Anderson Mill Road corridor study gains traction

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NWA-2015-07-12-2-01

A citizen-led corridor study of Anderson Mill Road in Northwest Austin has garnered more than 100 comments about safety concerns on the roadway.

The Northwest Austin Coalition, comprising neighborhoods west of MoPac and north of RM 2222, kickstarted the corridor study in late June. NWAC launched an online comment section for residents to pinpoint problem areas on the 1.3-mile stretch of Anderson Mill Road from RM 620 to US 183, NWAC organizer Jimmy Flannigan said at the coalition’s Sept. 28 meeting.

More than 150 people signed up to participate in the study and submitted more than 100 suggestions. About 1,000 votes supported those various suggestions pinpointed on the online map, Flannigan said.

“There is a traffic engineer who lives in [Austin City Council] District 6 who has volunteered to do the study and the recommendations portion for free,” he said. “That is the biggest expense of a corridor study, and we’re going to have that donated for Anderson Mill Road.”

The goal of the study is to do as much work at the citizen level at no cost to the city or taxpayers and have a shovel-ready project for whenever bond funding becomes available for design and construction of improvements, Flannigan said.

“The hope of doing this process from the very beginning is that the money that would have been spent doing the study can now be spent actually implementing the improvements even if they’re not all done at the same time,” he said.

He cited the need to extend the center turn lane from Spicewood Parkway to US 183 as an example of the most costly improvement. He said other improvements, such as adding a stoplight or stop sign at Swan Drive could be implemented faster.

Flannigan said he has been in discussion with the Austin Transportation Department to ensure the work being done by NWAC and residents will not go to waste. He added he will verify the city will accept the traffic engineer’s study and recommendations and that this will not violate any city rules.

The city of Austin has seven Corridor Improvements Programs throughout the city, none of which are west of MoPac or citizen-led.

“We’re really setting a new standard here,” Flannigan said. “It’s exciting because to my mind we’re in a part of town that has little bit of privilege and a little bit of influence and a lot of education and we’re able to do this. We’re also a part of town that complains about our taxes so it’s the perfect combination.”

For more information and to view citizen comments on Anderson Mill Road visit www.nwaustin.org.

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Amy Denney
Amy has been reporting in community journalism since 2007. She worked in the Chicago suburbs for three years before migrating south and joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2010. Amy has been editor of the Northwest Austin publication since August 2012 and she is also the transportation beat reporter for the Austin area. As senior editor, she is the point person for the company's partnership with Fox7 Austin.
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