Urban sprawl making its way toward slower growing parts of the Hill Country

Urban sprawl making its way toward slower growing parts of the Hill Country

Cities up and down the I-35 corridor have experienced explosive growth over the last decade, but the counties adjacent to them have largely escaped the surge of people. That all appears to be over, with the urban expansion beginning to head their way. “We have three of the fastest growing counties – not only in Texas but in the entire country – in Hays, Comal and Kendall counties,” said Katherine Romans, executive director of the Hill Country Alliance. Romans’ mission…

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Over 60 roadway improvements require relocation of water and wastewater lines

Over 60 roadway improvements require relocation of water and wastewater lines

  • December 16, 2019
  • News

At the Dec. 11 meeting of the Water and Wastewater Commission, Austin Water presented an update on the 65 active transportation improvement projects that necessitate the repositioning of water utility lines. Of those projects, 56 percent are in the planning period, 22 percent are in the design stage, 17 percent are in construction, and 5 percent are still in the bid phase. “I am really blown away by the amount of work that is here,” said William Moriarty, chair of…

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San Antonio’s challenge: Protect the aquifer and get real with VIA Funding

San Antonio’s challenge: Protect the aquifer and get real with VIA Funding

San Antonio’s efforts to increase funding for VIA Metropolitan Service to give citizens a better mass transit system suffered a significant setback last week and left mobility advocates uncertain of the road ahead. The ConnectSA initiative right now is a plan without funding, and VIA’s historic underfunding compared to other Texas metro areas leaves it with ambitious plans that it cannot execute. At least $1.3 billion is needed to fund the 25 projects by 2025 recommended in the ConnectSA plan.…

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Nirenberg calls for shifting sales tax to VIA Transit, away from Aquifer Protection

Nirenberg calls for shifting sales tax to VIA Transit, away from Aquifer Protection

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg joined other local leaders this week in calling for  a one-eighth-cent sales tax to be redirected towards funding mass transit – and away from popular water quality protection and trailway programs. Voters would need to approve the new appropriation of the existing tax, and City Council’s OK is is required to set the ballot language for the November 2020 election. The Advanced Transportation District board, comprising VIA Metropolitan Transit board members, would first call for…

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TxDOT unveils plan to widen Loop 1604

TxDOT unveils plan to widen Loop 1604

  • September 30, 2019
  • News

Colleen Waguespack, president of Northside Neighborhoods for Organized Development, is among thousands of Northsiders familiar with the challenges that come with driving Loop 1604. Waguespack and more than 100 others gathered at Resurrection Baptist Church on Redland Road on Tuesday to review schematics and drawings that outline a State plan to widen 23 miles of the freeway. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) proposed to expand Loop 1604 to a 10-lane roadway between Bandera Road (Texas Highway 16) and Interstate…

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Final draft of Austin Strategic Mobility Plan passes Environmental Commission

Final draft of Austin Strategic Mobility Plan passes Environmental Commission

  • March 13, 2019
  • News

Following a presentation on the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan at the March 6 meeting of the Environmental Commission by Annick Beaudet, the assistant director of Austin Transportation, commissioners began asking about some of the environmental aspects of the plan. While questions about tree canopy removal in order to widen streets made a predictable appearance, issues of air quality, right-of-way and autonomous vehicles were also raised. Commissioner Mary Ann Neely noted that Austin is uncomfortably close to being in violation of air quality…

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Despite rules, former Hays commissioner to remain at CAMPO board

Despite rules, former Hays commissioner to remain at CAMPO board

  • January 8, 2018
  • News

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board, the long-term planning group for the region’s roads and highways, took the eyebrow-raising action on Monday of making its leader a man who no longer holds public office. Former Hays County Commissioner Will Conley was reappointed as the board’s chair despite bylaws stating that all members must be a local elected official, a state official or an employee of a related transportation agency. Conley, who resigned his Hays County office in October 2017, is…

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Commissioner Wolff: High-Speed Rail Transportation ‘Closer Than Ever’ for SA

Commissioner Wolff: High-Speed Rail Transportation ‘Closer Than Ever’ for SA

  • October 10, 2017
  • News

High-speed passenger rail connecting Texas cities, a promise that seemed to have died after decades of discussion, is back in the conversation as San Antonio squares off against growth and congestion with talk of light rail as a solution that needs only voter support. If you sat in traffic this morning, waited for a bus, or wished for a nonstop flight that doesn’t exist, you can thank Amazon for at least some of the sense of urgency to these conversations. The company’s…

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Travis County $185 million bond Nov. election to address roads, safety

Travis County $185 million bond Nov. election to address roads, safety

  • August 24, 2017
  • News

Travis County commissioners called a $185 million bond election for Nov. 7 that focuses on road safety and park projects. On. Aug 15, Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Travillion said the bond aims to fund “safe roads to school, evacuation roads, low water crossings—places where people have been killed. “This is a health and safety bond,” he said… Read more from Community Impact

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Proposal for urban gondola system in Austin will not move forward

Proposal for urban gondola system in Austin will not move forward

  • March 29, 2017
  • News

The plan to build a gondola cable car system in Austin, in what would have been the largest system of its type in the world, is not moving forward. In a list of shared conclusions released by Capital Metro, the transit agency says gondolas are best suited to “niche” applications and not as a primary way of moving people as part of a regional transportation network. The door is being left open in the event another interested party wants to…

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