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Old 09-29-2011, 12:22 PM
 
554 posts, read 965,698 times
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I want to get opinions from all sides. I'm curious what you think it should be like. Should we have 10 lane highways crossing the river? How do you solve the limited road space issue on roads like Guadalupe, Lamar? How do you solve the problems of 1/3 mile parking lots that frontage roads become leading up to cross streets?


I really want to hear from those who believe personal automobile transporation is what we should be focusing on. I am not one of you, but I want to hear your arguement to better understand you. Outline your reasons for believing that there should always be available parking downtown, and why it should be free (if you believe so)?

What is the end game? Do you think we literally have enough space for millions of drivers (at the rate we are growing - we do need to account for the future) to go everywhere they want without any significant impediance. Describe to me what needs to be done to accomplish this. How would you change Austin transportation to meet your ideals?

This topic is not to challenge you, but to hear you.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:11 PM
 
554 posts, read 1,624,848 times
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Austin needs HOV lanes and real loop. Also the 130 toll road bypassing i35 needs to be cheaper or free or another solution to bypass Austin on the interstate needs to be made. Downtown activities like UT football games and ACL need offsite bus services and the free buses around downtown need to come back. There is no real solution for roads like Guadalupe and Lamar. Services like car2go are a step in the right direction too.

More trains are also necessary in the non car front. The Metrorail is a great idea but with a terrible route. I think some sort of electric monorail running between Mopac and 183 with stops at every exit might be a good idea.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Houston (Bellaire)
285 posts, read 521,238 times
Reputation: 524
The problem is so dire that only dramatic solutions would truly solve it, such as widening I-35 and Mopac to 10-14 lanes and even building another highway to help manage traffic flow in and out of downtown. Some more practical, "Austin-minded" solutions might be:

(1) I-35 fix: adding a continuous HOV lane on 35 from 1431 in Wilco all the way past Ben White (for a total of eight continuous lanes along the corridor), forcing all truck traffic to divert to 130, and reconfiguring on/offramps in central Austin.

(2) Other freeways/tollways: removing tolls on 130 and adding a lane, adding a lane to parts of Mopac and 183 (both of which could be done within existing ROW), converting both 360 and 183 between MLK and 71 to a 6-lane freeway or tollway to complete a loop around central Austin.

(3) Rail: light rail lines running north-south through central Austin and a line running more NW-SE, also going through downtown/UT and connecting the Domain area with the airport

Of course things like expanding bus routes and increasing frequency, widening some sidewalks in downtown, more bike lanes, etc. would be helpful too.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
12,064 posts, read 11,623,091 times
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Some of my ideas:

* rebrand SH130 as I-35 and take the tolls off of it
* rebrand the portion of I-35 between SH130 north and south terminus as SH130. Convert that highway into an expensive toll highway. This will force truckers off the road and onto SH130 (rebranded I-35). It will also immediately alleviate traffic.
* begin planning to put I-35 underground from Town Lake all the way to 183. Do it in pieces similar ot the way Dallas is putting in Woodall Rogers Park. The place where I-35 currently is would be a giant park, similar to Zilker. I-35 (which would be renamed SH130) would be under it similar to Boston's Big Dig project.
* Place a couple of overpasses over some of the clogging intersections along 360. An overpass at Spicewood Springs would go a long way and be a rather cheap solution.
* Finish all unfinished flyways
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
294 posts, read 673,774 times
Reputation: 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by cBach View Post
Some of my ideas:

* rebrand SH130 as I-35 and take the tolls off of it
* rebrand the portion of I-35 between SH130 north and south terminus as SH130. Convert that highway into an expensive toll highway. This will force truckers off the road and onto SH130 (rebranded I-35). It will also immediately alleviate traffic.
* begin planning to put I-35 underground from Town Lake all the way to 183. Do it in pieces similar ot the way Dallas is putting in Woodall Rogers Park. The place where I-35 currently is would be a giant park, similar to Zilker. I-35 (which would be renamed SH130) would be under it similar to Boston's Big Dig project.
* Place a couple of overpasses over some of the clogging intersections along 360. An overpass at Spicewood Springs would go a long way and be a rather cheap solution.
* Finish all unfinished flyways
That's a huge stretch of 35 you want to make into an expensive toll road. Isn't that going to push a lot of people onto Mopac, especially people commuting from Round Rock?
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:25 PM
 
