Last North Lamar pedestrian safety projects in North Austin fully open with ribbon-cutting ceremony

North Lamar Boulevard and Payton Gin Road
The city of Austin Transportation Department in December finished pedestrian safety and mobility improvements at the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Payton Gin Road. (Courtesy Austin Transportation Department)

The city of Austin Transportation Department in December finished pedestrian safety and mobility improvements at the intersection of North Lamar Boulevard and Payton Gin Road. (Courtesy Austin Transportation Department)

A handful of safety improvements at key intersections along North Lamar Boulevard in North Austin have officially wrapped construction, according to the city of Austin’s Corridor Program Office.

On Jan. 27, the office and other city officials, including Austin City Council Member Greg Casar, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the intersection improvements—funded by the 2016 Mobility Bond—officially opening for use.

“It’s been wrong that we haven’t had the kind of infrastructure that everyone deserves. And now, at last because of the bond passed by voters here in Austin, we have already installed new lights and new sidewalks so that people can walk to their work, so their children can walk to school and so that people can drive safely from day to day in a connected and safe city,” Casar said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

In early January, the city finished work at the intersection of North Lamar and West Powell Lane. That project represented the last of a handful of pedestrian improvement projects along the roadway that the city first began construction on in December 2019. According to the corridor program office, these intersection improvements were completed two years ahead of schedule.

The other completed safety improvements were completed over the summer and fall at North Lamar’s intersections at Fairfield Drive, Cooper Drive, Grady Drive and Payton Gin Road. Work included installing new traffic signals, high-visibility crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals, as well as constructing new sidewalk.

The Austin Transportation Department has identified the North Lamar corridor as one of the city’s 13 high-injury roadways. These roadways make up just 8% of the city’s streets but account for approximately 70% of severe injuries and fatalities citywide.

As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, there have been seven traffic-related fatalities on North Lamar from US 183 to West Parmer Lane since 2016, according to data collected by the transportation department.

Further up North Lamar, mobility improvements along the roadway from Parmer to Howard Lane are now complete, according to a Jan. 29 newsletter from the city. The Texas Department of Transportation modified the stretch of roadway from a four-lane roadway to a three-lane roadway with a left-turn lane. The road was also widened on the northbound stretch of North Lamar between Parmer and the Walmart at 12900 N. I-35. Work on this stretch of roadway began in August, according to the newsletter.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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