Stories by Ryan Thornton

Friday, June 14, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Street impact fees making their way back to Council

Austin Transportation is proposing a one-time street impact fee for new developments to help the city pay for its growth in an equitable and transparent way.After releasing a draft study earlier this week explaining how fees would be calculated and…

Friday, June 14, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City leverages development review for transit goals

The Austin Transportation Department says years of efforts to institutionalize Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan visions of a compact and connected city are finally panning out.Since signing a memorandum of understanding in December involving ATD, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority and…

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

CAMPO commits to study for Bergstrom Spur urban trail, transit corridor

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Austin Monday for a transportation planning study of the Bergstrom Spur corridor in Southeast Austin.The agency’s Transportation Policy Board approved $280,000 for the study in May…

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council sets tow fee to track with consumer price index change

City Council responded Thursday to a request from local towing companies and the Austin Police Department to raise the fee for non-consent tows taking place in the city.The vote sets the fee at $185 for tows initiated by the police…

Monday, June 10, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council zones McKalla Place for end-of-summer groundbreaking

City Council unanimously approved a rezoning of the city-owned McKalla Place property on Thursday, granting Precourt Sports Ventures the entitlements needed to move forward with its proposed site plan.The vote redesignates the property at 10414 McKalla Place and 10617½ Burnet…

Friday, June 7, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

No decision on Butler Pitch & Putt contract

With Mayor Steve Adler and Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison both absent for a vote at Thursday’s meeting, City Council has postponed approving a contract of up to 20 years for Pecan Grove Golf Partners for managing Austin’s nearly 70-year-old Butler…

Friday, June 7, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

County Transportation Blueprint: So many projects, so few dollars

Between the city’s ambitious new mobility plan and the region’s transportation vision into 2040, Travis County is now working on prioritizing its own transportation goals for the next 30 years.The Commissioners Court approved a draft of the Transportation Blueprint in…

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council to postpone vote on camping, panhandling ordinance

As the city puts more resources into shelters and programs to assist those without a place to live, City Council is also considering modifying three often-counterproductive city policies that target homeless people. The policies prohibit camping in public areas, sitting…

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Public Safety Commission backs adoption of international wildfire code

The Public Safety Commission is again recommending tighter wildfire protection standards for structures built between the city’s wildlands and urban center.On Monday the commission endorsed adoption of a Wildland-Urban Interface Code that would expand ember protection and structure hardening regulations…

Monday, June 3, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Austin Transportation releases yearly report

The Austin Transportation Department released its annual report for 2018 on Friday, featuring a month-by-month breakdown of its major accomplishments from last year as well as an overview of its $52 million in operating budget spending.The report highlights five major…

Friday, May 31, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

UT meets with advocates, talks bike safety on San Jacinto

Representatives of the University of Texas are promising ongoing discussions of safety and mobility improvements to its section of San Jacinto Boulevard, where 39-year-old Tony Diaz was recently killed while riding a bicycle.Director of Sustainability Jim Walker and President Gregory…

Thursday, May 30, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Parks board critiques Butler Pitch & Putt solicitation, recommends change of hands

The Parks and Recreation Board yielded to the authority of city procedure Tuesday when it passed a recommendation for Council to approve an agreement with Pecan Grove Golf Partners to take over the management of Butler Park Pitch & Putt…

Friday, May 24, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City no longer the ‘wild, wild west’ of scooters

Imprudent scooter users could now face fines of up to $40 for breaking the city’s new rules of conduct for micro-mobility devices (scooters, skateboards, etc.).Though they decided to postpone two of the Austin Transportation Department’s three proposed micro-mobility ordinances, City…

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Neighborhood health center in race against displacement

Austin Public Health wants to build a new neighborhood public health center adjacent to Dove Springs District Park in District 2, but some City Council members are concerned the $12.4 million neighborhood center won’t be ready in time to have…

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

B-cycle prepares for shift in leadership

In the wake of steady ridership losses and multiplying competitors, Elliott McFadden, executive director of the public bike-share system Austin B-cycle, has decided to step away from the bike rental program.McFadden notified B-cycle’s board of directors in mid-April that he…

Friday, May 17, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Austin Energy says Decker employees will be prepared for transition

Belated plans to decommission two aging steam turbines at Decker Creek Power Station have brought into question the futures of the estimated 39 employees who will be out of work when the last steam unit shuts down in late 2021.In…

Thursday, May 16, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

APD makes case for increased tow fee

The Austin Police Department says the city tow rate is due for an update. According to the department’s calculations, the current fee has fallen behind market rates and should be adjusted as soon as possible.While the city’s police tow rate…

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council asks city staff for ideas on local Green New Deal, EVs

City Council unanimously approved its own Green New Deal resolution last week in response to the devastating consequences of the climate crisis, from record temperatures to the historic flooding seen in Austin and Central Texas over the last decade.Council Member…

Friday, May 10, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council passes affordable housing density bonus program

In keeping with its previous support of Council Member Greg Casar’s proposed density bonus program, City Council unanimously approved the Affordability Unlocked bonus program Thursday evening, an ordinance amending city code by loosening site restrictions and promoting construction of more…

Thursday, May 9, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Code rewrite leaves little room for small area planning pilot

City Council will not be taking action Thursday on a resolution intended to direct City Manager Spencer Cronk to initiate a pilot small area planning project on North Lamar Boulevard between Tech Ridge Transit Center and U.S. Highway 183.Although the…

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