Austin adds more painted intersections to increase safety

'Bulb-outs' are used to increase pedestrian safety.

AUSTIN (KXAN) —  Curb extensions, or bulb-outs, at Govalle Avenue and Tillery Street have been added to enhance safety about a month after a four-way stop was installed.

Stop signs were already in place on Govalle Avenue, but the city saw the need for additional signs along Tillery Street. Jordan Gomez often cycles through the area and says it could be confusing at times and the changes were a welcome addition.

“It was kind of confusing, we would go through and other cars didn’t know what to do and we’d encounter a lot of waiting going, waiting going. When they put this in there it was pretty welcome,” said Gomez. “Cars don’t give a lot of consideration. It’s always nice when you see something a little more friendly.

The four-way stop was added because of increased traffic due to housing being built in the area. The ACC Eastview Campus and Govalle Elementary School are also nearby, which add to the amount of vehicles that move through the area.

New development is increasing traffic in East Ausitn
New development is increasing traffic in East Austin (KXAN Photo/ Amanda Dugan)

The bulb-outs act to narrow the roadway and provide additional pedestrian space. They also help enhance safety by increasing pedestrian visibility, shortening crossing distances, slowing down turning vehicles and visually narrowing the roadway. Adding paint also helps reduce the costs and allows the opportunity for improvements to be made to more intersections.

Gomez says changes like this will be key in helping to reduce traffic congestion by inspiring more people to cruise on two-wheels around Austin, “It encourages more people to ride a bike and take back any of the space that’s kind of been taken over by cars.”

If this idea seems familiar, that’s because earlier this year the city used this approach with painted polka dots at 6th and Waller Street.

 The City of Austin is looking to add more bulb-outs at various intersections around the City, but they need your help on where they would work the best. You an make a request by calling 3-1-1.

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