AUSTIN (KXAN) — After the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Rundberg Lane was the site of a fatal pedestrian crash Wednesday morning, KXAN looked into completed, current and ongoing safety measures at play along the corridor.
North Lamar Boulevard is one of more than a dozen corridors classified as a high-injury roadway network, or a transit corridor that contributes to a significant number of serious injury and fatality crashes in Austin.
Excluding Wednesday’s crash, data compiled by the city’s Vision Zero program reported there have been three crashes at the intersection since 2018 that resulted in three serious injuries. In the surrounding areas near the intersection, there have been a collective seven serious injuries and three fatalities since 2018, not factoring in Wednesday’s fatality.
It’s an intersection that city leaders have, and continue to, channel resources and funding into to help enhance safety for vehicles and pedestrians. Historically, Austin completed a safety improvement project in 2017 that included pedestrian-centered upgrades, including:
- Raised medians
- Reconstructed pedestrian ramps
- Pedestrian hybrid beacon: traffic control technology that uses alerts and signs to alert oncoming traffic of pedestrians at a marked but non-signalized sidewalk
- New traffic signal
As part of the Austin Transportation Department’s high-injury roadway network response, safety measures implemented within the last year included refreshed crosswalk markings at multiple intersections and leading pedestrian intervals installed at Rundberg Lane. Leading pedestrian intervals give pedestrians a head start to enter an intersection before the light turns green, in an effort to make pedestrians more visible to turning and yielding traffic.
Outside of ATD, the North Lamar corridor was also flagged in the city’s 2016 mobility bond and is currently being overseen by the Austin’s Corridor Program Office.
From the 2016 mobility bond, $482 million was earmarked for corridor improvement projects. Currently, Corridor Program officials told KXAN the North Lamar corridor from U.S. Hwy. 183 to Rundberg Lane is in its design phase.
Corridor Program projects from the 2016 mobility bond include the following features:
- Upgraded traffic signals
- New signalized pedestrian crosswalks
- Bus stop upgrades
- Pavement enhancements
- American Disability Act-compliant sidewalks
- Shared-use paths for pedestrians, cyclists
- Two-way protected bike lanes
- Street lighting and streetscape enhancements
The project is being tackled via a phased approach, with some construction beginning in early 2021. The bulk of the project is expected to wrap between 2022 and 2024.