West Austin Neighborhood Group

Preserving and Protecting West Austin

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    Mopac South Environmental Study Workshop

    October 29th, 2015
    by admin

    MOPAC SOUTH ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY WORKSHOP
    The MoPac South Environmental Study workshop for stakeholders from Austin High School, Central Austin neighborhoods along the MoPac South corridor, and others who have shown an interest in Cesar Chavez Street is coming up soon! We look forward to sharing information about our recent efforts and hearing your input. The workshop will be held:

    November 5, 2015 from 6-8 p.m.
    O’Henry Middle School, 2610 W. 10th Street (cafeteria)
    Austin, Texas 78746

    LET US KNOW IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND
    Thanks to those who have already sent in RSVPs. If you haven’t replied, but plan to attend, please let us know via email (atomlinson@hntb.com), by calling (512) 691-2278, or by replying to this email. We greatly appreciate the input that you’ve provided to date, and we hope you will plan to attend the workshop to share additional thoughts on these operational configurations and other potential improvements.

    WHAT WE’LL SHARE AT THE WORKSHOP
    As you may know, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority extended the study process last February to allow for additional community input and engineering analysis on the proposed Express Lanes Alternative. Since then, the study team gathered additional data and conducted detailed analysis on several possible configuration options, utilizing input from stakeholder groups and local governments. The operational configurations include:
    •     Two Express Lanes in each direction with a direct connection to downtown
    •    Two Express Lanes in each direction without a direct connection to downtown
    •    One Express Lane in each direction with a direct connection to downtown
    •    One Express Lane in each direction without a direct connection to downtown
    •    Two Express Lanes in each direction with elevated access ramps near Barton Skyway
    •    A configuration proposed by the city of Austin
    Workshop attendees will hear about these configurations and learn how community input was used to improve the proposed project. For example, for all configurations that include a connection to downtown via Cesar Chavez Street, the touchdown point on Cesar Chavez Street has been shifted east to eliminate any conflict between Express Lane drivers and traffic to and from Austin High School.

    The project team will also share traffic modeling data and results from a study that was conducted to determine the potential effects the proposed project would have on the downtown street system.

    We also plan to discuss potential improvements that could be included in the downtown area. Some ideas include:
    •     Incorporating a future bicycle and pedestrian trailhead on the southwest side of Lady Bird Lake. This could include widening the existing bicycle and pedestrian bridge under MoPac or building a second bridge to address the overcrowding that occurs during events and on weekends.
    •    Where feasible, upgrading shared use path widths and sidewalks to meet ADA standards within the project right-of way.
    •    Improving and/or repairing trail connections to adjacent trails (such as Johnson Creek, WAYA fields and Austin High School); and continue wayfinding systems along these trail connections within the project right-of-way.
    MOPAC SOUTH ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY OPEN HOUSE AND VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE
    We also hope you will plan to join us for an Open House on November 10th at the Palmer Events Center from 3pm – 7pm. While the workshop will be tailored to the Cesar Chavez Street area, the Open House will include more detailed information about each of the operational configurations and the detailed analysis that was conducted over the last several months. More information about the Open House is available online.

    If you can’t make it to the Open House, check out the Virtual Open House, available now through November 20, 2015. It features all of the information that will be available at the Open House, including exhibits, informational videos, and the ability to submit comments and questions.

    STAY INVOLVED
    – Visit the website
    – Sign-up for the e-newsletter
    – Follow us on Twitter
    – Contact us
    – Participate in meetings
    – Invite us to meet with your group

    The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by TxDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 16, 2014, and executed by FHWA and TxDOT.

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