Stories by Ryan Thornton

Tuesday, August 6, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Capital Metro pitches in for new East Austin bus station

The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors approved a 40-year interlocal agreement Monday, July 29, with the Capital Area Rural Transportation System for construction and joint operation of the Eastside Bus Plaza, a transit station at the convergence of…

Friday, August 2, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Project Connect Blue Line yet to be defined

In the shadow of 2014’s failed Highland-Riverside rail ballot measure, the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s similarly charted Blue Line is struggling to take form.The Blue Line is one of Project Connect’s two high-capacity transit lines. If approved, it will run…

Thursday, August 1, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Commission proposes code change to get housing in opportunity zones

Federal opportunity zones were designed to spur growth in economically disadvantaged areas, but the Planning Commission says the incentives are driving commercial development to the detriment of the city’s housing supply.Economic Development Department staff will give an overview and update…

Wednesday, July 31, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Permit granted for annual extraction of 289 million gallons from Trinity Aquifer

The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District granted a permit to Needmore Water LLC on Monday evening to pump up to 289,080,000 gallons of water per year from the Trinity Aquifer. According to the applicant, the water will be used for…

Monday, July 29, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Planning Commission rejects city’s gradualism in modest rezoning case

The Planning Commission clashed with city staff Tuesday by voting in favor of a request to rezone two lots at 6501 and 6503 Cannonleague Drive from Family Residence (SF-3) to Urban Family Residence (SF-5).According to staff, the requested designation could…

Friday, July 26, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Commission pushes for increased height, reduced compatibility ahead of code rewrite

The Planning Commission voted Tuesday to initiate a code amendment that would increase the building height limit from 60 to 85 feet at properties located within a transit-oriented development or zoned as vertical mixed-use. For good measure, the amendment would…

Thursday, July 25, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Solution to boost revenue for transit leads to broad debate over city signage policy

The Austin City Council will be considering limited exceptions to a city ban on off-premise advertising at its Aug. 22 meeting in order to allow Austin public schools and the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority to display simple, non-electronic advertisements at…

Thursday, July 25, 2019 by Ryan Thornton

Zoning request highlights role of commission, need for new land use code

The Planning Commission went against the official staff suggestion Tuesday evening, recommending the addition of a Vertical Mixed Use designation to the current General Commercial Services-Mixed Use Combining District-Neighborhood Plan Combining District zoning of 3706 Goodwin Ave., near the intersection…

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.…

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