Officials hope to tackle bus route delays on West Fifth with new project

Austin
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Transportation and Capital Metro are working together to add transit improvements on West Fifth Street aimed at reducing bus route delays. 

The new improvements aim to reduce delays in bus routes making their way into central Austin from MoPac Expressway.

The delay reduction will be achieved by making the far right bicycle lane on West Fifth into a dual transit/bicycle priority lane, according to Austin Transportation. The hope is that the efforts will improve public transportation without affecting the other three lanes. 

“In the Austin Strategic Direction 2023, Austin City Council directed us to improve access to and equity of multimodal options, such as driving, walking, biking and taking transit,” said Austin Department of Transportation Director Robert Spillar, P.E. in a press release.“We’re launching our effort to achieve this goal by partnering with Capital Metro to more efficiently move people through this critical segment of West Fifth Street.”

The project is proposed to be completed in two phases — the first of which is expected to start the week of Dec. 3. Crews hope to complete phase one by January 2019.

In a recent analysis done by CapMetro, there is typically a five-minute delay for Austin buses at the intersection of Fifth Street and North Lamar Boulevard. 

“We’re launching our effort to achieve this goal by partnering with Capital Metro to more efficiently move people through this critical segment of West Fifth Street,” said CapMetro President and CEO, Randy Clarke. “This project demonstrates Capital Metro and the City of Austin’s commitment to making effective and reliable transit an important part of our transportation network.”

in the first phase of the project, officials expect to tackle: 

  • Dedicating the West Fifth dual transit/bicycle lane in between West Lynn and Baylor Streets.
  • Re-striping the existing lanes.
  • Installing priority transit/bicycle signals.
  • Marking the new lane as transit/bicycle only.

Phase two is slated to begin in the spring of 2019 and will focus on adding more demarcations to the new lane.

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