Stories by Andrew Weber

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin has new rules on panhandling, camping and resting in public. Here’s what that means.

Three revisions to the city’s rules against panhandling, camping, and sitting or lying down in public went into effect Monday. People have feelings about that, and it’s unclear what impact the rules will have on those experiencing homelessness – or…

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 by Andrew Weber

City audit says Austin police could be better about keeping track of body camera footage

The Austin Police Department is still working out the kinks in its body camera program, according to a new city audit.The report released today by the city auditor’s office looked at footage from 151 body cam videos from Aug. 1,…

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin police report shows a slight uptick in property crimes in 2018

A new report released Monday from the Austin Police Department shows crime overall increased in 2018, with property crimes up 9 percent. Violent crimes dropped slightly, however.The report also acknowledges controversy surrounding the way APD handles sexual assault cases, after…

Thursday, June 6, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Council to weigh money for a new homeless shelter

City Council members will vote today on items that would expand the number of beds in Austin’s homeless shelters.Council will vote to direct staff to find land and funding for an emergency shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness. Members could also…

Friday, May 31, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Texas lawmakers tried to take the reins from cities this session. The results were mixed.

For the last handful of legislative sessions, the Texas Legislature has had it in for Austin and other cities.GOP lawmakers who regularly thumb their noses at “big government”-minded efforts in D.C. have filed bills targeting city laws regulating everything from…

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin can afford to build only 3% of the 2,580 miles of sidewalk it wants, audit finds

The city of Austin has the resources to build out only 3 percent of its missing sidewalks, according to a new city audit.The mobility bond Austin voters approved in 2016 set aside $37.5 million to build and maintain city sidewalks…

Friday, May 3, 2019 by Andrew Weber

CDC study says Austin scooter riders don’t wear helmets, ride fast and don’t know what they’re doing

Nearly 200 people were injured because of rentable scooters between Sept. 5 and Nov. 30 last year, according to a first-of-its-kind study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Austin Public Health Department.During that time, there were…

Friday, April 19, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Yep. A lot more people have moved to Austin, the Census Bureau confirms.

New numbers out today from the U.S. Census Bureau confirm something you’ve definitely noticed or complained about in the last eight years: Austin is growing.But that growth isn’t confined to the Austin area.The data put Texas counties and metro areas…

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Proposed labor rule would mean gig economy workers in Texas can’t get unemployment benefits

The state’s labor regulator will meet this morning for a final vote on a controversial new rule on gig economy workers that opponents say will have far-reaching implications for workers going forward.The proposed rule from the Texas Workforce Commission would…

Friday, April 5, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin defends its short-term rental rules before Texas lawmakers

Austin’s rules on short-term rental units – advertised on apps and sites like Airbnb and HomeAway – are under fire at the Texas Capitol. House lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would override the city’s ban on properties…

Wednesday, April 3, 2019 by Andrew Weber

The idea to bury I-35 has risen from the dead

“Cut and cap” – the idea for burying Interstate 35 in the downtown corridor and paving over that chasm to create green spaces or mixed-use development – is no longer in the rearview mirror.Congress for the New Urbanism, a nonprofit…

Friday, March 29, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Here are 3 ways state lawmakers could disrupt (or shore up) short-term rentals in Texas this session

For years, short-term rentals – the rooms, cottages, condos and homes on apps like Airbnb and HomeAway – have been the subject of lawsuits and hand-wringing on the part of regulators and people looking to rent out properties.Texas lawmakers haven’t…

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Homelessness in Austin increased 5 percent this year

Homelessness increased 5 percent in Austin over last year, according to the results of Ending Community Homelessness Coalition’s annual census. The survey, which was conducted overnight on Jan. 26 by about 500 volunteers, found 2,255 people experiencing homelessness on Austin…

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 by Andrew Weber

UT will use geofencing to limit e-scooter speed to 8 mph on campus this week

Riders using rented scooters on the 40 Acres will no longer be able to go faster than 8 mph, according to UT Austin.The university said Bird, Jump, Lyft and Lime’s e-scooters will have speed restrictions on the lion’s share of…

Friday, March 22, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Immigrants in Austin pay more taxes, have more spending power than in other large Texas cities

A new study shows immigrants have an outsized impact on Austin’s economy.Overall, 4.8 million immigrants in Texas paid $34.8 billion in taxes and had an economic footprint of $109.9 billion, according to an analysis of 2017 census data from the…

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Nearly 434,000 scooter rides were taken during SXSW 2019

Dockless scooters were the headliner in their first year at South by Southwest.City data show the scooters outpaced rentable dockless bikes during the festival, accounting for nearly 434,000 rides over the 10 days of SXSW – 12.3 percent of the…

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 by Andrew Weber

City audit says Austin doesn’t effectively help people get out of homelessness – or measure progress

A new audit of the homelessness service providers in Austin says the city doesn’t always hold providers accountable.The report from the City Auditor found nine of the city’s largest contracts in 2017 met city benchmarks for service only about half…

Friday, February 15, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Good news: Fewer people moved to Austin in 2017. Bad news: It was still a lot of people.

Prepare to be shocked: People keep moving to Texas.A new Texas Realtors report looking at Census Bureau and U-Haul rental data found that more than half a million people relocated to the Lone Star State in 2017 – the second-highest number…

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 by Andrew Weber

Austin records first traffic death involving rented scooter

A 21-year-old scooter rider was killed in a crash last week, says the Austin Police Department. According to the department, it’s the first death related to a rented scooter in Austin.Police say Mark Sands was riding a Lime scooter on the…

Thursday, January 31, 2019 by Andrew Weber

New city agreement with ARCH would shift focus to housing

The Austin City Council will vote Thursday on renewing the contract for Front Steps, the operator of the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. The new agreement could bring systemic changes to the city’s homeless shelter.One of those changes would…

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