Dozens of miles of sidewalk development and improvement have been completed with Austin's 2016 transportation bond funds, marking the end of the city mobility program that began in 2017.

The details

Officials with the Austin Transportation and Public Works Department announced the 2016 bond-funded sidewalk program had wrapped up in December.

The record $720 million mobility bond approved by city voters in 2016 reserved $37.5 million for construction and repairs along Austin's sidewalk system. More than 56 miles of sidewalks were included in the bond initiative, according to transportation department officials.

The 2016 bond's sidewalk program kicked off on Chesterfield Lane in 2017 and concluded this fall with recent improvements such as pedestrian and cyclist updates along East Yager Lane and new shared-use pathways in Zilker Metropolitan Park.

The work came in ahead of schedule and exceeded the city's construction goal; the original eight-year bond plan to build at least 50 miles of sidewalk was set to end in 2024.

A map of past and ongoing city capital projects, including all 2016 transportation bond updates, is available here.

What happens next?

Austin voters have approved two more mobility bonds since 2016: the $160 million Proposition G in 2018 and the $460 million Proposition B in 2020. Between those packages, $100 million was set aside specifically for sidewalks.

While noting progress made since 2016, the transportation department also said there's still a pressing need for citywide sidewalk improvements building on the 2,800 miles of pathways already on the ground.

Austin's Sidewalks, Crossings, and Shared Streets Plan finalized in November highlights the projected gap of 810 miles of sidewalks and 370 miles of pedestrian-friendly shared streets needed to fill out the city's planned pedestrian network.

The new sidewalks plan states reaching those goals and completing the network could cost more than $900 million. Austin only budgets around $10 million annually for sidewalk construction.

For now, dozens of city sidewalk projects are slated to move forward in the coming months.
A new city sidewalk network plan calls for hundreds of miles of new pathways around Austin. (Courtesy city of Austin)
A new city sidewalk network plan calls for hundreds of miles of new pathways around Austin. (Courtesy city of Austin)