City proposing upgrades for busy north Austin corridor

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Depending on what time of the day you decide to travel along North Lamar Boulevard you might get stuck in traffic. 

“Early morning traffic is a little thicker, and the same thing in the afternoon getting off of work,” Ira Hill said. 

Although Hill will not be getting stuck in traffic anytime soon as he gets around on his bicycle, he still has concerns about the area. Those concerns revolve around his safety. 

“[The traffic] makes me cautious, and what I try to do in the daytime, and especially at night, is use the sidewalk as much as possible because of the traffic, and also use the shopping center lots to stay away from traffic,” he said. 

The city knows something needs to be done, not only to improve the commute for those driving on this section of North Lamar, but for people’s security. 

“You take alternative measures to stay safe,” Hill said. 

The city has allocated $66.8 million to the project from the 2016 Mobility Bond funds to make improvements to a section of N. Lamar Boulevard from US 183 to Interstate 35 at Howard Lane.

Nearly $500 million from the 2016 Mobility Bond will be used for The Smart Corridor Plan. This section of N. Lamar Boulevard is just one of nine corridor projects the city plans to work on. 

The corridors will be:

  • Burnet Road from Koenig Lane to MoPac Expressway
  • Airport Boulevard from North Lamar Boulevard to US 183
  • East MLK Jr. Boulevard/FM 969 from US 183 to Decker Lane
  • South Lamar Boulevard from Riverside Drive to Ben White Boulevard/US 290 West
  • East Riverside Drive from I-35 to SH 71
  • Guadalupe Street from MLK Jr. Boulevard to West 29th Street
  • William Cannon Drive from Southwest Parkway to McKinney Falls Parkway
  • Slaughter Lane from FM 1826 to Vertex Boulevard

For the N. Lamar Blvd. project the City of Austin’s Corridor Program Office has recommended improvements that include: street reconstruction, traffic signal enhancements with turn lane modifications at Rundberg, Braker and Parmer Lanes, protected bike lanes from vehicle traffic, and an addition of a transit connection to Tech Ridge Park and Ride at Howard Lane. 

Some of those improvements could look something like this rendering:

Hill, so far, approves saying, “I would give it a thumbs up myself.”

On Monday, Dec. 3, Capital Metro, the City of Austin Corridor Program Office and Austin Transportation will host a public meeting inviting the community to share its input on the project at St. John’s Episcopal Church located at 11201 Parkfield Dr. in Austin from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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