Two significant actions came out of the Sept. 25 City Council meeting: Council approved a first reading of an ordinance that could eventually allow drivers with transportation network companies (TNC’s) like Uber and Lyft to continue operating while the City finalizes a pilot program to regulate those services, and unanimously approved the Urban Trails Master Plan.
The TNC proposal comes as a City stakeholder group prepares recommendations on how TNC’s could operate, with regulations, in Austin. Advocates for those services say they can cut down on drunk driving and give people even more options for getting around, while opponents say they have concerns about safety, insurance, and accessibility. The stakeholder group is expected to make its recommendations in a few weeks.
The Urban Trails plan, together with Austin’s updated Bicycle Master Plan, will bring more safe cycling infrastructure to the city. The plan will create a system of connected trails and on-street bikeways that will be protected from cars for pedestrians and cyclists to use around the city. Having the plan in place should make it easier for people to choose cycling as a transportation mode over driving alone.
photos via Wikimedia Commons user Bull-Doser and the City of Austin