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  #1641  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 4:35 AM
Scottolini Scottolini is offline
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Originally Posted by nixcity View Post
^With all the trucks and SUV's here I wouldn't dare drive one here. If it were all about mileage you could do just as well with a hybrid or other models and not risk your life so much.
It's a lot safer than a motorcycle.
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  #1642  
Old Posted Nov 23, 2009, 6:28 AM
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Looks like the direct access ramps that were started but never finished at 290 and Mopac will be finally completed - the city council approved $13 million for it.

According to the article, "the project will connect northbound Loop 1 to eastbound U.S. 290 and westbound U.S. 290 to southbound Loop 1."
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  #1643  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2009, 5:36 PM
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Originally Posted by arbeiter View Post
Looks like the direct access ramps that were started but never finished at 290 and Mopac will be finally completed - the city council approved $13 million for it.

According to the article, "the project will connect northbound Loop 1 to eastbound U.S. 290 and westbound U.S. 290 to southbound Loop 1."
that'll definitely help; long overdue. have they done any work on the 'y'? i haven't been out that way in awhile.
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  #1644  
Old Posted Nov 24, 2009, 5:36 PM
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It's a lot safer than a motorcycle.
I'm going to ride a Vespa full-tilt out into that traffic and prove you all wrong!
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  #1645  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2009, 10:38 PM
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Road project bids millions under estimates
Austin Business Journal

A couple of major highway projects will be built for less than they had been estimated to cost, officials announced Monday.

The Manor Expressway and the 183A Northern Extension benefited from sparse business opportunities and low commodity prices that resulted in low bids.

The Manor Expressway project, which had been estimated to cost $75.1 million, received six bids under $63 million. The project will involve building direct-connect flyover ramps between U.S. 183 and the Manor Expressway.

183A Northern Extension, estimated to cost $113.4 million, received six bids under $79 million. That project will involve extending the existing 183A toll road by five miles into Leander.

The projects, which are receiving federal stimulus funding, will create 2,300 jobs and pump $423 million into the local economy, according to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority.

http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin...l?surround=lfn
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  #1646  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2009, 10:11 PM
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Project would remove Texas 71/Riverside Drive bottleneck

By Ben Wear | Monday, December 7, 2009, 12:21 PM

The Riverside Drive traffic light on Texas 71, a source of consternation to drivers ever since the Texas Department of Transportation stopped a freeway project just short of it three years ago, could be on the way out.

The Texas Transportation Commission next week likely will consider approval of $43 million to extend the Texas 71 freeway just north of Riverside, routing the express lanes under a Riverside Drive overpass. In addition, officials are considering removing an existing Texas 71 traffic light at Thornberry Road on the north side of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The net effect of the moves would be an unfettered trip on Texas 71 from Interstate 35 (and points west) to the airport. Given the rapid decision to build the Riverside overpass, design of the project is in the early stages and thus construction would not begin until after August 2011, said Carlos Lopez, TxDOT’s Austin district engineer.

Construction would then take 18 months to two years, Lopez said.

“This is going to make a real difference to people all over the community that want to get to the airport,” said state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who pushed TxDOT officials to find the money for the project. “And it will certainly help those who live east of I-35.”

Rest of article at http://www.statesman.com/blogs/conte...texas_71r.html
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  #1647  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2009, 10:59 PM
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^I thought that was supposed to be part of the toll project???
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  #1648  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2009, 6:29 PM
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Originally Posted by nixcity View Post
^I thought that was supposed to be part of the toll project???
It would be horrible if they did make that stretch a toll road. That is the main artery to the Airport. It would be basically forcing everybody in the region who uses the airport to pay tolls. I really hope it is not tolled.
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  #1649  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2009, 6:43 PM
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It would be horrible if they did make that stretch a toll road. That is the main artery to the Airport. It would be basically forcing everybody in the region who uses the airport to pay tolls. I really hope it is not tolled.
Free frontage roads. Exactly the same number of free lanes with exactly the same stop lights. So not true.

That said, it's becoming increasingly clear 71 East will not be tolled, at least the portion between I-35 and the airport. Maybe the segment East from there out to 130 will be at some point, though.
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  #1650  
Old Posted Dec 8, 2009, 11:13 PM
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Yea, that's one area that shouldn't be tolled, could you imagine, welcome to Austin, pay here.
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  #1651  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2009, 12:27 AM
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Heh, my sister and her fiancee are going to just love that! They live off of 71 about a mile east of 130. They both work downtown though, so they almost never take 71 from between 183 and I-35. They usually take either 7th Street or else Riverside.
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  #1652  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2009, 5:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Scottolini View Post
Free frontage roads. Exactly the same number of free lanes with exactly the same stop lights. So not true.

