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  #5681  
Old Posted May 18, 2017, 11:36 PM
smt1 smt1 is offline
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Project Connect has a new "choose the cooridors" survey up in prep for presumably a new bond in 2018. It's interesting to see the results.

https://www.capmetroengage.org/en/co...oose_corridors
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  #5682  
Old Posted May 19, 2017, 12:04 AM
drummer drummer is offline
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Originally Posted by smt1 View Post
Project Connect has a new "choose the cooridors" survey up in prep for presumably a new bond in 2018. It's interesting to see the results.

https://www.capmetroengage.org/en/co...oose_corridors
I agree. Not surprising, but good to see support for needed corridors in some cases. Others are more surprising.

Two commuter corridors with most votes so far:
1. Union Pacific RR, Mopac from San Marcos to the South to a split to Georgetown and Taylor to the North
2. I-35 Corridor, Map is showing from 45S to 45N (presumably a possible connection to the UPRR Corridor if both were to happen, in my dreams)

For the Connector Corridors:
1. N Lamar/Guadelupe has the most votes by a long shot (goes from the river to 183 to the north). The next few are way behind this one.
2. Airport Blvd from the river to N Lamar
3. 7th/Lake Austin Blvd from Red Bud Trail to the river crossing at 183 on the east
4. S Lamar from the river to Ben White


The connector corridors are surprising to me in some ways. I'm surprised that S Lamar hasn't gotten more love, for instance, as well as S. Congress and Riverside, among others. N. Lamar/Guadelupe makes sense.


The circulator corridors are interesting, and downtown is, of course, winning that one with S Congress as a close second.
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  #5683  
Old Posted May 25, 2017, 4:23 AM
OU812 OU812 is offline
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Originally Posted by The ATX View Post
No news here. I just like posting someone's ridiculous fantasy of something that will never happen, a la the gondolas.


http://www.houstonchronicle.com/loca...e-11050159.php
That image is futuristically cool. Isn't something like this in Batman Begins?
Realistically the height could be cut in half though. But yeah it would be sort of interesting to have a full on monorail built out all across the city. Sort of like a fully above ground subway network. Even better, MAGLEV. Subways are so cavernous and depressing. I'd much prefer commuting while taking in scenic views.
I'm sure none of us will ever see this however. At least not in our lifetimes. Maybe our kids'?
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  #5684  
Old Posted May 25, 2017, 6:16 PM
brando brando is offline
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Originally Posted by OU812 View Post
That image is futuristically cool. Isn't something like this in Batman Begins?
Realistically the height could be cut in half though. But yeah it would be sort of interesting to have a full on monorail built out all across the city. Sort of like a fully above ground subway network. Even better, MAGLEV. Subways are so cavernous and depressing. I'd much prefer commuting while taking in scenic views.
I'm sure none of us will ever see this however. At least not in our lifetimes. Maybe our kids'?
If you would invest in this then I think you would need to do mag lev to get your money's worth. The cost of elevated rail anywhere in Austin would just be astronomical and greatly limit what other work can be done in Austin. The cost of putting elevated rail down Lamar would be ridiculous and I can't see how you could reduce Lamar to 2 lanes even with the ability to occasionally use the train lane for left turns.

The city just has way too many roads that need a lot of work and are severely over capacity and need a massive redesign to improve mobility. Sure, you don't just want to do road work but you still have to do it. Also, south austin will have to get a lot of love the next time around. West Austin might be a little easier to deal with now that they are getting overpasses down 360.

I am not as much of a proponent of rail that I used to be although I would sill vote for it. I think smarter cars might be the future and also more efficient carpooling from ride sharing companies. Uber is definitely going in that direction but I could also see companies offering subscription services for unlimited rides in self driving cars.

I would feel stronger about expanding hard rail to outside areas of the city like the current rail line. It's much cheaper and you can get support from ares outside 183, Mopac and 71 which is why the last bond failed. People inside that area voted for it by a decent margin despite the route.

That would also make a big difference from Austin given the limited access to the west side. 71 and 183 are pretty far apart. It'll help a ton when the toll way expands from 35 to mopac but it will still get more congested. Expanding the red line down 4th street to 2nd and having that cross downtown, intersect at greyhound and move all the way past 360 might be worth the cost. Expanding it at its most eastern point could help deal with the increased development at 183 and eastward. A lot of nice apartments are going up. That to me would be a good 1st investment since there aren't the same plans on east-west work as there is north-south with 35 and 183 reconstruction. The tough thing there would be getting support from south austin. People talk about South Congress a lot but that just takes you to 35 next to Slaughter. Going down S. Lamar, Manchack all the way to slaughter would be great access for the south austin developments that don't drive all the cars in 1 direction. Plus, south lamar has exploded with density and the ability to do elevated rail there would make it possible to serve it. I mean, I get not expanding Barton Skyway over the green belt but it makes it very difficult to get anywhere. You have to go to downtown to take Casar, 5th or stay just south at the river and go to Zilker.

