AUSTIN KXAN - There's a big push from the Downtown Austin Alliance to redevelop Congress Avenue into a more vibrant street.
The goal is to bring more shops and people.
That’s why Friday morning city leaders and organizations are getting together to try and form a master plan for the street.
The idea is to make Congress Avenue a place people want to live, shop, and eat.
The Downtown Austin Alliance is the main group behind the push for the changes.
They have hired an architect who is tasked with making it a destination that connects to the rest of the city.
"We are looking at a situation of a schizophrenia street," said Don Stastny, Architect and Urban Designer.
The goal is to make the avenue a destination spot.
"Congress Avenue should be the main street of Texas and it should be walkable, and comfortable, and vibrant," said Daniel Woodroffe, Downtown Austin Alliance Board Member.
You can already see some of the improvements with the planters, outdoor seating, and attracting popular local shops like Royal Blue.
But they feel this is just the beginning and that's why they're taking a closer look.
"It was a block-by-block assessment of what is there today, what works, and what needs improvement," said Woodroffe.
An urban designer, hired by the Downtown Austin Alliance has been brought on board to help envision those improvements which include limiting bus traffic on the avenue.
"They block the view of the retail frontage especially when they are stacking up at night," said Stastny.
And improving sidewalks.
"Even though they feel large they neck down where the cars come in that becomes very constrictive of pedestrian movement," said Stastny.
Any improvements have to be approved by city council and are typically paid through with bond money.
Feedback on possible improvements can be made through the Downtown Austin Alliance website.
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a woman at a North Austin auto repair shop, police said Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
As the Austin area prepares itself for an impending winter storm on Friday, Dec. 6, many schools have already announced delays.
With freezing temperatures pushing through the region, heating systems will likely be working overtime, which can bring rising energy bills.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.