Even with no money for construction, city looks to plans for Manchaca Road

City officials want you to discuss Manchaca Road travel issues between S Lamar Blvd and FM 1626

City of Austin is working to have a list of safety improvements ready once money is available for future road projects. (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)
City of Austin is working to have a list of safety improvements ready once money is available for future road projects. (KXAN Photo/Amanda Dugan)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As more subdivisions and businesses continue to populate along Manchaca Road in south Austin, the four-lane road is in need of changes to make it safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.

“Several times a week, I travel from my house to town,” says William Mayo who lives in the Bear Creek area. “I think traffic flows better on Manchca than most other roads.”

Austin Transportation Department spokesperson, Mandy McClendon, says the city wants people to tell them the traffic woes that are now the norm along Manchaca Road from South Lamar Boulevard to Farm to Market 1626. It’s part of the city’s Corridor Mobility Plan for the Manchaca Road corridor, which is funded by the $720 million 2016 Mobility Bond. A Corridor Mobility Plan is a preliminary engineering report with recommendations to improve safety, mobility, and connectivity.

“So we’ll be asking folks to tell us how they use Manchaca primarily whether they drive, walk, bike or take transit. What’s most important to them when it comes to each of those modes of transportation,” explains McClendon.

“If I was a bicyclist, I’d want a bike lane on this road,” says Mayo.

Currently, the bond only covers the safety recommendations process, not the actual construction costs. Construction funds have already been dedicated to nine other mobility projects.As money becomes available, with the help of the Corridor Mobility Plan, the city will already know what the goals are for Manchaca Road.

Ken Kurzawski has lived in the Manchaca area for 25 years and says he says seen the road change quite a bit.

“I think just expanding the number of lanes would probably be number one,” says Kurzawski. “If they could incorporate a turn lane into that and then good shoulders so people would be able to utilize those.”

These are the exact things the city is hoping to learn from those who use the road the most. Along with feedback and traffic data gathered by city traffic engineers, a list of safety recommendations for the road will be put together.

“We’ll develop recommendations and then we’ll go back out to the community probably in early summer with those recommended improvements and ask for the public’s feedback on those once again,” McClendon explains.

The bond also provides funding for preliminary engineering or the development of corridor mobility plans on four other corridors.

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