Stories by Ryan Thornton

Friday, September 20, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City awaits toilets for downtown public restroom project

Austin’s first permanent public restroom project downtown has been pushed back several months due to problems in the manufacturing process.Portland Loo, the company that makes the solar-powered restrooms, told staff earlier this month it has run into “parts and labor…

Thursday, September 19, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Red River realignment adds to concerns for campus bike safety

Since Jan. 28, the night Tony Diaz was killed while cycling through the University of Texas campus, university management has listened to and considered calls for safer bicycle facilities on San Jacinto Boulevard, a popular cycling route both for students…

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro updates ETA for journey-planning app

Recovering from a rocky start, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority says its new and improved mobile transit application will soon be live and ready for mobile users to download.The agency launched its new application for Android users on Monday, promising,…

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City launches map to track bike network projects

The city is anticipating a major push for bicycle infrastructure over the next year. As part of that broader effort, the Austin Transportation Department launched an interactive tracking tool this week to help residents follow the progress of ongoing and…

Monday, September 16, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Commission stresses need for better TOD planning along Green Line

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is studying the potential for placing transit-oriented development districts along Project Connect’s rail commuter Green Line, but the Planning Commission says that effort may be somewhat futile without a concentrated push to create vibrant communities…

Thursday, September 12, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Nearing October, code rewrite team admits difficulty with Council direction

Residents will soon be able to peruse the draft version of the new land use code, scheduled for public release in October, but the Land Development Code revision team says complications in the current code have made it difficult to…

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council adopts $4.2 billion budget

For the second year in a row, City Council has adopted its fiscal year budget in a single meeting of discussing and adopting amendments.With the budget passing 10-1, Council Member Jimmy Flannigan said his vote against the budget came down…

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

CAMPO adopts plan for transportation demand management

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization voted to adopt its regional transportation demand management plan on Monday despite concerns that the plan could end up favoring urban projects to the detriment of rural counties.The plan was created to streamline the…

Friday, September 6, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council tells staff: Get municipal court move done

So far, the process of reviewing plans and preparing for relocation of the Austin Municipal Court has been “very, very extensive,” according to Municipal Court Clerk Mary Jane Grubb. Impatient with the lagging timeline, City Council is pressing staffers to…

Thursday, September 5, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council sets differing expectations for homeless strategy officer

While Lori Pampilo Harris, the city’s newly hired homeless strategy officer, packs her things and prepares for her journey from Orlando to Austin, City Council is making big plans for her first day on the job.The first order of business,…

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Community leverages conundrum over hemp to advocate for marijuana decriminalization

Despite the technical difficulty of distinguishing marijuana from legal industrial hemp, the Austin Police Department told the City Council Judicial Committee on Tuesday that the city cannot afford to let the possession and sale of marijuana go unchecked.However, several members…

Friday, August 30, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council looks beyond the budget

City Manager Spencer Cronk sat down with Council members at a special called work session Thursday to give an overview of four budget-related topics that have come up in recent weeks: the Hotel Occupancy Tax; an emergency-response report by the…

Friday, August 30, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Staff proposes exchanging parking for sidewalks

There is a controversial assumption informing the work of the Land Development Code revision team: That is, shrinking the city’s mode share of motorists driving alone from 74 percent to 50 percent in the next two decades will require, to…

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro talks batteries over electric bus contract

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is pressing on with its fleet electrification plan despite a number of kinks yet to be fully ironed out.After the agency’s board of directors approved a contract with New Flyer of America on Monday for…

Monday, August 26, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City prepares for ‘shot clock’ bill with code amendments

Just in time, City Council approved changes to the Land Development Code Thursday intended to buffer the city’s subdivision development application process against House Bill 3167, known as the “shot clock” bill, effective statewide Sept. 1.Council members across the dais…

Friday, August 23, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Riverside development inches closer to approval

The so-called “Domain on Riverside” fell one vote short of the seven needed to pass City Council on both second and third readings. Council members rehashed common concerns about the development’s size and location on Thursday before passing the 4700…

Thursday, August 22, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Mobility Committee advances push for safe railroad crossings

A long-standing concern with pedestrian and bicycle safety at railroad crossings has earned support from some City Council members, but questions about equity and process may temper hopes of swift improvements.Since October 2018, both the Bicycle Advisory Council and Pedestrian…

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Housing supply and demand debate resurfaces over code rewrite

The Land Development Code rewrite team is going far beyond previous efforts in Draft 3 of CodeNEXT with its housing capacity goals. According to staff, aiming for more housing units in general will also help secure affordable housing while addressing…

Monday, August 19, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Shoal Creek trail project gets special attention

To support both the city’s transportation goals and the ongoing work of the Shoal Creek Conservancy, City Council passed a resolution Aug. 9 directing the city manager to consider ways to prioritize the Cypress and Shoal Creek Project, a heavily…

Thursday, August 15, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City tightens standards for housing development assistance loans

The Austin Housing Finance Corporation plans to be more selective with loan applications and partnerships for its Rental Housing Development Assistance and Ownership Housing Development Assistance programs in the coming years.The programs offer loans to developers promising housing units for…

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