Austin focuses on future transportation needs

The city will scan the surveys to see if there are any crystal ball moments

(KXAN File Photo)
FILE - Austin traffic on Interstate 35 (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thinking about Austin traffic is frightening… even scarier is picturing what it will look like down the road. The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP) hopes to ease the pain of that thought.

Austin Transportation Department’s spokesperson Cheyenne Krause says the new plan is essential for Austin’s growth. “We definitely need that North Star, that guiding light that we can center all our transportation investments around,” says Krause.

Austin is currently guided by the Austin Metropolitan Area Transportation Plan (AMATP), which was adopted in 1995. The plan does not reflect the vision established in Imagine Austin or newly adopted plans and priorities such as the Sidewalk Master Plan, Bicycle Master Plan and Connections 2025. The out-of-date plan puts the city at a disadvantage when pursuing funding opportunities for local projects.

This is where Austinites get behind the wheel. Currently, the city has a survey where you can point out what you want to see next for Austin transportation. Is it more sustainability, better innovation, more travel choices? The plan will focus on:

  • Expanding the Imagine Austin vision into actionable mobility-related goals and objectives.
  • Identifying ways to improve efficiency in our existing system, manage demand, and strategically add capacity in all modes.
  • An integrated approach to planning for all modes of our transportation system.
  • Approaching transportation access and mobility as essential to quality of life for Austin residents.
  • Adding performance measures that will track the City‘s progress and ensure accountability.
  • Considering technological advances shaping the 21st century transportation system.

Art Salguero says better connections between northwest and northeast Austin would be beneficial. “Make it more of an all around development plan,” says Salguero.

“What they’re doing now is a temporary fix,” says Gopaul Das who feels more attention needs to go towards the Hill Country. “I think within the next 10 years after that they’re still going to have to continue to grow.”

The survey results will help the new Mobility Plan prioritize investment for policies, programs and projects for all types of travel which will end up as the transportation component of Imagine Austin. Once adopted by the Austin City Council early next year, the plan will guide transportation investment for all modes, across all of Austin, for the next 10-plus years.

The planning process to develop the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan launched in fall 2016 and will help coordinate other mobility planning initiatives like Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and Capital Metro. The survey is open until June 9.

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