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Stories by Caleb Pritchard

Monday, January 22, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

CodeNEXT critics postpone petition deadline, averting a May election

The political action committee hoping to put CodeNEXT to the voters has announced that it’s changing course and will aim for a referendum in November rather than May.As first reported by The Austin Bulldog on Thursday, IndyAustin PAC says it…

Friday, January 19, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

AFD aims to weigh in on developments sooner rather than later

The Austin Fire Department could soon start reviewing individual development plans much earlier in the process than it currently does.Fire Marshal Rob Vires told the Public Safety Commission at its Jan. 8 special called meeting about ongoing discussions to allow…

Thursday, January 18, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Public toilet pilot program flush with users

The Downtown Commission learned on Wednesday evening that the city’s ongoing public toilet pilot program has served more than 8,000 users since its launch in late September.The official total through Jan. 2, according to city engineer David Magaña, is 8,355…

Monday, January 15, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Experience put Capital Metro CEO finalist over the top

The chair of the board at the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority said experience was the deciding factor when it came to selecting a lone finalist to take the executive reins.On Friday, after the board voted 7-0-1 to tap Randy Clarke…

Friday, January 12, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Parks department mired in drama over cultural center access program

The Mexican American Cultural Center Advisory Board voted Wednesday night to ask for the indefinite suspension of a new program that would keep the city’s various cultural arts centers open in the late-night hours.The move came after three performance groups…

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Hyperloop shoots through UTC meeting

The Urban Transportation Commission went down the tubes Tuesday evening.At its first meeting of 2018, the commission took in a presentation from engineering firm AECOM on efforts to prepare for a future hyperloop system in Texas.“This is not something that’s…

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Capital Metro CEO finalists face the public

The auditions are over and now it’s time for the judges to determine who gets to be Austin’s next top transit executive.The final four candidates in the running for the open president/CEO job at the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority faced…

Monday, January 8, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

CAMPO to consider innovative way to keep Conley as chair

A unique proposal is in the works to keep Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board Chair Will Conley in his post despite his departure last year from the Hays County Commissioners Court.Federal statute dictates that board members of powerful transportation…

Friday, January 5, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Eckhardt’s watchword for 2018: Teamwork

Christmas came early for Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt when, on Dec. 11, no one from either of the two major parties stepped up to challenge her for her seat.That means Eckhardt will skate to a second term without the…

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Daugherty, the odd man out, finds ways to make it work (mostly)

Commissioner Gerald Daugherty is the only Republican on the Travis County Commissioners Court, but as long as that body maintains its track record of financial prudence, he’s okay with that.In 2017, the court lowered the county’s property tax rate, the…

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Rare drama for persistent optimist Gómez

Commissioner Margaret Gómez, generally the most unassuming member of the Travis County Commissioners Court, will start off 2018 with an unusual amount of attention on her and her alone.The Precinct 4 commissioner is the only one among her colleagues to…

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Travillion’s first year set a brisk pace for continued advocacy

Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion hit the ground running in his first year as the representative of Precinct 1, a role that he sees as an opportunity to reverse decades of repressed opportunity east of Interstate 35.“Every day that I…

Tuesday, December 26, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Criminal justice, conservation and CAMPO keep Shea engaged

2017 was the year that Gov. Greg Abbott, in particular, opened fire on Travis County, hacking state grants for key criminal justice programs after Sheriff Sally Hernandez softened her office’s policy on dealing with federal immigration enforcers.For Commissioner Brigid Shea,…

Friday, December 22, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Council commissions study of convention center expansion

Researchers at the University of Texas are going to ask the question that seems to be on every Austinite’s mind these days: “Can new, programmatic spatial configurations and economic models for urban convention centers be applied to downtown Austin in…

Thursday, December 21, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

City tentatively talks about dockless bike-sharing

The Austin Transportation Department is taking a studious approach to the dockless bike-sharing companies that have swooped into cities throughout the world in 2017.Active Transportation Program Manager Laura Dierenfield brought the Bicycle Advisory Council into the conversation on Wednesday night…

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Capital Metro reveals final four in its CEO search

The path to replace outgoing Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority President and CEO Linda Watson will trace through a town hall meeting in early 2018.On Wednesday, the transit agency revealed the names of the four candidates still in the running for…

Friday, December 15, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

State officials steamroll toll lanes out of I-35 plans

The Texas Transportation Commission drove the Capital Express into a bar ditch on Thursday morning.Despite a full-court, bipartisan press from local political and business leaders, the commission voted unanimously to strip from the Texas Department of Transportation’s 10-year construction program…

Thursday, December 14, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Traffic volumes increasing on MoPac

The MoPac Improvement Project, originally sold as a congestion relief initiative, has driven up the number of drivers on parts of the roadway, with some sections seeing an increase of nearly 30,000 vehicles per day.“The traffic has returned,” Jeff Dailey,…

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Robot delivery drones are just around the corner

City-sanctioned land drones could be hitting a sidewalk near you by February 2018.That was the report Austin Transportation Department Chief of Staff Karla Taylor gave to the Urban Transportation Commission on Tuesday evening.Her briefing was an update on the development…

Monday, December 11, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Community activist launches campaign for District 1 seat

Council Member Ora Houston is the first representative of the city’s first district and she’s also the first incumbent to draw a serious challenger in the 2018 election.Last Monday afternoon in East Austin, community activist Lewis Conway Jr. announced his…

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