New improvement projects designed to increase mobility and pedestrian and cyclist safety will break ground the first week of June.
Both projects, located at the intersection of West Braker Lane and Stonelake Boulevard and the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Payton Gin Road, will take approximately six months to complete, according to the Austin Transportation Department.
These intersection improvements are funded as part of the city of Austin’s 2016 Mobility Bond.
North Lamar at Payton Gin
Planned improvements at the intersection of North Lamar and Payton Gin Road, located approximately 1 mile north of the North Lamar Transit Center, will substantially change sidewalks and crossing paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
Amica Bose, project leader of these improvements for the Austin Transportation Department, said this intersection has become an area with high pedestrian activity.
“This intersection particularly has a record of a lot of pedestrian crashes, including fatalities,” Bose said. “There are a lot of pedestrian conflicts.”
Currently, there is no pedestrian crosswalk across North Lamar on the southern end of the intersection. The planned improvements will add a high-visibility crosswalk in that section, as well as modifying the existing crosswalks on both roads to add reflective striping.
Crews will additionally remove the curved right turn lane off Payton Gin onto southbound North Lamar, city plans show.
Bose said a high number of traffic accidents have been reported at that right turn lane as cars rear end each other. These accidents leave the surrounding pedestrians particularly vulnerable, Bose said.
“By modifying that corner [and] making the turn tighter ... we are basically slowing down the cars,” Bose said.
A raised median on North Lamar will eliminate left turn conflicts from businesses along the roadway, city documents show, further ensuring pedestrian safety.
“We have documented crashes with left turning cars not yielding to pedestrians,” Bose said.
According to city planning documents, the improvements at this intersection will cost $1 million.
West Braker at Stonelake
Planned improvements at the intersection of West Braker and Stonelake in North Austin will widen a shared-use path along West Braker.
Existing bicycle-only lanes approaching the intersection will now be merged onto the shared-use path.
This is being done to accommodate for extra room as the city adds a second left turning lane off West Braker onto southbound Stonelake. Bose said a high number of accidents have been reported at this intersection as a result of congestion at this particular left turn signal.
“The [planners] of this intersection realized existing storage on that single left turn lane is enough,” Bose said.
New sidewalk paths will be added to fill gaps between existing sidewalks and the planned shared-use path at this intersection, city documents show.
Additionally, a new Capital Metro bus stop will be added at the southeastern portion of the West Braker and Stonelake intersection.
Bose said traffic will remain open throughout the entirety of the project’s construction timeline.
These intersection improvements will cost $1.45 million.
Mobility improvements at 2 North Austin intersections set to start in early June
Improvements at the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Payton Gin Road designed to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists will begin in June. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)