Transportation Solutions Happening Now

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 1.22.38 PMCommunity Impact’s Central Austin edition ran an article in July examining the transportation solutions our region is advancing now, as traffic congestion grows worse and is expected to double by 2035. Here are some key points about what’s going on now that could help lessen the traffic jams:

Fewer than 20 percent of Austin residents feel comfortable using bike lanes immediately adjacent to vehicles, but more than half surveyed would ride in protected bike lanes. A new city bike plan proposes building more protected green lanes, like the existing ones on Guadalupe Street, thus creating more bike-friendly infrastructure. That means the transportation system can serve more people by allowing travelers to make short trips with bikes, in their own protected space, instead of in cars.

Walkability is also gaining traction in neighborhoods around Austin. Austin has a new Pedestrian Advisory Council, a new advocacy group, Walk Austin, a new Complete Streets program, and a new-found passion to make walkability a key criteria for success in quality urban development. That means more spaces for people to safely commute by foot, access transit, or simply replace shorter car trips with walking trips.

More people using transit during peak hours also means more people are able to come downtown. That is why Movability Austin continues to work with companies to improve benefits and facilities management that can help employees choose commuting options beyond driving alone at rush hour. This includes getting downtown companies working with Capital Metro and its MetroWorks. That program provides reduced transit fare for commuters, in hopes of making transit easier to use. The W Hotel, Hilton Austin, and companies that are part of the Brazos Tech District have signed on to MetroWorks. When the new MetroRapid 803 route launches in August, Capital Metro will work with companies along that route to make it easier for their employees to ride the rapid bus.

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