All that being said, I was still a huge supported of the last rail line and an opponent of going down Lamar. That was mostly due to the sprawl of Lamar and the fact that it's proven that there is a limit to how far people will walk for rail and the fact that the last line wouldn't have to close that much road area (if any) since there is a lot of space there. There was also so much room for building the same high density apartments you see on S. Lamar to drive future development and make for an efficient use of the rail. Plus, you would greatly increase cheaper space for retail/restaurants/bars because all of those complexes reserve the bottom floor for those businesses and it's so much cheaper than opening a brick and mordor.

Anyway, I know everyone disagrees with that. They need to get moving if they want to pass a bond in 2018 but 2020 might be more realistic. Cesar and Adler already started to warn everyone that billion dollar transportation bonds are in the future. Hopefully we can get some matching funds like we would have got in the last rail bond.
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  #5685  
Old Posted May 31, 2017, 6:00 PM
brando brando is offline
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Small update from the Austin Monitor. The Texas 45 SW Expansion is still progressing as the environmental inspections have not turned up any major problems.

I don't know why it doesn't go all the way from mopac to 35 but it'll hopefully still serve as a way for people to get to west austin without having to go up 35 and further congesting the Slaughter, William Cannon, Stassney area on their way to 71.
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  #5686  
Old Posted May 31, 2017, 6:03 PM
brando brando is offline
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Via Great Reporting from the Austin Monitor:

Commissioners Court looking for a bond bundle that is just right
Travis County is taking the Goldilocks approach to planning a potential bond package to put before voters this November.

Quote:
On Tuesday, the Commissioners Court voted unanimously to instruct the Citizens Bond Advisory Committee to cobble together three separate bonding scenarios: small, medium and large.

The move comes amid heightened anxiety that a concurrent Austin Independent School District bond referendum expected to reach the upper heights of nine figures could choke out the county’s attempt to ask taxpayers to pay a little extra for road and park projects.

The general obligation bond amount of each package the CBAC will construct starts at $50 million and rises to $100 million and then $150 million.

Commissioners Margaret Gómez and Gerald Daugherty both worried aloud that the small package would not have enough projects to attract countywide support. Gómez even broached the idea of pulling back from having a referendum at all, a point that County Judge Sarah Eckhardt reminded her has been discussed.

Daugherty asked Steve Manilla, county executive for the Transportation and Natural Resources Department, to gauge that body’s feelings toward the scale of a bond package, as he has been wrangling the CBAC since its members were seated in March.

“They want a larger one,” Manilla answered without hesitation.

Cynthia McDonald, chief deputy at that department, elaborated. She explained that the CBAC was originally instructed to simply prioritize projects on a list containing roughly $1 billion of potential investments. In a twist on the county’s usual bond creation protocol, this year the court has adopted a more nimble strategy of graduating the most urgent safety projects to the annual budget, leaving park, road and less direly needed investments up to the voters.

Because of the almost overwhelming list of projects committee members must consider, “They seem to be very comfortable with prioritizing as a whole,” McDonald said. “But I don’t think they’re married to any particular number.”

The CBAC is now charged with developing its three different bundles for the Commissioners Court’s review on June 20.
I would still support going large but the proposal could face bond fatigue by voters especially with a potentially large bond by AISD. The nice thing is that the bond being discussed would be spread across the whole county and not just the city of Austin.
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  #5687  
Old Posted May 31, 2017, 7:26 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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The nice thing is that the bond being discussed would be spread across the whole county and not just the city of Austin.
Still mostly a tax on Austin residents, which is then mostly spent on non-residents.

I haven't run all the numbers, but I'd still hazard an estimate that 80% of the county taxes come from Austin and the other cities (that's where the property values are higher), and then 80% is then spent outside those cities (county roads, county parks intentionally away from cities, county sheriff, ems).
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  #5688  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 7:36 PM
brando brando is offline
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Originally Posted by Novacek View Post
Still mostly a tax on Austin residents, which is then mostly spent on non-residents.

