Public Notice: Oaks, Highways, and No Pickleball?

A potpourri of upcoming happenings

Public Notice: Oaks, Highways, and No Pickleball?

At press time, Oak Hill Neighbors (an upper-case organization, not just a bunch of lower-case people) and the Texas Depart­ment of Transportation are weighing their next moves after U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman issued a slightly overdue ruling against the Save Barton Creek Associ­a­tion and other plaintiffs seeking to stop construction of TxDOT's planned Oak Hill Express­way. Pitman ruled that the agency's environmental review process, which discounted the plaintiffs' more humane Oak Hill Parkway alternative to rebuilding US 290 and Texas 71 through the Y (see "Trade-Offs and Throughput," Aug. 6,) was sufficient.

If this sounds eerily like the discussion now swirling around the TxDOT's Capital Express Central project – where the promise to stay "no higher, no wider" in rebuilding I-35 through Downtown has fallen by the wayside in suspicious fashion ("Every Comment Counts," Aug. 10) – you're right. It's the same story, two years down the line. Today it's Oak Hill neighbors talking about chaining themselves to 200-year-old trees; in the summer of 2023 it's going to be Downtown businessmen on the phones to their lobbyists. Will either tactic be more than a temporary annoyance to the behemoth highway agency lumbering behind the times and through our city? We shall see.

"Project Connect – What's Next" is the topic of the next ULI Austin Breakfast event, taking place 8-9am next Wednesday, Sept. 22, as a hybrid event – on Zoom, or in person at the Austin Central Library. Panel­ists include Nefertitti Jack­mon, the city's first community displace­ment prevention officer; Peter Mullan, chief of architecture and urban design for the Austin Transit Partner­ship; and Stan Wall of HR&A Advisors, which worked on the Downtown Austin Plan. See for info or to register; the cost varies from $15 to $75.

Sports News

How often do you get to be there at the birth of a brand new major league sport, launched right here in Austin? Never, that's how often, because the folks at Red Knot Communications say theirs will be the first such happening in history. Beyond that I know nothing, except that the Red Knot team has some very experienced folks behind it, the website features soccer and basketball (so, maybe a foot-basket hybrid?), and the event will take place at 11am Tue., Sept. 21, at Dreamland, 2770 W. Hwy 290 in Dripping Springs, which has mysteriously posted a large banner at the top of their home page, announcing, "NO PICKLEBALL OPEN PLAY SEPT 21." So you know it's big. See you there.

And how often do you get to be in a virtual kayak race – in actual kayaks? I'm guessing that's never, too, until next week, when the Austin Community College Foundation begins its annual Riverbat Paddle Battle on Lady Bird Lake. Sign up now at, go down to the Rowing Dock any time between Sept. 25 to Oct. 25 for a full-day pass, paddle on your own, and submit your finish time online. All proceeds go to the ACCF to support student scholarships and workforce development. $45 adult; $25 for under 18.

Send gossip, dirt, innuendo, rumors, and other useful grist to nbarbaro at

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