The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is creating a subcommittee to study mobility in western Travis and southwestern Williamson counties. This map is a draft study area. The policy board is slated to approve a final study area at it's Sept. 14 meeting.[/caption]
Transportation planning efforts in western Travis and southwestern Williamson counties could kick-off before the end of 2015.
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization—which coordinates regional transportation planning in Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties—discussed a draft study area and scope for the subcommittee Aug. 10.
A draft map shows the group would focus on ways to improve mobility in the area bounded by US 183 and Loop 360 to the east, Hwy. 71 to the south, Hwy. 281 near Marble Falls to the west and RM 1431 to the north. This would include the entire length of RM 620.
Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long, who sits on CAMPO’s transportation policy board, recommended extending the northern boundary of the study area to FM 2243 because of the traffic impacts on Travis County.
Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell, who is also on the policy board, said he would like to see Parmer Lane added to the study area. He said the city’s major north-south roadways, especially, Parmer, Lakeline Boulevard and US 183, are all seeing increased traffic.
“In order to truly study this corridor to the extent possible … I think [adding Parmer] would be a very appropriate inclusion,” he said.
Planning efforts would not duplicate those in existing studies the Texas Department of Transportation has underway on RM 620 and Loop 360, CAMPO Executive Director Ashby Johnson said. He has been discussing these efforts with Public Involvement Lead Bruce Byron, who likely will have final recommendations for both studies ready in early 2016.
“[CAMPO’s subcommittee] was really designed for when Bruce’s study ends, mine would begin,” Johnson said.
Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said she would like to use the subcommittee to create a template for subregional transportation planning throughout CAMPO’s six-county area.
“[The goal is] to move this effort from place to place and use it as a jumpstart to our next long-range plan,” she said. “... I see that some regions have not gotten nearly the study that the western Travis County region has already received.”
Eckhardt, who likely will be a member of the subcommittee, said she wants to ensure the subcommittee’s efforts are integrated with TxDOT’s and Travis County’s own transportation plans.
“We just want to make sure that every dollar we spend is spent wisely and is in a coordinated effort,” she said.
The policy board is slated to approve the study area, goals and scope for the subcommittee at its Sept. 14 meeting. CAMPO staff will also present the board with other subregional areas for study.
Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 11 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels. She enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two cats.