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Stories by Ryan Thornton

Friday, February 22, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Bicycle Advisory Council says UT plan should not preclude safety now

In light of a preventable tragedy resulting in 39-year-old Anthony John Diaz losing his life from being run over by a Capital Metro bus while riding a bicycle on Monday, Jan. 28, the Bicycle Advisory Council is recommending that the…

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

In search of the best ‘yes’ for indigent defense

In the search of a best path forward, Travis County is at risk of losing momentum toward better indigent defense if the various interested parties can’t find a middle ground.The county’s Indigent Legal Services work group has composed a draft…

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Legislature traditions keeping revenue caps at bay, for now

Travis County has a lot to lose if the Texas Legislature decides to discard tradition for the sake of passing the four property tax relief bills that have been filed this session. After Sen. Paul Bettencourt’s Senate Bill 2 was…

Friday, February 15, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Affordability may mean dealing honestly with trash

Austin’s growth is putting a strain on the city’s waste collection service provider, Austin Resource Recovery, as it struggles to keep costs down for customers.Results of the Residential Solid Waste Affordability Study, presented to the Zero Waste Advisory Committee at…

Thursday, February 14, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

CAMPO tries to update 2040 plan, is held back by process

Without concrete policies in place, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization could quickly fall short of its goal to incorporate transportation demand management into its 2040 Regional Transportation Plan.Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt presented an amendment of the 2040 plan…

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Del Valle PID moves forward, but county is not done negotiating

The petition to create the Velocity Crossing Public Improvement District in Del Valle was unanimously approved by the Travis County Commissioners Court Tuesday morning after its third and final public hearing.As the county’s first commercial PID, the development has raised…

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Adler succeeds Conley as CAMPO chair

In accordance with its bylaws, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization unanimously approved Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s succession to chair of the Transportation Policy Board at the board’s meeting Monday evening.The previous chair, Will Conley, announced his plan to resign…

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Austin traffic deaths outlier in statewide trend

As streets are growing more dangerous year by year in Texas’ largest cities, Austin may be heading in the opposite direction.Data compiled by Pedestrian Advisory Council Member Adam Greenfield indicates that San Antonio and Dallas have experienced sharp rises in…

Friday, February 8, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

County stands firm on new construction standards for low-water crossing

Some Travis County voters are regretting having approved over $4 million to fix a low-water crossing at Great Divide Drive in Bee Cave as part of the 2017 bond. Listed alongside two dozen other projects under Proposition A, the project…

Thursday, February 7, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

2019 could be the year to end city parking minimums

The Pedestrian Advisory Council is asking City Council to confront a broad spectrum of issues this year with a simple change to the city’s dated land use code.In a unanimous vote Monday evening, PAC approved a recommendation to Council to…

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

County says affordable housing should be priority in Del Valle PID

Public improvement districts are becoming more prevalent in eastern Travis County, but commissioners are worried that not enough is being done to ensure that lower-income residents will benefit from the opportunities PIDs bring to their communities.Before voting next week on…

Monday, February 4, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Access to schools highlights Cap Remap limitations

Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority knew that its June 2018 network change, Cap Remap, would remove transit service from vulnerable communities long before the changes took place. The eliminations were part of an intentional attempt to funnel resources into frequent service…

Friday, February 1, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

City reluctantly fulfills legal obligation for Oak Hill Parkway

When the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization approved the Oak Hill Parkway Project on Jan. 14, Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s only regret was the loss of a good opportunity to use tolls to cover maintenance costs. Austin City Council members…

Thursday, January 31, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Western Travis County overlay ESD may provide critical revenue to struggling area

Emergency Services District 8 in western Travis County will soon be giving voters a chance to pay more taxes in exchange for much-needed service improvements.Following a public hearing Tuesday morning, the Commissioners Court unanimously approved ESD 8’s petition to hold…

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Group forms to mediate conflict over sexual assault cases

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and former Texas state Senator Wendy Davis held a press conference Tuesday announcing their partnership in the creation of a Travis County Sexual Assault Prevention and Healing Work Group. Eckhardt and Davis were joined in…

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro cuts back on downtown station plan

A nationwide shortage of skilled labor and a tariff-induced spike in the cost of steel have raised estimated construction costs for Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s downtown rail station. Instead of looking for extra project funding, the agency has decided to…

Friday, January 25, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

County pushes for progress amid state’s political battles

Travis County has already filed bills for a third of its dozen legislative priorities for the 86th Texas Legislature since the session began Jan. 8.One of these priorities is to ensure that sobering centers are authorized to assume responsibility for…

Thursday, January 24, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

No opposition to county food inspection frequencies update

In the absence of County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, the Travis County Commissioners Court talked food Tuesday morning.Following the city’s implementation of a risk-based food inspection system last November, Austin Public Health is now asking Travis County to do the same.…

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Study addresses mobility needs along I-35 corridor

The Texas Department of Transportation is putting the finishing touches on its Capital-Alamo Connections Study, a collaborative effort between TxDOT, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization that began in 2017.By analyzing inter-regional travel…

Friday, January 18, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

County to issue non-voter approved debt for courthouse

The Travis County Commissioners Court approved the use of Certificates of Obligation to fund its new civil and family courthouse Tuesday morning.“This is not something that we just want,” said Commissioner Jeff Travillion. “This is a statutory responsibility that is…

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