That said, it's becoming increasingly clear 71 East will not be tolled, at least the portion between I-35 and the airport. Maybe the segment East from there out to 130 will be at some point, though.
Yea but frontage roads have lights, Its not fair to expect people that may be rushing to the airport to make sure they get there in time to have to sit at lights or be forced to pay tolls to get there sooner. Either way Im glad it wont be tolled. I could care less if it was tolled east of the Airport.
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  #1653  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2009, 5:52 PM
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CM has fired Veolia, but still says service will start 1Q 2010. Ben Wear has the best coverage including this quote with an insider (all the other media outlets just published CM's PR):

Quote:
The break occurs in the wake of a dispute over liability between the transit agency and Veolia. Capital Metro and Veolia had been discussing “side business,” according to sources familiar with the negotiations, when Capital Metro said it wanted Veolia to assume liability for not only any damages its employees might cause but also for events related to Capital Metro’s facilities.

The problem, the sources say, is that Capital Metro does not have either sufficient insurance or a self-insurance reserve to cover potential damages.
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  #1654  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2009, 3:46 AM
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As I have said before, those trains will NEVER run....It's all been a huge swindle...Unfortunately this crap has gone on so long that finding the original scammers will be impossible....The trains are dead and the $$$$$ gone...PITIFUL...A real black eye for this city.....
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  #1655  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2009, 10:53 AM
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"Cap Metro fires rail contractor"
http://www.statesman.com/news/conten...0capmetro.html
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  #1656  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2009, 2:44 PM
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From the crackplog today: a pointer to an article by Jeff Wood which touches on a post I made a couple of weeks ago. An excerpt from the Chronicle in '00:

Quote:
The prevailing wisdom has been that a project in Smart-Grown Austin, serving major trip generators like UT and the Capitol complex, supported by Cap Met's ample sales tax revenue, would be a slam dunk for a "highly recommended" rating. (Conversely, the original Red Line, which had far lower ridership and -- even though it was on existing rail right of way -- only marginally lower projected costs, was headed, Cap Met insiders say, for a "not recommended" kiss-of-death rating, which is why the transit authority switched tracks at the 11th hour.)
Jeff independently confirms a lot of what I've said about the sudden switch in '03-'04 from LRT to commuter rail, some of which was disputed by anonymous poster "SecretAgentMan". Please read the whole post (and his) for more.
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  #1657  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2009, 7:22 PM
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Grrr. This really pisses me off, especially this...


"In 2000, Capital Metro was preparing for a push for light-rail on a corridor which, on objective measures, was the best suited for an urban rail starter line in this city. It would have hit all three major attractors, ran through the densest residential neighborhoods, and hit the big suburban park-and-rides. The FTA loved this line. It would have given transit service to Leander as well as urban Austin, and it would have been competitive enough with the car to be a successful starter line for a future rail network, based on similar experience in cities like Dallas, Denver, Portland, and Salt Lake City.

Mike Krusee did not like this.

Capital Metro was, in my opinion based on our meetings with them at the time, preparing for an election in 2001, possibly in May.

Mike Krusee did not like this.

Virtually none of Capital Metro's constituents are in Mike Krusee's district.

This did not stop Mike Krusee.

Mike Krusee forced an election in November, 2000 on light rail. This was:

* Too early - Capital Metro hadn't finished figuring out what roads it would run on, or how much support there would be for various parts of the route (for instance, in retrospect, running on South Congress was a non-starter and should have been dropped, but there wasn't time to figure this out well enough beforehand; others complained that it was impossible to evaluate the proposal since CM still had five or six proposed routes through downtown).
* Bad timing - Dubya was running for President, which pulled in a disproportionate number of suburban voters disinclined to give transit a chance.

That election failed, by the closest margin ever seen in a rail ballot. In fact, it passed inside Austin, and passed overwhelmingly in central Austin. The cities now viewed as light-rail success stories generally had to run multiple votes after their first vote failed by a much larger margin than did Austin's. This should have demonstrated a mandate in favor of rail, within the city limits of Austin.

This wasn't enough for Mike Krusee.

He then wrote a bill which was passed by the state Legislature which required that Capital Metro only hold rail elections in November of even-numbered years (basically stacking the deck against transit - common local issue elections typically happen in May and would draw out people more interested in local issues than national ones; Krusee forced the reverse).

Keep in mind that most of Mike Krusee's constituents do not pay taxes to Capital Metro.

This restriction was not placed on transit systems in general (i.e. Dallas' DART system, Houston's METRO system, or proposed VIA rail system in San Antonion). It was placed only on Capital Metro.

