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Stories by Caleb Pritchard

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…

Friday, December 8, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Guadalupe plan no roadblock for Project Connect

The city’s newly published Guadalupe Corridor Plan unsurprisingly turned heads when the Austin Transportation Department published it on Tuesday.Any plan that recommends the elimination of on-street parking and conversion of general purpose lanes into transit-priority lanes can be reliably counted…

Thursday, December 7, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Breakdowns plague MetroRapid fleet

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s highly heralded MetroRapid buses fell well short of the agency’s maintenance goals during Fiscal Year 2016-17.Each month, the fleet of 55 vehicles failed to reach the minimum goal of miles traveled between road calls.“A road…

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

County adopts sidewalk fee-in-lieu program

Developers in unincorporated Travis County will now pay the price for not building sidewalks.On Tuesday, the Commissioners Court approved changes that will establish a sidewalk fee-in-lieu program similar to the one operated by the city of Austin.Chapter 82 of the…

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Final Guadalupe plan hits the streets

At long last, the city’s shortest corridor has its plan.The Austin Transportation Department today released the much-anticipated Guadalupe Corridor Plan, a 66-page document that calls for a multimodal revolution along the Drag.As expected, the document recommends the conversion of two…

Friday, December 1, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Smart Mobility Roadmap draft begins its tour of boards and commissions

Two of the human minds behind Austin’s robot car roadmap rolled into City Council chambers on Wednesday evening to show the fruits of their work to the city’s Joint Sustainability Committee.Karla Taylor, Austin Transportation Department chief of staff, and Karl…

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

County officials launch inmate tablet pilot

The Travis County Sheriff’s Office will launch a pilot program in 2018 that will put tablet computers in the hands of inmates at the county correctional complex in Del Valle.On Tuesday, deputies briefed the Commissioners Court on the progress of…

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Travis County braces for new annexation law

The state’s new law that will make municipal annexations more difficult will also bring new complications for Travis County, the Commissioners Court learned on Tuesday.Scheleen Walker, long-range planning manager at the Transportation and Natural Resources Department, told the court to…

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