AUSTIN (KXAN) — As engineering teams near the 30% design threshold for Project Connect, project heads previewed some of the roadway design changes drivers, pedestrians and other users can anticipate coming as the project progresses.
These project-wide elements have been approved following work between the city of Austin, Austin Transit Partnership, Capital Metro and community feedback. These changes would apply to areas along the Orange and Blue light rail lines, displayed on the maps below.
Modified turn movements
Along the Blue and Orange line corridors, “permissible” left turns — or left turns permitted when there’s a safe gap between a turning vehicle and oncoming traffic — will be removed between signalized intersections. In its place at some signalized intersections, U-turns will be added as a permitted option for drivers to turn around and access private driveways, residents and other destinations.
On-street parking changes to South Congress, The Drag, 4th Street
Project Connect plans to either modify or remove back-in angled parking along South Congress between Milton Street and Gibson Street. If modified, these changes could include altering parking from back-in angled parking to parallel parking.
Along Guadalupe Street, parking will be removed between 41st Street and 43rd Street, as well as The Drag.
For Fourth Street, parking will also be removed between Guadalupe Street and Trinity Street.
Lane alterations, street extensions
Between I-35 and Hwy. 183 along Riverside Drive, one lane will be removed in each direction “to accommodate reliable, safe transit” with the insertion of the light rail lines.
On Guadalupe Street, between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and The Drag, a portion of the current right-of-way will be converted to accommodate the light rail as well as multi-modal uses for pedestrians, bikers and other non-vehicular transit.
Dean Keeton Street will be extended one block westward, from Guadalupe Street to San Antonio Street, to enhance north-south movement and east-west connectivity.
Pedestrian crossings at stations
Each station along the Blue and Orange lines will include signalized pedestrian crossings at both ends of the station to accommodate traffic coming and going. These pedestrian crossings include a pedestrian-centric traffic signal or a hybrid beacon at the intersection.
Modifications, project adjustments at Waller Creek Boathouse, Norwood Park, Riverwalk Condos
Project Connect staff have agreed on the relocation of the Waller Creek Boathouse due to the Lady Bird Lake crossing’s interferences. Project officials are working with tenants at the Waller Creek Boathouse on the site’s planned relocation.
A sliver of Norwood Park will be used to cover different transportation modes along the line, with Project Connect working with the Norwood Park Foundation on construction impacts.
With the Riverwalk Condos, project staff are working with the residential community to reduce impact on residences along that section of Riverside Drive.