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Stories by Jenny Blair

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 by Jenny Blair

Bike signal debate triggers acrimony at Council

Some Austin City Council members grew irritated while debating the problems of bicycles at intersections and whether to accept grant money that could ease those problems at Thursday’s meeting.At issue was a proposal that the Austin Transportation Department accept $200,000 in…

Friday, February 13, 2015 by Jenny Blair

Transit priority lanes considered for the Drag

Close to half of all rush-hour travelers through the Drag may go by bus, and the busy corridor’s future may include dedicated bus lanes, commissioners learned at Tuesday’s Urban Transportation Commission meeting.The Austin Transportation Department is studying ways to improve the…

Thursday, August 14, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Background checks for dog walkers ?

Fingerprinting and an eight-week wait for a background check … to walk shelter dogs?At Wednesday’s City Council budget work session, Council Member and mayoral candidate Mike Martinez noted that some would-be Austin Animal Center volunteers decide to help elsewhere when…

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Ethics Review Commission dismisses complaint against Neslund

The Ethics Review Commission dismissed a complaint Tuesday night that Melissa Neslund should have registered as a lobbyist, after a hearing that chair Austin Kaplan called perhaps the board’s most contentious.A special called meeting of the commission weighed whether Neslund,…

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 by Jenny Blair

AURA accuses Project Connect of funding political ads for urban rail

Project Connect’s ubiquitous summer media spots about its proposed urban rail project have drawn fire from the transit activist group AURA, which calls the ads unethical. The group says the ads are a political advertising campaign funded by taxpayer dollars.…

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Fix 290 calls CTRMA, TxDOT evaluation of Oak Hill Y plan ‘biased’

A representative of an Oak Hill community group is calling the criteria used to evaluate the Oak Hill Parkway Project – designed to improve the junction of SH 71 and US 290 – “subjective and biased.” Most Austinites know the…

Friday, June 27, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Council takes no action on move to remove Leffingwell from BCCP

Activists opposed to State Highway 45 Southwest lost a battle at Thursday’s City Council meeting when a motion died to replace Mayor Lee Leffingwell as chair of the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan’s Coordinating Committee.   Council Member Kathie Tovo moved…

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Leffingwell clashes with Morrison, Tovo on his position on SH45 SW

A testy exchange between Mayor Lee Leffingwell and several members at Tuesday’s Austin City Council work session put deep divisions about the proposed State Highway 45 Southwest on full display.   Leffingwell found himself in the hot seat when colleagues…

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Council members look for ways to shorten weekly meetings

Mindful of citizens forced to wait long hours to testify – and perhaps hoping to catch at least a few hours of sleep themselves – Austin City Council members hashed out ways Tuesday to end this Thursday’s meeting a little…

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Capital Metro picks Endeavor Group for Plaza Saltillo development

The choice of a Plaza Saltillo developer came down to a nail-biter in the final minutes of the Capital Metro Transportation Authority board meeting Monday. In the end, the board chose Endeavor Real Estate Group and Columbus Realty Partners in…

Thursday, June 19, 2014 by Jenny Blair

LCRA Board raises rates for water customers through 2015

Water along the Colorado River Basin will get pricier, at least for customers who can still turn on the tap. The Lower Colorado River Authority’s Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday to raise rates for water customers.   The rate…

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Working group starts process of how to regulate rideshare companies

The mood swayed between optimism and frustration last Wednesday evening at the preliminary meeting of the Transportation Network Companies Working Group, where about 30 people from various transportation constituencies met to discuss ground rules for a conversation about how to…

Monday, June 16, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Central Corridor Group endorses Project Connect plan for urban rail

Urban rail in Austin rolled closer to reality Friday. By a 13-1 vote, the Central Corridor Advisory Group put its stamp of approval on Project Connect’s Locally Preferred Alternative, or LPA, for Austin’s future transportation project.   The Locally Preferred…

Friday, June 13, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Council votes to cut Seton’s fee waiver request by more than half

Those opposed to offering the future Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas a bundle of fee and requirement waivers can take heart after the Austin City Council cut the total value of the waivers from over $2.4 million…

Thursday, June 12, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Commission backs plan to end free parking at Walsh Boat Landing

Kayakers, canoeists and partiers on barges won’t get to enjoy free parking at Lake Austin’s Walsh Boat Landing for much longer. At Tuesday’s Urban Transportation Commission meeting, Austin’s Parking Enterprise Manager Steve Grassfield told commissioners that nearby streets and lots…

Thursday, June 5, 2014 by Jenny Blair

TxDOT engineers plan small steps before major expansion on I-35

Traffic engineers with the Texas Department of Transportation know how they want to spruce up the Travis County corridor along Interstate 35, but they aim to start small. At a media workshop Tuesday, officials went over TxDOT’s short- and long-term…

Thursday, May 29, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Lyft bypasses city program, to begin rideshare operations today

In a surprise move, the rideshare company Lyft has announced it will launch Austin operations today. The company is apparently leapfrogging the Austin City Council’s May 15 decision to develop a pilot program for Lyft and other rideshare companies, also…

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Council reviews Central Corridor Study’s report on Urban Rail

The Austin City Council got a look Thursday at Project Connect’s Central Corridor Study recommendations for the city’s proposed high-capacity transit line, its initial route and its price tag.   Project leader Kyle Keahey told Council members the study team…

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Capital Metro board chooses two finalists for Plaza Saltillo project

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority selected two finalists Monday in the competition to develop the East Side’s Plaza Saltillo. They were Endeavor Real Estate Group and Saltillo Collaborative. The board plans to announce a final choice at its June 23…

Friday, May 16, 2014 by Jenny Blair

Council sets up study process for ridesharing, taxi service issues

Taxicab drivers and safer-streets activists were among those with a heavy stake in two transportation-related items at Thursday’s City Council meeting. But in the end, all they got was a stakeholder process that will not be over until mid-November, making…

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