AUSTIN (KXAN) — When you’re trying to plan how people will move around the Austin area in the coming decades, you need to hear from a lot of people, and not just the folks behind the wheel.
That’s something the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, or CAMPO, is looking to keep in mind for their 2045 plan. They are tackling their first-ever regional active transportation plan. This means they want your feedback on how to enhance the network of trails, sidewalks, bike lanes and streets for their six-county region. Currently, the plan is still in the beginning stages, so it’s a blank canvas.
CAMPO spokesperson Doise Miers says the organization knows there are different needs in different communities within their six-county region and they want to make sure all those voices are heard. “That’s one of CAMPO’s goals, to make sure we are really capturing feedback from people that typically don’t give feedback, we want to make sure their needs are being incorporated too.”
One of those communities is the blind and visually impaired. CAMPO has been working to discover how their needs can be better met. Chris Tabb has been a voice for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired with CAMPO. He says he wants to help CAMPO consider the unique traveling needs of those in their community as the regional active transportation plan moves forward. “Having those pedestrian facilities in place and those that have accessibility features to allow people who are blind and visually impaired to travel independently is a huge factor,” he said.
As CAMPO works with the blind and visually impaired community, they could look into how crossing signals that speak, countdown and even vibrate and tactile warning strips can be better installed throughout the area.
Clayton Gartman is a member of the blind and visual impaired community and feels that the tools previously mentioned are always a helpful addition. He also say it’s partnerships like the one between CAMPO and the blind and visually impaired community that make Austin special. “I think that’s a really cool part about Austin, they’re really working a lot with different communities.”
Open houses will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. unless noted.
- January 23 – Lakeside Pavilion (307 Buena Vista, Marble Falls, TX 78654)
- January 24 – Cedar Park Library (550 Discovery Blvd., Cedar Park, TX 78613). This meeting will include information on the Near Northwest Case Study.
- January 25 – Fleming Community Center (802 N Avenue C, Elgin, TX 78621)
- January 25 – Eugene Clark Library (217 S Main St., Lockhart, TX 78644)
- January 26 – Texas State University LBJ Student Center (109 Student Center Dr., San Marcos, TX 78666)
- January 30 –ACC Highland Business Center – Board Room (5930 Middle Fiskville Rd., Austin, TX 78752)
- January 31 – Taylor Public Library (801 Vance St., Taylor, TX 76574)
- February 1 – Wimberley Community Center (14068 Ranch Rd. 12, Wimberley, TX 78676) This open house will be open 2–8 p.m.
- February 2 – Travis County Fire and Rescue Station (9019 Elroy Rd., Del Valle, TX 78617)
- February 3 – Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (1100 W 45th St., Austin, TX 78756) This open house will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
One of the most important components of this plan is public input. CAMPO wants to hear from you on existing bike and pedestrian facilities, safety considerations and future priorities.