Stories by Ryan Thornton

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Orange Line alignment brings up question of community priorities

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to have a community-supported recommendation for Project Connect’s central high-capacity Orange Line by the end of the year. The recommended “locally preferred alternative” will likely have some combination of details about the route cost…

Monday, July 22, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Longtime VP Todd Hemingson to leave Capital Metro

After more than a decade with the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the agency’s executive vice president, Todd Hemingson, will step down Friday, July 26.His immediate plan, as he told the Monitor in an interview at the agency’s headquarters on Friday,…

Friday, July 19, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Commission pushes for better mobility management around work zones

Despite the city’s plans for multimodal transportation infrastructure, proper bike lanes and fully accessible sidewalks are still a scarce public amenity in many parts of Austin. They are also often the first areas within the right of way to be…

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Advocates continue fighting for alternative solution to Oak Hill Parkway

While the Texas Department of Transportation prepares to initiate a request for proposals for the Oak Hill Parkway project at the intersection of U.S. Highway 290 and State Highway 71, local advocacy groups are still aiming to stop the project…

Friday, July 5, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Zilker’s botanical garden admission remains unchanged for now

City Council claimed to have residents in mind at its June 19 meeting when it denied a chance to save some money by giving the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy a little more control over the garden’s operations and finances.In order…

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Travis County, CAMPO luck out with shared-use path project

In a fortunate turn of events, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has found an appropriate use for $1,069,919 that could have slipped back into the state’s hands this year.The agency received notice only a few months ago that it…

Monday, July 1, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council denies request for mobile energy community center

City Council rejected a costly Austin Energy mobile outreach program in June that would have acted as a “community center” on wheels for customers to learn about energy programs offered by the utility.Austin Energy currently uses two sport utility vehicles…

Friday, June 28, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Sobering center loses director as operations stabilize

Barely a year after the Austin-Travis County Sobering Center opened its doors downtown, Rhonda Patrick, executive director of the center, has announced her resignation.The Sobering Center, a nonprofit local governmental corporation, was formed through an interlocal agreement with Travis County…

Thursday, June 27, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

County examines solid waste needs and resources

Without a statutory requirement to provide waste disposal services, Travis County is reconsidering the best way to deal with waste, both illegal and legal, while increasing recycling rates.The county initiated an interlocal agreement with the Institute for Government Innovation at…

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

County could save time and money by hiring drainage consultant

The Travis County Public Works Division has devised a way to save from $25,000 to $35,000 on construction projects that are not expected to have an impact on the existing flood plain elevations.Per the county’s regulations, projects must be reviewed…

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Ford launches mobility challenge to address health in East Austin

Ford Motor Co. initiated an eight-month mobility challenge Monday to identify and fund ideas that could help East Austin residents access the resources necessary for a healthy lifestyle.“We just celebrated as a company our 116th birthday,” said Jeff Jones, vice…

Monday, June 24, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Staff suggests plaza program either be well-funded or be forgotten

After eight months of study, including a two-month extension, the Planning and Zoning Department has finalized its recommendations for a potential public plaza program to make it easier and cheaper for applicants and city departments to create temporary public plazas.…

Friday, June 21, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City code to allow camping, solicitation, sitting in public areas, with conditions

City Council approved an ordinance early Friday morning amending city code to decriminalize certain behaviors that are often necessary consequences of living in homelessness.The changes mean that city policies prohibiting sitting, lying down and camping in public areas will only…

Thursday, June 20, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City to consider Rainey Street closure pilot

City Council directed the city manager Wednesday to immediately initiate a shared streets pilot to improve mobility and safety in the Rainey Street District.The pilot is to consider restricting vehicle access in some areas to reduce conflicts between cars, pedestrians,…

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Council wants justice for state’s actions

Caught in the wake of the 86th Texas Legislative session, City Council members are directing attention to the state leaders they say have intentionally pitted city governments against their constituents.In a briefing with Council on Tuesday, Brie Franco, intergovernmental relations…

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Visions of Zilker Park split over parking

After months of meetings beginning in September of last year, the Zilker Park Working Group was not able to reach a consensus on recommendations for the Polo Fields and Butler Landfill, two areas currently used for overflow parking.According to an…

Monday, June 17, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro sets out to better define Project Connect

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is moving into the second of six phases leading up to a possible 2020 referendum on Project Connect.With preliminary engineering contracts already awarded for the two high-capacity routes and the board set to award contracts…

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…

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