Austin transportation leaders seek public feedback on street changes

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Austin continues to grow, city leaders are working to map out the best way to develop the road system. It’s all part of Austin’s transportation blueprint — the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan.

The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan or ASMP’s Street Network is the city’s framework for improvements over the next 20 years and beyond. 

“Today 74% of Austinites drive to work alone and in order for us to grow sustainably into the future, we need to shift at least to 50 percent drive alone by 2039,” said Cole Kitten, a division manager for the Austin Transportation Department.

Those at the city’s transportation department have made some amendments to the Street Network. Changes that will add new roads, extend others and update projects all in an effort to ensure roads can accommodate all modes of transportation. That includes getting rid of previously proposed projects. 

For example, eliminating a road extension that proposes traveling through an east Austin historic site — the Monotopolis Negro School grounds. 

“There is a desire to preserve the school as well as the school grounds which the road would have gone through,” Kitten explained.

The proposed amendments are also technical as some could change the classification of the streets which go by levels from one to five. For instance, Level 1 streets are typically neighborhood streets. While Level 4 streets are usually major thoroughfares such as Parmer or Slaughter lanes. Depending on which level a street falls under can determine future improvements. 

“I think it’s important for people to understand what kind of streets are within their neighborhood and what their future street design could include,” he said.

(Source: Austin Transportation Department)

The proposed changes will also play a role in Project Connect, Capital Metro’s $7.1 billion transit overhaul, by maintaining street right of way requirements. The final day to submit a comment on the proposed Street Network amendments is Sunday, January 16. You can see a list and map of the streets online.

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