I haven't run all the numbers, but I'd still hazard an estimate that 80% of the county taxes come from Austin and the other cities (that's where the property values are higher), and then 80% is then spent outside those cities (county roads, county parks intentionally away from cities, county sheriff, ems).
This is true. It looks like the most reliable numbers for the Travis County population is from 2014. I'm betting the percentage of non-austin residents has increased in population since 2014 given the large population boom on the cities's east side (290 east of 183 East) and I imagine that will continue to grow. So many neighborhoods have gone up (or are going up) near the airport outside city limits, in Manor and along 183 East as well as North in pflugerville.

Does anyone know what areas are currently marked for Annexation? I know that process takes years.


On a smaller note, 1 of the 3 new 290,130 direct connection ramps will not have a toll. It'll be for people going East on 290 who take the ramp to southbound Texas 130. 130 is heavily used (which is why it's being widened) so that's a big cut but it makes sense.

The other two proposed flyovers — from southbound Texas 130 to westbound U.S. 290 and from northbound Texas 130 to westbound U.S. 290 — would have tolls, and the revenue would go to the mobility authority.


Why Tolls? We hate Tolls! This alone is a 130 million dollar project. The state is still trying to find money to fix I-35 since the increased road bills passed by the texas ledge 2 years ago is divided more on geography than population. Without tolls, you won't get two expressways on the east side (130,183), an Expressway from Austin to Manor, 183 northwest to wherever it goes etc. Beggars can't be choosers. It also means that if you don't use those roads then you don't have to pay for them in taxes.
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  #5689  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2017, 8:20 PM
atxsnail atxsnail is offline
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I hadn't seen this posted, so I thought I'd link a story. Capmetro received $9.8 million from the feds to install PTC on the Red Line. Apparently this will help reduce the danger of derailment due to speed or problems from misaligned switches. Hopefully that danger was minimal already but it's nice to know we'll be safer.

https://communityimpact.com/austin/l...l-grant-funds/
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  #5690  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2017, 3:41 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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So if you'll allow me to ponder for a bit:

I started doing some thinking on CapMetro's 2025 plan. I'm actually getting intrigued by the possibilities it offers for improved transit (with the caveat that they actually need to follow through on it).


Looking at _just_ the new metrorapid lines and the increased frequencies/stations of the existing ones.

By my calculations, 801 + 803 (at 7.5 and 10 minute frequencies respectively) will mean that from Barton Springs to 38th (over 3 miles), a bus will be coming every ~4 minutes at peak. That's some impressive frequency.

Add on the 820 plans (10 minute frequency) and that means from Riverside to Dean Keaton (over 2 miles) a bus will be coming every 3 minutes at peak.


Add in that if transit lanes happen on guadaulupe, nearly that entire distance(downtown to/through campus) will be bus lanes, and that could definitely jolt ridership.



I started mentally comparing this to the Portland Transit mall, which started (in the 70s) as a distance of ~ 1/2 mile. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland_Transit_Mall
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  #5691  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 5:02 AM
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KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
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The Barton Creek pedestrian/bike bridge is open now. I haven't checked it out yet, but it looks beautiful from up there.

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  #5692  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 1:59 PM
Dcbrickley Dcbrickley is online now
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
The Barton Creek pedestrian/bike bridge is open now. I haven't checked it out yet, but it looks beautiful from up there.

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I rode it last weekend, from Zilker to Docs (few beers) then back home. The bridge, and the view, are amazing.

It is disconnected, though. The bridge to and from no-where. I'd like to see the future expansion plans. Does anyone have a link to those? I'm too lazy/busy with my kids birthday party to hunt it down.

edit: I remember seeing a map with some red lines on it that showed how it would connect.
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  #5693  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2017, 3:07 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by Dcbrickley View Post
I rode it last weekend, from Zilker to Docs (few beers) then back home. The bridge, and the view, are amazing.

It is disconnected, though. The bridge to and from no-where. I'd like to see the future expansion plans. Does anyone have a link to those? I'm too lazy/busy with my kids birthday party to hunt it down.

edit: I remember seeing a map with some red lines on it that showed how it would connect.
Some additional connectivity would be done as part of the mopac south toll lanes project. Adding a shared use path alongside it.

http://www.mopacsouth.com/multimedia/maps.php

Then YBC would connect to mopac, as would the shared use path of 45 SW (via the "intersections" projects of mopac south).

https://austintexas.gov/ybctrail

http://www.mopacsouth.com/intersections/proposal.php

https://www.sh45sw.com/enhancements/bike-ped


Edit: Ah, here's what you might have seen before (or something like it)?

http://www.mopacsouth.com/MoPac%20Co...17-2014%20.pdf

Last edited by Novacek; Jun 23, 2017 at 4:50 PM.
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