The new iPhone app (and webpage) is a great way to avoid wasting time and adding to congestion by driving around looking for a parking spot. ParkMe provides information on pricing, capacity, hours, and garage locations (downtown and campus primarily). The service also alerts you when your meter is about to expire!
9. App-scent, but Coming…
With Austin’s technologically savvy creative pool, it’s been an exciting year for brainstorming ways to improve transit accessibility with apps. This year we were offered a sneak peak of CapMetro’s rider app during F1, which promises a bright future for riders with its easy ticket purchase function. Meanwhile, RideScout continued to turn heads with national recognition for their forward-thinking solutions set on simplifying the way we use transit.
8. Congress Avenue Parklet
What do you get when you turn two parking spots on Congress Avenue into an outdoor patio for all to use? The best Park(let) project of 2012, that’s what! Rather than storing 1-3 cars an hour, the same square footage now “parks” up to 20 people at any given moment. Here’s to more space for people to buy, sit, chat, laugh and create.
7. South Congress Gets Bike Friendly
In the days of old, biking on or crossing South Congress on foot involved a bit of faith in the good of humanity. Not anymore! Bike lanes, sharrows, ADA compliant sidewalks, back in angle parking, enhanced bus stops and shortened pedestrian crossings have put smiles on the faces of pedestrians and cyclists alike.
6. Increased MetroRail Service
Due to off the charts demand for service, the City helped CapMetro expand RedLine service to run until Midnight and on Saturdays! Date night downtown never seemed so easy!
5. Austin Puts Gears in Motion with Big Improvements for Bicyclists
2012 was a big year for bicycles in Austin: the Lance Armstrong Bikeway linked south and southeast commuters to Downtown Austin while CapMetro unveiled the first of many bike stations, Bike to Work Day was the biggest yet, Rio Grande saw a new bike boulevard and Green Lanes were dotted across the city! With all this progress, Austin was selected as one of the cities for the Green Lane Project and to top it all off Austin hosted the first ever statewide technical bike conference VeloTexas!
4. MetroRapid Transit is Heading to Austin!
In 2012 Austin officially received federal funding for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and we saw the groundbreaking for what will be a huge game-changer in Austin’s transit. MetroRapid will bring us a great deal closer to the transit Austin deserves with time efficient, modern travel for your daily commute.
The groundwork was laid in 2012 for Austin’s very own bike share to begin in the Spring of 2013. This means we’ll start seeing stations of bicycles located around downtown that anyone can walk up, swipe a card, and use a bike. Bike share is a huge success in every city that offers it, because it is a worry-free way for residents and tourists alike to make short trips. Thanks to the City of Austin and private sector supporters assembled by Mellow Johnny’s/C3 and GSD&M for putting the wheels in motion for this project!
2. Imagine Austin Promises Compact & Connected Future for Austin
In 1979, Austin had less than half the people it does now, the city had no tech industry to speak of, and the Armadillo World Headquarters was still open. Up until 2012, a comprehensive plan from 1979 was “officially” guiding every sector of city services. Thankfully a new plan, Imagine Austin, was approved in this year to help Austin face growth responsibly. It also calls for better urban transportation connections and choices.
1. More Austinites Are Choosing Options
With Austin’s rapid growth, Austinites have begun actively exploring alternative transit options. This year Austin was among the Top 10 Cities for Telecommuting while people using Capital Metro continued to climb (5% more people on buses, 50% more train riders) — providing more and more people with bus and train service — and the number of people riding bikes to work doubled! Keep it up Austin! We are proud of all you savvy commuters, you are making a difference!
Austin’s Uncontested Worst Mobility Moment of 2012
The huge heartbreak this year has been the record setting pedestrian and bicyclist deaths which took the lives of 31 people while walking or cycling. We’ve seen a huge increase in cars hitting and killing people bicycling or walking. This level of tragedy tempers our delight for the progress made over the past year. Austin needs to improve infrastructure while increasing the education and enforcement commitment to safety for all road users in the upcoming year. Be safe and be kind out there.