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Stories by Caleb Pritchard

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Split Commissioners Court endorses higher exemption for some homeowners

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday took a preliminary step toward enlarging the property tax exemption for homeowning residents over the age of 65 or living with a disability.The court voted 3-2 to direct Planning and Budget Office staff…

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Capital Metro board hits pause on MetroAccess contract proposal

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors on Monday sent back to its committees a staff proposal to readjust a paratransit provider’s contract to the tune of $25.7 million.Chad Ballentine, the agency’s vice president of demand response and innovative…

Monday, February 26, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Staff overrules Design Commission on downtown tower

A controversial downtown tower is moving forward despite the Design Commission’s declaration that it violates the city’s urban design guidelines.The project at 405 Colorado St. would replace a surface parking lot with a 25-story structure with 13 levels of parking.…

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Travis County takes brand-new tack in courthouse search

Travis County’s search for a new site on which to build a new civil courthouse has taken an unprecedented turn after the Commissioners Court on Tuesday voted to solicit proposals from potential private partners interested in both putting up land…

Thursday, February 15, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

In bid to save taxicabs, city proposes remaking them in rivals’ image

The Austin Transportation Department has gone public with a set of proposals aimed at saving the local taxicab industry by radically transforming it.Acting Mobility Services Division Manager Jacob Culberson told the Urban Transportation Commission on Tuesday evening that ride-hailing transportation…

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Project Connect draft plan makes premature debut

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube after a draft version of its proposed Project Connect system plan found its way online Monday evening.The plan, which features an ambitious combination of light…

Monday, February 12, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Contra-flow lane eyed as solution to up-up, down-down lurching of traffic at MLK

While plans to dedicate two lanes on the Drag to transit have been shelved for the moment, city planners hope to tweak another bus bottleneck on the Guadalupe Street corridor using 2016 mobility bond money.Tucked away in the proposed Corridor…

Friday, February 9, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

In State of the County address, Eckhardt looks forward to future term

With no credible threat to her re-election in November, Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt delivered a State of the County address on Thursday night that had the luxury of looking a full five years into the future.Clocking in at just…

Thursday, February 8, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

City unveils proposed Corridor Construction Program

The long-awaited proposed Corridor Construction Program, the road map to Mayor Steve Adler’s Smart Corridor Plan that he’s now touting as potentially “genius,” is finally out of the stable.The city’s Corridor Program Office has been working to develop the program…

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Airbus’ protest at Commissioners Court crashes and burns

The Travis County Commissioners Court shot down a protest leveled by aircraft manufacturer Airbus over the county’s selection process for a new fleet of STAR Flight helicopters.A team of officials from the company’s helicopter division showed up to the court’s…

Friday, February 2, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Council approves dockless bike-share pilot and expansion of Austin B-cycle

City Council on Thursday approved the creation of a pilot program that will allow private companies to put their on-demand rental bikes on city-owned right of way throughout the city.The vote on the pilot was one of three actions Council…

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

In picking a new CTRMA rep, Travis County goes with a familiar face

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday chose an old hand to be its newest representative on the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s board of directors.In a unanimous vote, the court awarded the seat to attorney John Langmore, a former…

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Capital Metro officially anoints new executive head

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s next CEO and president, Randy Clarke, will take the transit agency’s reins on March 7.On Monday, Capital Metro’s board of directors unanimously approved the terms of Clarke’s five-year contract, a document Clarke was on hand…

Monday, January 29, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

CTRMA board finalists talk up transit during Travis County interviews

The Travis County Commissioners Court will decide on Tuesday which two of six candidates it will appoint to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority’s board of directors.The court interviewed the applicants during a special session on Thursday.Of the six, two…

Thursday, January 25, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Planning Commission takes on transit and CodeNEXT

Two of the great planning processes of Austin’s current age came together under one roof on Wednesday night as the Planning Commission talked both CodeNEXT and Project Connect with the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority.Todd Hemingson, Capital Metro’s vice president for…

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

Sobering Center one step closer

The Travis County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a contract on Tuesday awarding Tegrity Contractors the right to construct the Austin Sobering Center. Austin/Travis County Sobriety Center will remain the name of the local government corporation that operates the facility.The contract worth…

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…

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