Red Line Trail project aims to connect Northwest Austin-area commuters

The Red Line Trail Project aims to connect Braker Lane and the Capital Metro Kramer MetroRail Station to the Northern Walnut Creek trail system.

The Red Line Trail Project aims to connect Braker Lane and the Capital Metro Kramer MetroRail Station to the Northern Walnut Creek trail system.

The city of Austin is proposing a new trail in North Austin that would run along Capital Metro's MetroRail line and connect to the Northern Walnut Creek Trail.

The trail, dubbed the Red Line Trail after the MetroRail Red Line, would be part of the Austin Urban Trails Project that eventually aims to connect the Austin area though a system of 360 miles of public trails. Organizers from the project held a public meeting Wednesday as a chance for area residents to provide input. Here are four things to know.

1. The Red Line Trail aims to serve commuters as well as recreationalists

The $4.3 million trail, funded by the 2016 mobility bond, would run adjacent to the Red Line from Braker Lane, past the Kramer MetroRail Station and to the Northern Walnut Creek Trail near MoPac.

"There are higher densities around of apartment complexes and more likelihood for people to use it to commute on the train or even go to The Domain," Urban Trails Program Manager Janae Spence said. "We're expecting higher numbers than we are for Southern Waller Creek and Northern Waller Creek."

Tom Wald, a Central Austin resident who works in North Austin, said he is hopeful this trail will increase connectivity between the two parts of the city.

"This area is not so far from Central Austin, but it's really difficult to get here on foot or by bike," he said.

2. Close proximity to Capital Metro's MetroRail presents concerns

Currently, the trail may be constructed within 25 feet of the middle of the railroad tracks, Spence said. In some sections of the proposed trail, it may be difficult to construct the trail.

If Capital Metro chooses to expand rail service to two tracks, the space available for the trail will be more constricted, Spence said.

3. City officials are working with area developers

A section of the proposed trail runs along the backside of IBM Corp.'s Broadmoor campus. Officials with the Austin Urban Trails Project have coordinated with the real estate company that owns that land, Brandywine Realty Trust, to determine how the project would fit into a potential mixed-use development proposed for campus, Spence said.

“They love the fact that there is going to be a trail," Spence said. "They want to put perhaps put a rail stop there as well, so they are [supportive of] transit and active transportation in general."

4. The project timeline includes another chance to provide input

City staffers will incorporate community input to develop a preliminary engineering report that evaluates environmental constraints, such as drainage, wildlife habitat and property ownership. Staffers will finalize the plan by the spring and hold another public input meeting. The project will go out for construction bids in fall 2019 and construction would begin by early 2020, according to project organizers.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


Screen shot of Dr. Desmar Walkes speaking
Austin ICUs remain crowded with COVID-19 patients, delaying some critical care

Within the past week, there was a waiting list of patients to be transferred into Austin-area ICUs, Austin Public Health leaders said.

The city of Austin this summer cleared four unregulated homeless encampments and shifted dozens of residents into shelters. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house thousands of Austin's homeless people taking shape, but outlook for local success, project funding still unclear

The strategy's first housing benchmark fell short in June, and updates on how the estimated $515 million needed for housing and services will be spent are overdue.

 Busy Nurse's Station In Modern Hospital
Williamson County seeking input on community health needs

The Williamson County and Cities Health District is holding two focus group sessions through September with the goal of collecting public feedback on community health needs throughout the county.

DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

Dream Bakery
Wells Branch cake expert Dream Bakery celebrates 5-year anniversary

Dream Bakery specializes in custom cakes and gluten free baked goods.

The widening project is on track to finish this fall and the bypass project by early next year. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
TxDOT projects near RM 2222 and RM 620 intersection approaching completion after delay

The southbound bypass lane connecting the two roads is on track to be complete later this fall, weather permitting. The northbound bypass lane opened over the summer.

Barkin' Creek Domain Northside
Barkin’ Creek sets up shop in Domain Northside

The dog spa and pet supply store offers bath and grooming services alongside its signature homemade dog food.

New homes in North Austin
Northwest Austin housing market continues to cool after early summer peak

The median price of homes in Northwest Austin dropped by more than 7% from its summer peak in June.

The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission considered a finalized draft of an updated map for Austin's 10 City Council districts Sept. 15. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATED: Draft map of Austin's redrawn City Council boundaries ready for community review

Volunteer city redistricting commissioners have unanimously passed an initial outline to update all 10 City Council districts set to go into effect next year.

Photo of a sign in a field
3 weeks before first weekend, ACL Music Festival awaits permit, final health and safety procedures

Austin City Limits Music Festival has not yet received a permit for its multiweekend music festival, but the city of Austin said this is a normal timeline.

A Texas Education Agency Monitor has been installed at Round Rock ISD as part of a corrective action plan stemming from a complaint lodged against the board during the 2018-19 school year. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
TEA installs monitor for Round Rock ISD, citing 2019 complaint against former board president

A Texas Education Agency Monitor has been installed at Round Rock ISD as part of a corrective action plan stemming from a complaint lodged against the board during the 2018-19 school year.