Save the Date: The Mayor’s Mobility Leadership Luncheon is Coming Up

Austin employers play a major role in solving the city’s mobility challenges, and those who choose to participate in the Mayor’s Mobility Challenge lead the way.

The Mobility Challenge is Mayor Adler’s invitation to employers to help change Austin’s transportation situation by encouraging better use of mobility options – telework, flex schedules, ride sharing, transit, bicycling, and more. Participating employers pledge to encourage and facilitate the use of mobility options because it will make their businesses stronger, reduce costs, and support growth.

So far, 47 companies have accepted the challenge. There is an opportunity for 20 more to be part of the latest Mobility Challenge class. Employers who choose to take on the challenge enjoy – at no cost –  consulting from mobility experts at Movability Austin and The Thrival Company. Those consultants will lead employers through a planning process and provide the tools and consulting support needed to build mobility programs that will get more people out of traffic and enjoying mobility options.

On October 30th, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce is hosting lunch for a select group of participants to learn more about the Mobility Challenge and to hear from Mayor Adler and from companies that have already taken the pledge. If you’re interested in attending, contact Thomas Butler for more information. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and join employers like Dell, Seton HealthCare, University of Texas at Austin and McGarrah Jessee to network, learn, and be part of a leading group of corporate stewards.

Making Options Easier in Austin

Two new transportation developments came on line over the summer, and both should make it safer and easier for non-vehicular traffic to move around Austin. A new series of bicycle and pedestrian bridges that run next to South MoPac Expressway opened for use, and 12 bicycle signals in Central Austin are also up and running.

The bridges run parallel to MoPac as it crosses Loop 360 and Barton Creek. While the two bridges over Loop 360 have been complete for a year, the longer of the three bridges finally opened this June. The bridges, which connect to bike trails to the north and south, will allow cyclists who want to commute from Southwest Austin to downtown to do so without riding on MoPac next to vehicles. As the Austin American-Statesman points out, the trail and bridges “provide easy, protected access from Southwest Austin to Barton Springs, Zilker Park and the Butler Hike and Bike Trail around Lady Bird Lake. It’s now possible to bicycle in a protected lane or sidewalk from U.S. 290 all the way to the river.”

And in August, new bike-specific signals started operating around Central Austin. The lights, which are bicycle-shaped, give cyclists waiting at intersections a few seconds’ head start. The Austin Transportation Department, which is working with the University of Texas to study how well the new lights work, is hoping that the lights will give bikes a chance to be more visible to drivers turning into bike lanes. Giving cyclists a protected light might also help them feel safer, and in turn encourage more people to try commuting by bike.

Fifth Street Now Two-Way

In an effort to improve access and reduce congestion downtown, the Austin Transportation Department (ATD) has converted a one-way stretch of Fifth Street to two-way traffic. Reopened on Wednesday, Aug. 23, Fifth Street now consists of two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane between Brazos Street and the I-35 Southbound Frontage Road. Previously, road users could only use the three-lane street to travel eastbound.

The conversion involved installing new signals, adjusting signage, and restriping lanes. The City anticipates that this change will reduce the congestion that occurs when Sixth Street is closed during entertainment hours by improving overall east- and westbound downtown travel times. ATD has said that the change won’t affect signal priority patterns or vehicle capacity.

Another great way to keep traffic moving downtown is to shift the way people travel! If just a few commuters change the way they get around, it makes a big difference in traffic flow. If you’re an employer who wants to know more about how to keep your employees moving and reclaim time from traffic, contact us to learn more about how we can help.


Photo via City of Austin