Austin eyes closing another round of neighborhood streets to vehicle through traffic

Austin is considering closing vehicle through traffic to encourage socially distanced outdoor exercise on a group of neighborhood streets, including Grover Avenue. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin is considering closing vehicle through traffic to encourage socially distanced outdoor exercise on a group of neighborhood streets, including Grover Avenue. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Austin is considering closing vehicle through traffic to encourage socially distanced outdoor exercise on a group of neighborhood streets, including Grover Avenue. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

In late May, the Austin Transportation Department closed certain neighborhood streets to most vehicle through traffic in an attempt to encourage socially distanced outdoor exercise such as walking and biking.

The program left neighborhood streets in East Austin and South Austin open only for emergency vehicles, deliveries, residents and business access. Now, the city is looking at another round of streets to close, a process ATD Director Robert Spillar said will be repeated every month.

The streets include Avenue F, cutting through the North Loop and Hyde Park neighborhoods, as well as a nearby loop in Crestview connecting Arroyo Seco and Grover Avenue. The full list of potential additions can be found on the map below.

In a memo to the mayor and City Council written June 24, Spillar said the new streets were identified “based on community feedback, Council direction and lessons learned from the initial batch of streets.” He said the final announcement on the next set of streets will be made around July 2, and residents can still provide feedback on the city’s website on the selections and any other streets on which they would like to voice an opinion.

Those lessons learned, Spillar said, included modifying the closure on Comal Street to open up more access to local businesses and cemeteries. Overall, he wrote, 77% of the more than 1,000 comments submitted as of June 5 were supportive of the initiative.


ATD Public Information Specialist Jacob Barrett said there is no set number of streets that will be added to the program—the city could adopt any or all of the streets under consideration. He said the streets also will not necessarily all be selected July 2. Rather, that date will be used as a marker to give communities reminders to provide feedback.

In addition to the three streets that closed to vehicle through traffic in May as part of the program, ATD previously shut down portions of Riverside Drive and Pleasant Valley Road to support more walking and biking access. In June, in a separate resolution, Austin City Council voted to install temporary bike lanes along Congress Avenue from Riverside Drive to the Texas Capitol by the end of the month.


MOST RECENT

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Travis County adds 571 COVID-19 cases; new restriction put in place ahead of holiday weekend

Overall in Travis County there has been a total of 10,695 cases since mid-March.

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

A photo of a person wearing a medical mask
Travis County Judge supports state masking order, says county will enforce

After Gov. Greg Abbot's statewise mandate to wear masks that cover mouth and nose, Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe voiced his support.

A statue of Willie Nelson sits in front of ACL Live at the Moody Theater at the corner of Lavaca and Second streets.
Austin police will no longer arrest for low-level marijuana possession

Austin police will no longer arrest or issue citations for most marijuana possession offenses under 4 ounces.

Neighborhood Sushi is now open on South Congress Avenue. (Photo courtesy McGuire Moorman Hospitality)
Neighborhood Sushi from McGuire Moorman Hospitality now open on South Congress

The new sushi spot is the latest from the Austin-based hospitality group, which also operates restaurants such as Perla's Oyster Bar and Elizabeth Street Cafe.

Be More Pacific owners Giovan Cuchapin and Mark Pascual will keep their Houston location open but have no plans to reopen in Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Business closings in Central Austin: Be More Pacific, Daruma Ramen, Troublemaker will not reopen doors

The Central Austin restaurants all recently announced their permanent closures, as did another Red River music venue and a North Central Austin gym.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

Whole Foods Market opened in the Plaza Saltillo development on June 29. (Courtesy Endeavor)
Whole Foods opens Plaza Saltillo location

Additional businesses including Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ and Poke Austin are set to open in the East Austin development this summer.

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Man looking at plants in a greenhouse garden store
Garden Seventeen opens its doors in North Central Austin

The new greenhouse and garden store comes from Native Edge Landscape owner Rodney Stoutenger.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

Try Hard Coffee shop
Try Hard Coffee now open in East Austin

The new spot is serving coffee, pastries and tacos on its outdoor patio as construction work continues inside.