AUSTIN (KXAN) - More people, more traffic, and more crowds.
As the population increases in Austin, services are stretched. And making room for everyone means expanding not only our roads, but also things like shoring up the quality of local education.
A recent meeting between parents and the Austin Independent School District showed overcrowding was a top concern. Superintendent Maria Carstarphen spoke to a group of parents from North Central Austin elementary schools about revisiting the district's master plan.
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We've got to look to the future, because our school district is growing," said Erin Moore, AISD's communications director.
Three years ago, the district had just over 82,000 students enrolled. Now, it has nearly 87,000. In a few more years, look for the enrollment figure to creep closer to 90,000
Education was the second highest concern behind transportation at a recent Leadership Austin breakfast, where participants were polled about population growth. Health care came in third.
"Access of care, affordability of care, quality of care," said Jesus Garza, executive vice president of Seton Healthcare. "I think all of those things are probably given."
That is where a grand plan for a medical school at the University of Texas might help out. However, that possibility is years, even decades away. But it could work to make sure enough doctors are there to keep up with the city's need.
Not to mention three projects in the planning stages right now:
Mueller Medical Plaza next to Dell Children's, University Medical Center next to St. David's central campus Midtown Medical near the Seton central campus
"We find that we're behind in the number of doctors that we would like to have," said state Sen. Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat and one of the proposed medical school's key proponents. "As our population grows and ages, we're going to need more doctors or we're going to be falling farther behind."
Environmental concerns came in fourth, with wildlife, water and air quility on leaders' minds. As people move in and traffic piles up, so does the list of concerns and the need for solutions.
Even though there were no reports of iced over bridges or roadways like last week, officials are urging people to use extra caution while driving.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
A 55-year-old man died in a single-vehicle crash just after midnight Monday morning near Lakeway.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
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A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.