7,449 posts, read 13,173,932 times
Reputation: 4005
Quote:
Originally Posted by veloman777 View Post
I want to get opinions from all sides. I'm curious what you think it should be like. Should we have 10 lane highways crossing the river? How do you solve the limited road space issue on roads like Guadalupe, Lamar? How do you solve the problems of 1/3 mile parking lots that frontage roads become leading up to cross streets?


I really want to hear from those who believe personal automobile transporation is what we should be focusing on. I am not one of you, but I want to hear your arguement to better understand you. Outline your reasons for believing that there should always be available parking downtown, and why it should be free (if you believe so)?

What is the end game? Do you think we literally have enough space for millions of drivers (at the rate we are growing - we do need to account for the future) to go everywhere they want without any significant impediance. Describe to me what needs to be done to accomplish this. How would you change Austin transportation to meet your ideals?

This topic is not to challenge you, but to hear you.
1) Rebuild I35 so it does not have the crazy upper lower deck structure.
2) lower tolls on 130 to entice bypass traffic
Im interested in the rename 130 to I35 idea, but I do think it will need to be tolled, but probably at a lower rate. Possibly we could toll what is currently I35 north and south of town and eliminate the toll on 130. People in the city of austin would pay no toll, but those coming from outside austin would pay a toll to come into the city. People bypassing austin could pay a lesser (or no toll) on what is now 130.
3) create a couple of real loops around austin
620 - toll loop no lights
360 - toll loop no lights
183 - toll loop no lights
ensure that 620, 71, 183 is a complete loop
ensure that 360, mopac, 35, 130 are also connected loops
4) large tolls for all major roads leading into town from feeder cities
5) HOV lanes for all highways
6) lessen regulatory hassles for infill development downtown/central, inside 183,mopac, 71 boundaries. Encourage high density mixed use
7) Run a commuter train straight down mopac to downtown, or potentially down lamar.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:27 PM
 
7,449 posts, read 13,173,932 times
Reputation: 4005
Quote:
Originally Posted by spelrod View Post
That's a huge stretch of 35 you want to make into an expensive toll road. Isn't that going to push a lot of people onto Mopac, especially people commuting from Round Rock?
raise the toll on mopac to match. All inbound traffic into austin should have high tolls.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
294 posts, read 673,774 times
Reputation: 424
We could just build a giant moat around the city and fill it with lava.
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Old 09-30-2011, 05:28 AM
 
Location: central Austin
7,232 posts, read 14,446,848 times
Reputation: 3900
the biggest problem is that Austin (like many cities today) does not have a single center of employment. Trains require a lot of passengers going in the same direction to a single place (where they can then walk to their work). We don't have the density of employment to support that type of commuter rail.

The land surrounding I-35, Mopac, and 360 is too valuable and too politically connected for the type of mass seizure (and compensation) that this types of expansions would require. Rapid-bus lines, park-and-ride, would help. So would encouraging people to live close to work, renting instead of owning homes in order to change where you live when you change jobs. Making workplaces more pedestrian and bike friendly, so the "last mile" of a commute to a specific workplace can be easier -- that will help improve ridership on buses and trains.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:45 AM
 
547 posts, read 1,323,137 times
Reputation: 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin97 View Post
1) Rebuild I35 so it does not have the crazy upper lower deck structure.
How do you do that? It seems to be the issue was that the highway had to go from four lanes per side to two lanes per side in that bottleneck stretch because there is development right up to the edge of the freeway. There is no space to do anything except split it, unless you want the government to buy all that private property and smash the brand new buildings down, right?
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