The people of Austin demonstrated they wanted rail, and Mike Krusee made sure they wouldn't get it."

http://mdahmus.monkeysystems.com/blo...es/000079.html
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  #1658  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2009, 7:25 PM
Scottolini Scottolini is offline
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Can I just say I hate Mike Krusee? And the Texas Legislator. Seriously, I hate them.
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  #1659  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2009, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M1EK View Post
From the crackplog today: a pointer to an article by Jeff Wood which touches on a post I made a couple of weeks ago. An excerpt from the Chronicle in '00:



Jeff independently confirms a lot of what I've said about the sudden switch in '03-'04 from LRT to commuter rail, some of which was disputed by anonymous poster "SecretAgentMan". Please read the whole post (and his) for more.
I never disputed Krusee's involvement in derailing the 2000 LRT plan, nor have I disputed the abrupt change in direction in 2003. I was there at the table at the time. What I have disputed is your implication that Krusee was behind the shift in strategy in early 2004. For a time, the plan was to go to the voters with a shorter LRT line from Lamar / Anderson AND the Red Line commuter rail from Leander. This is reflected in the neighborhood plans along the Lamar / Guadalupe corridor that were done at that time in conjunction with the rail planning (look it up).

When the decision was made to go to a vote in 2004 with commuter rail only, I expressed my concerns to Lee Walker, then the board chair of Cap Metro. He told me that it was entirely his strategy, and that he agreed that light rail was a no brainer in the Lamar / Guadalupe corridor, but that his conversations with multiple community leaders and some private polling that had been done indicated that a less expensive plan was sure to pass the election, but the bigger ticket was riskier. That was combined with lower funding levels from the FTA under the Bush Administration. Lee gave me his commitment that he would push for LRT in the Green Line corridor after commuter rail was approved and operating, but unfortuately he is no longer the Board Chair.

Around 2003 Krusee had a conversion of sorts after Scott Polikov took him and several other community leaders on a trip to DC to look at various TODs. Krusee became a rail backer and was involved in lobbying Cap Metro to extend the commuter rail terminus past the Convention Center to at least Congress. Cap Metro resisted because they wanted to be able to say "all on existing tracks" prior to the election.

Mike Krusee is now a national Board Member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and is working at the national level to promote transportation reform, including funding for rail over highways. Read the post linked in Jeff Woods blog under "revelation" http://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/11/06...ys-for-itself/.

Mike Krusee's former Policy Aide, John Langmore, himself a Board Member of the local chapter of the CNU, has just been appointed to the Board of Capital Metro. I predict that with a new Board, new General Manager, and a different funding environment coming from the Obama Whitehouse, there will be a renewed emphasis on urban rail beyond the City's current efforts.
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  #1660  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2009, 1:43 AM
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretAgentMan View Post
I never disputed Krusee's involvement in derailing the 2000 LRT plan, nor have I disputed the abrupt change in direction in 2003. I was there at the table at the time. What I have disputed is your implication that Krusee was behind the shift in strategy in early 2004. For a time, the plan was to go to the voters with a shorter LRT line from Lamar / Anderson AND the Red Line commuter rail from Leander. This is reflected in the neighborhood plans along the Lamar / Guadalupe corridor that were done at that time in conjunction with the rail planning (look it up).

When the decision was made to go to a vote in 2004 with commuter rail only, I expressed my concerns to Lee Walker, then the board chair of Cap Metro. He told me that it was entirely his strategy, and that he agreed that light rail was a no brainer in the Lamar / Guadalupe corridor, but that his conversations with multiple community leaders and some private polling that had been done indicated that a less expensive plan was sure to pass the election, but the bigger ticket was riskier. That was combined with lower funding levels from the FTA under the Bush Administration. Lee gave me his commitment that he would push for LRT in the Green Line corridor after commuter rail was approved and operating, but unfortuately he is no longer the Board Chair.

Around 2003 Krusee had a conversion of sorts after Scott Polikov took him and several other community leaders on a trip to DC to look at various TODs. Krusee became a rail backer and was involved in lobbying Cap Metro to extend the commuter rail terminus past the Convention Center to at least Congress. Cap Metro resisted because they wanted to be able to say "all on existing tracks" prior to the election.

Mike Krusee is now a national Board Member of the Congress for the New Urbanism and is working at the national level to promote transportation reform, including funding for rail over highways. Read the post linked in Jeff Woods blog under "revelation" http://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/11/06...ys-for-itself/.

Mike Krusee's former Policy Aide, John Langmore, himself a Board Member of the local chapter of the CNU, has just been appointed to the Board of Capital Metro. I predict that with a new Board, new General Manager, and a different funding environment coming from the Obama Whitehouse, there will be a renewed emphasis on urban rail beyond the City's current efforts.
The Red line is almost into operation, it's time to have another election to build the Green line. Obama's administration will be much easier on new transit projects qualifying for Federal funds. Don't make the mistake Austin did the last time and wait for Obama's terms to expire before having another vote. You have to strike while the iron is hot.
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