Stories by Ryan Thornton

Friday, October 30, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City departments may now deal with small-scale violations

City Council unanimously approved a change to city code Thursday that will allow the Office of the City Auditor to refer small-scale secondary employment misuse cases to the city manager’s office. In cases where a city employee is found using…

Thursday, October 29, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Domain substation may compromise Red Line Trail

Austin Energy needs a new substation to serve the population growth around the Domain and the utility already owns a site in an ideal location for that purpose. However, the Public Works Department’s Urban Trails team has been eyeing that…

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

County extends small cities relief deadline

Millions of dollars in pandemic relief funds may shortly be returned to the U.S. Treasury Department due to the failure of small cities in Travis County to provide documentation for the county’s $7.3 million small cities relief program. The Commissioners…

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Cap Metro cross-charges electric buses

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been testing out the electric bus market this year with vehicles and charging systems from two different manufacturers. While the six Proterra and six New Flyer buses originally came with manufacturer-specific charging systems, Capital…

Friday, October 23, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Downtown Commission defends cars on Congress

As the Austin Transportation Department continues to build out Congress Avenue’s protected bike lanes and make intersection safety improvements, the Downtown Commission wants to ensure that the changes will not result in reduced capacity – the number of cars able…

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Commission sends back public art guidelines

The city’s Art in Public Places guidelines are being revised this year for improved legibility, formatting and a stronger focus on equity. They have not been updated since 2004 and most of the changes are uncontroversial, but the Arts Commission…

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council requests emergency economic development corporation

As part of the Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors program, City Council is seeking to expedite formation of the Austin Economic Development Corporation, an entity that may be able to help refine and administer the long-term sustainability component of SAVES.The…

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City identifies Downtown Community Court east side location

After considering the available options, the city is ready to make the first move to relocate the Downtown Austin Community Court across Interstate 35 into a planned three-story building at 1719 E. Second St. The city intends to bring a…

Friday, October 16, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council approves partial start for SAVES

After directing the city to create the Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) fund last month, City Council approved initial program guidelines Thursday that will provide some immediate financial relief for local music venues, restaurants, bars and child care centers.…

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council refines SAVES proposal

The city has not yet found the right balance in regards to distributing $15 million in financial assistance under Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES). As City Council prepares to consider allocating $8.5 million in sales tax revenue to the…

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

TxDOT to reconsider U.S. 183 South route

After a series of stakeholder meetings beginning last November, the Texas Department of Transportation is considering rerouting its planned U.S. Highway 183 South expansion to avoid impacting a historic African American family farm and cemetery in southeastern Travis County.According to…

Friday, October 9, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City revises street impact fee plan

After years in the making, the city has proposed a modification to the street impact fee program out of a desire to simplify the process and maximize benefits in the city’s eastern crescent. Instead of calculating impact fees individually based…

Thursday, October 8, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Bike Austin fights for Healthy Streets

The Austin Transportation Department removed two segments of Healthy Streets last week, and barring another wave of cases of Covid-19, will continue winding down the initiative by removing one or two street projects every couple of weeks until all eight…

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City advances speed management projects

On the heels of an ongoing citywide speed limit reduction program, the Austin Transportation Department has launched a new traffic calming program to help retrofit Austin’s streets for an increasingly urban environment.The speed mitigation program is intended to complement speed…

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Assistant chief talks APD headquarters

The movement for racial justice combined with the Covid-19 pandemic may be reshaping the future of the Austin Police Department and the use of the department’s headquarters at 715 E. Eighth St.While the conversation about reimagining the headquarters grew out…

Friday, October 2, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Council approves $15M for vital businesses

City Council unanimously approved a revised version of the Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) relief effort on Thursday to provide financial assistance to some of the city’s most vulnerable music and arts venues, child care providers, and restaurants and…

Thursday, October 1, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Healthy Streets inspires slow streets pilot

With cases of Covid-19 on the decline in Austin, the Transportation Department is preparing to wind down the Healthy Streets initiative, a safe mobility and social distancing program that’s been in effect since May 22. The department will start by…

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

City offers $15M funding plan for SAVES

In the absence of sufficient state and federal economic relief for Covid-19, the city has identified four potential local funding sources totaling $15 million for the Save Austin’s Vital Economic Sectors (SAVES) effort. If approved by City Council this week,…

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Covid-19 informs Pickup service model

The on-demand, app-based transportation service Pickup has become an increasingly central piece of Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s service network in recent years, beginning with a pilot in 2017 and expanding into seven neighborhoods today. As the program expands into new…

Friday, September 25, 2020 by Ryan Thornton

Austin B-cycle rebranded as MetroBike

Transportation contributes more to local air pollution than any other economic sector and will soon be the largest source of local greenhouse gas emissions heating up the planet. Yet three-quarters of all work commutes in Austin are still made by private…

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