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Stories by Ryan Thornton

Monday, December 17, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

State transportation performance goals suggest lack of government solutions

Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Transportation Policy Board caught a glimpse of a potentially bleak future in Texas transportation during a routine procedure at the board’s Monday evening meeting.In line with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century…

Thursday, December 13, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

County delays decision on criminal district attorney’s office

The Travis County Commissioners Court is considering a merger of the County and District Attorney’s offices into a criminal district attorney office that may considerably lower the number of jail bookings for misdemeanor offenses.County Attorney David Escamilla and District Attorney…

Friday, December 7, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Scooters: Committee calls for clear rules

The number of dockless scooter operators wanting a share of the Austin market continues to rise. This week, Austin welcomed the latest entrant, Lyft, with permits for 1,500 authorized units, pushing the total number of authorized scooters (not the number…

Thursday, December 6, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro votes kids ride free, forever

Looking at the 120,000 annual service hours added with Cap Remap this summer or at the major upcoming investments between Project Connect and a fully electric bus fleet, we might expect Capital Metro to be squeezing every possible penny out…

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Between storms and traffic, Travis County tries to stay afloat

A growing influx of vehicles to Travis County paired with the effects of the climate crisis has the county struggling to provide the infrastructure needed to simultaneously absorb the effects of both. At the same time, the recent Atlas 14…

Friday, November 30, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

City cracks down on Lime scooters

In the same week that Parks and Recreation announced a controversial pilot program allowing electric bikes and scooters on several of the city’s most popular trails, the Austin Transportation Department has temporarily subtracted 1,000 scooters from the number of Lime’s…

Thursday, November 29, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Weeks before Project Connect vote, city talks community engagement

The Dec. 17 Capital Metro Board of Directors vote on the Project Connect vision plan is quickly approaching. Austin residents are being asked by the transportation agency and City Council representatives to take the time this holiday season to attend…

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

County finalizes Indigent Legal Services work group

On Oct. 16, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission presented a report to the Commissioners Court in which it recommended the creation of a public defender office in Travis County along with numerous specific suggestions concerning the ideal composition of the…

Monday, November 26, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Solving regional affordability problems will require addressing transportation costs

Decreasing affordability in Austin and the surrounding area is primarily tied to a shortage of housing options coupled with rising property taxes. But the region’s lack of transportation options is the source of another significant, though less recognized, financial burden…

Friday, November 16, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro board in favor of free rides for K-12

On Wednesday, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members expressed an interest in making free rides for K-12 students a permanent feature.On June 8, the day after Capital Metro overhauled its service network with the controversial redesign known as Cap Remap, it…

Thursday, November 15, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Multifamily affordable housing breaks western Travis County development pattern

As the overwhelming support for Proposition A at last week’s election indicates, Austin-area residents want affordable housing as much as they need it. This fact is especially apparent following Travis County Commissioners Court’s support on Tuesday morning of a dense…

Friday, November 9, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Movability aims to keep cutting traffic with 2019 Mobility Challenge

Several local businesses were honored for successful participation in the 2018 Mobility Challenge Thursday morning during the Mayor’s Mobility Leadership Breakfast. The Mobility Challenge, now in its fourth year, has received mobility commitments from 60 local organizations representing over 100,000…

Thursday, November 8, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Travis County Transportation Blueprint begins final phase of public engagement

The Travis County Commissioners Court has unanimously approved the draft of the county’s Transportation Blueprint, with two changes. It now moves forward into the final stage of public engagement from November through January 2019, with any last modifications to be…

Friday, October 26, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

As temperatures increase, investment in renewables is already shaving dollars off Austin utility bills

Despite summer 2018 being one of the hottest on record in Austin, energy prices did not spike with the temperature. Instead, energy costs for customers this summer were identical to those of summer 2017, even though temperatures were higher this…

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Public defender office task force off to a slow start

Having decided to establish a public defender office in Travis County, the Commissioners Court now faces the task of organizing the preliminary steps to begin that process. After a recommendation to the court last Tuesday in a report from the…

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

City staff gets green light to research public plaza program

While it’s fashionable in the U.S. for private enterprises to attach the word “plaza” to many things that are not, like shopping malls or condominiums, a public plaza can be hard to find (Austin’s beautiful Plaza Saltillo actually prohibits “loitering,”…

Friday, October 19, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

City approves Austin Marathon route months in advance

Next year will mark the 28th year of the Austin Marathon. Since the marathon’s inception in 1992, the route has undergone a few dramatic changes and several minor changes as planners have tried to please runners, spectators, city government and…

Thursday, October 18, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

CAMPO preparing to adopt necessary traffic-reducing strategies

With promises of traffic congestion relief coming from every direction, be it e-scooters, autonomous vehicles, reliable transit or ride-share services, the number of personal cars on Austin streets is still unlikely to decrease in the near future. Until a systematic…

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

County looks at legal community for public defender office task force

Using data from the Planning and Budget Office and the Justice Planning Department, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission recently studied the feasibility and benefits of having a public defender office in Travis County.Geoff Burkhart, executive director of TIDC, presented the…

Monday, October 15, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

City, Cap Metro ready to consider transit before, not after, construction

For most of its existence, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority has struggled to create a coherent service network in a city that has been largely developed without public transit in mind. This historical pattern now appears, after decades of political…

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