamar onto Fifth (eastbound) and Sixth (westbound). Proposed for a six-month trial.

Cost: $4,000. Source: City of Austin General Fund

Left-turn restrictions on Congress

Same deal -- no lefts from Congress onto Second through Tenth during rush hour. Six-month trial.

Cost: $18,000. Source: City of Austin General Fund

Dual left turns at Lamar and Barton Springs Road

Creating two left-turn lanes from Lamar onto Barton Springs Road in both directions. Can be done without widening either street.

Cost: $60,000. Source: Capital Metro 1/4-cent refund (2002)

Cesar Chavez/Third Street one-way conversion

The big-ticket D.A.M.P. project, replacing the Great Streets call to make both Cesar Chavez and Third two-way. This caused "unacceptable delay" in the D.A.M.P. model. Most of the cost is for rebuilding Third -- which is now two-way, but will be one-way westbound -- as a Great Street. Cesar Chavez would retain its "contraflow" westbound lane between Trinity and Brazos. On-street parking would be eliminated on the south side of Cesar Chavez.

Cost: $6 million. Sources: Capital Metro 1/4-cent refund (2002 through 2004); city utilities


Great Streets Master Plan

Second Street Retail District

Second (between San Antonio and Trinity) becomes a "pedestrian-dominant" Great Street, with a 32-foot north sidewalk, 18 feet south sidewalk (past CSC and City Hall), and only 22 feet for cars, one lane each way. Along with Second and Third (see above), the city would also build Great Streets sidewalks on the connecting north-south blocks.

Cost: $5.2 million. Sources: Capital Metro 1/4-cent refund (2001 and 2003); city utilities

Colorado and Brazos two-way conversion

Among other justifications, two-way travel on Colorado and Brazos ("mixed-mode" Great Streets) would help Capital Metro move buses off Congress. Increases delay, according to the D.A.M.P., by 14 seconds.

Cost: $600,000. Source: November 1998 Prop. 1 bonds. Great Streets pedestrian improvements, estimated at $13 million, are as yet unfunded.

Ninth and Tenth streets two-way conversion

Since Ninth is already blocked behind the Federal Building, two-way on Ninth and Tenth (also "mixed-mode" Great Streets) could improve overall mobility, the city says. Increases delay, according to the D.A.M.P., by 27 seconds.

Cost: $600,000. Source: November 1998 Prop. 1 bonds. Great Streets pedestrian improvements, estimated at $16 million, are as yet unfunded.

Trinity and San Jacinto two-way conversion

Two-way on this pair ("bicycle and local access" Great Streets) would allow for bike lanes and a north-south link between Town Lake, the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, and the Waller Creek trail in Waterloo Park. Increases delay, according to the D.A.M.P., by 12 seconds.

Cost: $600,000. Source: November 1998 Prop. 1 bonds. Great Streets pedestrian improvements, estimated at $14 million, are as yet unfunded.

Seventh and Eighth streets two-way conversion

The final two-way pair ("commuter" Great Streets) would provide better mobility through the Central Business District and link up to the East Seventh Street Corridor project east of I-35, creating a "strong gateway" to downtown. Increases delay, according to the D.A.M.P., by 93 seconds.

The Great Streets Master Plan vision of Fourth Street -- the city's official east-west light-rail corridor -- includes separate lanes for cars, bikes, and maybe trains. However, the latest city proposals make Fourth the route of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, and autos, if they're allowed on Fourth at all, would share the center lanes with rail.
<br>
Illustration courtesy of Black & Vernooy + Kinney Associates
The Great Streets Master Plan vision of Fourth Street -- the city's "official" east-west light-rail corridor -- includes separate lanes for cars, bikes, and maybe trains. However, the latest city proposals make Fourth the route of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, and autos, if they're allowed on Fourth at all, would share the center lanes with rail.
Illustration courtesy of Black & Vernooy + Kinney Associates

Cost: $600,000. Source: November 1998 Prop. 1 bonds. Great Streets pedestrian improvements, estimated at $14 million, are as yet unfunded.


Seaholm District Master Plan

West Avenue extension

West Avenue, which currently ends near Shoal Creek, would be extended to Cesar Chavez -- adding a new north-south route, opening up Seaholm itself, and connecting the Shoal Creek trail to the Bikeway, the Town Lake Trail, and the Pfluger Bridge.

Cost: $810,000. Source: Capital Metro 1/4-cent refund (2003)

Third Street extension

Third Street would be extended from Nueces to the new West Avenue. This involves crossing Shoal Creek with a bridge to carry pedestrians, the Bikeway, light rail, and cars, either in place of or in addition to the existing railroad trestle.

Cost: $1.8 million. Source: Capital Metro 1/4-cent refund (2004)

Sandra Muraida Way

This short street connects Lamar and Cesar Chavez; the D.A.M.P. calls for a new right-turn bay from Lamar to speed traffic flow to MoPac. The Seaholm plan calls for the street to be fully rebuilt and realigned, opening up the adjacent Sand Beach Reserve.

Cost: $10,000 for right-turn bay only. Source: Capital Metro 1/4-cent refund (2002) Estimated cost of relocating/realigning Sandra Muraida Way is $1 million.


Other projects

Drake Bridge reversible lane

Would create a third lane on the Drake Bridge (South First) in each direction at rush hour -- northbound in the morning, southbound in the evening.

Cost: $700,000. Source: Capital Metro 1/4-cent refund (2002)

Riverside Drive realignment

The city abandoned its plans to close Riverside entirely through the embryonic Town Lake Park, but would like to narrow the existing street to one lane in each direction, along a "meandering" alignment that would slow down traffic.

Cost: $250,000 for initial phase. Source: Capital Metro 1/4-cent refund (2002). Realignment estimated to cost $2.2 million.

Lance Armstrong Bikeway

By converting existing angle parking on Fourth to parallel parking, the city will free up enough room to stripe lanes for the Bikeway between the sidewalk and the auto/light rail lanes.

Cost: $250,000 for Central Business District portion only. Source: Capital Metro 1/4-cent refund (2001).

Total cost for Bikeway estimated at $4 million.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Great Streets, Downtown, Transportation, DAMP, Seaholm, Lance Armstrong Bikeway, Sidewalks, Two-way

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