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Changes for West Fifth

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

More transportation changes are coming to downtown, according to a press release this week from the city’s Transportation Department. This time, the changes come in the form of transit improvements to West Fifth Street, which include a bike lane between West Lynn and Baylor streets and priority bus and bike signals at Baylor. The press release explains, “By repurposing the existing far right-hand bicycle lane to a shared transit and bicycle priority lane, the City of Austin will achieve greater system efficiency and support multimodal transportation choices without reducing capacity on the remaining three vehicle lanes.” The project will be tackled in two phases, with construction beginning this week, with an aim toward completion in January. Phase one involves “dedicating a 14-foot-wide lane along Fifth Street, between West Lynn and Baylor streets, exclusively for transit vehicles, bicycles and right-turning vehicles; re-striping the existing travel lanes from 11 feet wide to 10 feet wide; installing priority transit and bicycle signals at the intersection of Fifth and Baylor streets, allowing buses and bicycles to be queued out of the lane ahead of the general purpose lanes; and installing static signage demarcating the new lane as a transit- and bicycle-only lane.” The second phase is planned to begin in spring 2019, “further clarifying the shared transit and bicycle lane using red markings and replacing the static signs with dynamic message signs to alert travelers of mobility changes.”

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