Congestion on South Lamar Blvd gets city’s attention

South Lamar development at the site of the Alamo Drafthouse.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — One of Austin’s fastest developing areas is along South Lamar Boulevard. However with the increase in traffic not much has changed concerning the roads. But Wednesday night city planners want to hear from business owners and the public on ways to improve traffic flow.

In just the past few years condos, restaurants, and new shops have replaced older buildings. That’s led to more traffic on the roads and more bus service.

“It’s great to live in this neighborhood and walk to Eastside King and walk to Patika and walk to the farmer’s market but it’s tough to cross Lamar,” said Mario Champion, President South Lamar Neighborhood Association. “It’s tough on a bike to get to Zilker and it’s not that far.”

Champion believes the area would benefit with dedicated Rapid bus lanes, additional buses, and a better bike lane.

“If you look at this lane I’m never going to ride it with my daughter and her bike because it’s just not safe,” said Champion. “People do it but I ride it myself but it would be great if the lanes were separated. Whether they be lifted or separated that would be one option.”

The city’s transportation department will hold an open house for ideas at Zilker Elementary School inside their cafeteria from 5 to 8p.m. Wednesday.

“We’ll have lists of short, mid, and long term projects and then we will have to go after some funding. What that funding mechanism is hasn’t been determined yet so it might be a bond so it would be considered with all the other needed improvements throughout the city,” said Alan Hughes, Project Manager, Austin Transportation Department.

The city is looking to make improvements along South Lamar from Riverside to 71. It will be August 2015 before a plan is created.

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