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Commission approves bylaws, urges more sidewalks

Thursday, June 26, 2008 by Austin Monitor

The Planning Commission has unanimously approved its new bylaws as part of the city’s efforts to standardize regulations for all boards and commissions. Commissioners made a few minor changes that were allowed under the Council’s direction, so the changes will not have to go to the Council’s Audit and Finance Committee for approval.


One of those minor changes involved the description given to the occasional extra meetings held by the Commission, which normally meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. If the Commission meets on the 5th Tuesday of the month, that meeting will be a work session. “I think there’s a general understanding that a work session is for discussion rather than adjudicating cases,” Chairman Dave Sullivan said. The commission will also be able to make changes to its own rules of procedure separate from the bylaws without sending them to the Council for approval.


The Commission is also sending a recommendation to the Council regarding this year’s Capital Improvement Plan. As in years past, the Commission is urging money for sidewalk construction. The recommendation specifically cites the need for sidewalks on S. Lamar near Treadwell, S. Congress at Elizabeth, and near a Capital Metro Bus Stop on Koenig Lane.


The recommendations will also include a request for funding for new bike lane markings at some intersections using specially-colored pavement. “Portland had done this ‘blue lane’ study about getting cyclists safely across intersections,” said Commissioner Jay Reddy. “Staff came back with a suggestion of ‘green lanes’, which Tucson had done.” Similar programs of installing custom-colored pavement for bike lanes are being tried in Chicago, New York, and Seattle ( ). “We’re going to look at a couple of key intersections and figure out how to get cyclists across them safely,” Reddy said.

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