I just got back from Taiwan. In Taipei, the largest city, they have a zone in front of every stoplight on major streets so motorcycles and mopeds can move up through traffic in front of the cars. That way motorcycles and mopeds aren't waiting in traffic with the cars, the cars can move up closer with no motorcycles between them, and traffic moves faster because motorcycles/mopeds can accelerate faster than a car can when the light goes green. Most motorcycle riders already just weave up through traffic here anyways and don't really have anywhere up front to wait for the light to turn green. I think this might improve traffic flow and might encourage the use of mopeds/motorcycles instead of cars to reduce traffic. This can all be done without any major reconstruction, we just have to repaint the road lines.
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Change the zoning to require bigger building set-backs along artery roads such as Lamar and Burnet. A massive amount of construction is happening along those and other big streets right now, yet buildings 5 and 6 stories tall are barely set back 8 or 10 feet--leaving little room for the pedestrians Austin hopes to inspire and even less room for the trees the City talks of planting to shade those pedestrians. Once the buildings are there it will be much harder to expand the pedestrian right-of-way. Let's tell new construction over 2 stories that a more-typical urban set-back of 15 or even 20 feet is required--before it's too late.
I am a homeowner in Brentwood desperate for a solution. We have a crossfit gym (the second within 5 blocks in Brentwood) that has moved in behind our home. They throw weights, play loud music, grunt and grown, this happens all throughout the day and on weekends. They are zoned commercial but back up to residential. They are affecting at least 5 homes. Our lives have been completely disrupted and we feel helpless. They say they are doing nothing illegal so they continue with their NOISE. We want something to be done so these loud businesses that know they are loud, that is what they do, to be zoned industrial. This is a nightmare. I have contacted many authority figures and the next will be the news. Please help if you have any suggestions. This has got to be stopped. Commercial properties should not be able to be noisy businesses if they back up to residences. HELP! The noise is so bad it comes through our foundation and shakes our windows.
In 2012 the City Council negotiated with Union Pacific to establish Quiet Zones at five rail crossings in South Austin. I would like the city to do the same with the East Austin crossings before and including the one at Springdale and Bolm. Trains come through on this track all hours of the day and night and run right next to/through several quiet residential neighborhoods.
Austin needs a parkour park.
There is a strong regional parkour community teaching safe movement to all ages. The problem is anyone over the age of 12 is too big to play on playscapes. The other option we find is to play in public places not designated for climbing, swinging and jumping. As a result, we are often asked to leave.
There are terrific examples of parkour parks in Europe, particularly Denmark just Google "Denmark parkour park photo".
ANY PLANS TO CONNECT THE WEST SIDE OF TRAVIS CO TO DOWNTOWN AND THEN THE EAST SIDE ( AUS-AIRPORT)?
The area between these two intersections is heavily trafficked by pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists, and the latter two have an awful time actually stopping at the stop signs, but despite being next to a courthouse, cyclists and motorists are almost never ticketed for violating traffic codes in this manner.
Studies by the IIHS, which I will source if requested have indicated have indicated dramatic decreases in cyclist and pedestrian fatalities at roundabout junctions, and up to a 75% decrease in delays over standard four-way junctions on streets with medium-to-low traffic flow.
Update for 18 Apr. 2014, back-in angle parking has been added to the south side of 4th street but the lack of options for making u-turns has prompted drivers to either not back-in to the space or make incredibly dangerous maneuvers to back in to the parking spaces from the opposite lane. Removing a handful of spaces and replacing the all-way stop with a roundabout would provide a safe, simple way for people to make a u-turn on this street.
I propose these intersections at these points because as the Green Water Treatment Plant redevelopment is underway, once Nueces Street is connected to Cesar Chavez St, there's going to be a marked increase in vehicular traffic at the southern end of Nueces which will make the intersections more dangerous. Intersections similar to 8th and Rio Grande would calm traffic but still allow passage of delivery and emergency vehicles.
Frankly, I'd be happy with even one of the intersections turned to a roundabout, preferably 3rd St and Nueces, because even one would provide significant traffic calming function, but something needs to be done because by the time Nueces becomes a through street to Cesar Chavez, a marked increase in fatal collisions is inevitable.
Developing more roof gardens to reduce AC usage and prevent stormwater runoff would be beneficial!
The City of Austin must transparently consider an Elevated MonoRail system as an option to an On Ground Light Rail system. There are many benefits of putting a MonoRail system instead of Light Rail. The benefits include the following: 1) increased safety of pedestrians, pets, bicyclists, and cars, 2) less cost to elevate the track than building a concrete track to hold the extra heavy Light Rail cars, 3) ability to run in automatic mode with out a conductor, 4) lower cost of maintenance of the MonoRail cars, 5) much less obstruction on City streets so that cars or bikes can still pass under the rail line, 6) uses less electricity than Light Rail, 7) no need to move utilities for MonoRail, 8) much less inconvenience when building the system. MonoRail systems have been built in dozens of cities around the world and currently there are many under construction. The COA is bowing to the Light Rail Corporations and not considering the benefits of a MonoRail. Personally, I believe a MonoRail system would not only be more efficient than Light Rail, but it would also encourage people to take the system because of its cool factor. Light Rail is nothing more than a train, but the MonoRail would actually be an attraction that people would take as tourists to see parts of the City. You guys have got to consider it. Please, open your minds; be objective.
These trains are always empty and a waste of money and now the city wants to spend another $500,000,000 to add more routes that won't be used. We need a responsible city council that gets rid of this and gets real about Cap Metro and Austin Energy. The City Council is irresponsible when it comes to consideration of residents affordability. They favor high energy costs, excessive bond issues for rail and busing, etc. Let's vote them out and get some fiscally conservative people in place!