Stories by Ryan Thornton

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…

Friday, October 12, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Zero Waste Advisory Commission buries landfill criteria matrix

Austin’s Zero Waste Advisory Commission met Wednesday night and voted to scrap a two-year effort at creating a matrix of criteria that could objectively evaluate landfills for city use.The commission was presented with two matrices — one developed by stakeholders…

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

County faces a future of frequent, heavy storms

As anyone who has sat for hours in Austin traffic knows, city infrastructure is often built to meet the needs of the present, not the needs of 15 or even 10 years down the road. This is a problem when…

Monday, October 8, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

City grants crucial funding to arts organizations

Austin’s art advocates are breathing a little easier since Thursday afternoon, when City Council approved a resolution to award crucial funds to eligible arts organizations for Fiscal Year 2018-19.A total of $8,602,688 will be distributed among the organizations listed here.The…

Friday, October 5, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

City Council votes: Manchaca to become Menchaca

Austin City Council voted Thursday afternoon to rename South Austin’s Manchaca Road to reflect its allegedly historically accurate spelling: Menchaca.While the issue may appear to be too simple for debate, the vowel in question is a placeholder for a much…

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

County dedicates $3M to permanent supportive housing

The Travis County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday morning to dedicate $3 million to permanent supportive housing for repeat users of the criminal justice and health care systems.The county’s $3 million, comprising $600,000 annually over five years, is roughly a fifth…

Friday, September 28, 2018 by Ryan Thornton

Travis County moves Sendero forward with fingers crossed

After much back-and-forth over the fate of Sendero Health Plans, Central Health has presented a strategy to leverage its funds in hopes of saving the insurance company from being terminated. The Travis County Commissioners Court admitted the precarious nature of…

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