Rails, trails and buses: What may be in store for Buda in the next few years

Hays

BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — The City of Buda just unveiled the first draft of its master mobility plan.

Now, they’re asking for the public’s input to decide which projects are most important.

Some problems have already been identified through an initial survey and consultant research.

That includes bottlenecks on Main Street and off of FM 1626 and FM 967.

Marcos Lowe lives in Kyle and moves through Buda at least once a week. He says getting around has gotten harder, in general.

“Ease of mobility like getting to work, going to church,” Lowe says.

Census data show 20 years ago, there were just over 2,400 people living in Buda. In 2010, that grew to more than 7,000.

In 2018, Buda’s population was almost 16,500.

“Before it only used to be on I-35, but now people are going through Main Street here and going through neighborhoods,” Lowe says.

William, who lives in Buda, says he wants to see one-lane streets converted to two-lanes.

He thinks that’s a major cause of backups off of FM 1626 and FM 967.

“I at least have to sit through there several light cycles just to get through and I know, depending on which direction you’re coming from, other people have to sit way longer than that,” William says.

Buda’s city engineer recognizes that problem.

“We’ve got to plan for additional connectivity to I-35, easing mobility out to 1626,” says John Nett.

Nett says the challenge is accommodating growth while maintaining a small-town feel — another concern residents have already voiced.

“They like the buffer from Austin, they like to be able to come home and still feel that sense of community,” Nett says. “So while we want to add capacity to the streets, we don’t want to be doubling the size of streets and increasing speeds.”

That means creating more route options and adding public transportation.

“We don’t have transit options here in Buda. We need that for the future,” Nett says.

He says the city hopes to partner with current services like Austin’s CapMetro or San Marcos’ CARTS system.

Nett says residents can expect to see that within the next couple of years.

City staff hope to have council members vote on a prioritized plan around summertime. (City of Buda)

“Tie into an existing system until we have sustained ridership that we’ve met that growth potential that maybe we could have a fixed route of our own,” he explains.

“I think it’s getting to the point where having a bus to get around to hot-spots, that’d be good,” Lowe says.

You can take an online survey here.

The City of Buda has also put together this interactive map that shows where they want potential bus stops, improved roads, and added roads.

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