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Friday, March 27, 2015 by Elizabeth Pagano

City-led Traffic Congestion Action Plan on the way

The Austin Monitor has obtained a memo from City Manager Marc Ott that briefly details plans for Austin’s new Traffic Congestion Action Plan, or “Traffic CAP,” though officials delayed a planned news conference on the topic until today due to a partial bridge collapse near Salado.

In the memo, Ott writes, “The plan’s goal is simple — to reduce congestion using a variety of tools (short-term methods coupled with mid- and long-term strategies).”

Though he did not elaborate on those strategies at length in the memo, Ott said the city will be stepping up its monitoring of moving violations such as blocking intersections and blocking a traffic lane while making deliveries during peak hours.

In addition, Ott said he will “deploy a dedicated Traffic Mobility Unit coordinated through the city’s Traffic Management Center (TMC) to keep key intersections clear and traffic from driveways moving.”

Approaching the problem from another angle, Ott said that he will also be focusing on Travel Demand Management techniques that shift commuter trips to off-peak time. He wrote, “I will be leading this effort by directing a 20 percent offset in travel (especially during peak hours) for all City employees within the Downtown core — by providing employees with alternative work schedule options, encouraging the use of alternative modes and teleworking.”

Ott wrote that he hopes media coverage, continued work with community groups such as Leadership Austin and “deeper conversations” with transportation partners in the area will help move the plan forward. Ott specified that he will be working with Capital Metro, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, Texas Department of Transportation, Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Lone Star Rail and Travis County.

After the full plan is revealed today, Ott indicated that he will be seeking policy direction for several Traffic CAP initiatives, first through the Council Mobility Committee and then to the full City Council.

45intoI-10 2” by Dhanix at en.wikipedia Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council: The Austin City Council is the body with legislative purview over the City of Austin. It offers policy direction, while the office of the City Manager implements administrative actions based on those policies. Until 2012, the body contained seven members, including the city's Mayor, all elected at-large. In 2012, City of Austin residents voted to change that system and now 10 members of the Council are elected based on geographic districts. The Mayor continues to be elected at-large.

Austin City Council Mobility Committee: A City Council committee that reviews matters related to all modes of transportation.

City Manager Marc Ott: Ott was hired by Council members in 2008 and served in that position until his 2016 departure.

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