Plan will assure smoother traffic flow within existing roadway network.
The City of Austin announced Friday, March 27, a Traffic Congestion Action Plan that outlines immediate and long-term steps to help alleviate traffic issues throughout the city.
The plan will utilize a variety of strategies to manage traffic to ensure it flows more smoothly within the existing roadway network and traffic signal system.
Those strategies are among dozens examined by researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute as part of the agency’s Mobility Investment Priorities project. The Texas Legislature in 2011 directed TTI to help TxDOT and local agencies identify what actions can be taken to improve mobility and strengthen local economies in the most congested regions of the state. Those actions include a number of operational improvements being pursued in Austin’s plan.
“We have to look at every aspect of congestion,” City Manager Marc Ott said. “That includes commuting, signal management, law enforcement, construction, special events, parking management and mass transit.
Ott was joined at the news conference Friday by Mayor Steve Adler; Council Member Ann Kitchen, Chair of the Council’s Mobility Committee; as well as members of the Austin Police Department, Austin Transportation Department and the Office of Sustainability.
Immediate actions will include:
- Deploying dedicated traffic mobility police officers at key intersections.
- Expanding staffing and use of the Traffic Management Center during peak commute times. Already, the Traffic Management Center has more than 180 cameras to monitor traffic flow throughout the City.
- Launching a “Don’t Block the Box” campaign to remind drivers to not block intersections.
- Enforcing on-street delivery rules to avoid blocking traffic.
- Making construction and/or other improvements at critical intersections to improve mobility.
“We’re going to do what we can now, while we aggressively plan for the future,” Mayor Adler said. “At the same time, we’re going to remain flexible enough to try new and dynamic things along the way.”
Ott emphasized that the plan would be evolving as strategies were implemented, evaluated and refined.
“Mayor Adler set the tone when he came to office with a philosophy of ‘let’s just try it,’” Ott said. “That’s what we’re going to do, and we’re going to learn and adapt and expand these programs citywide as we find success.”
The City Manager also directed City departments to reduce the number of employees arriving to work during peak times by 20 percent. He encouraged other private and public employers to follow the City’s lead to help lowering the demand during peak travel times.
The City of Austin and its transportation partners will continue to develop strategies to reduce traffic congestion by improving traffic flow, transit, cycling and pedestrian facilities so that more options are available for Austinites’ daily commute.
Mid- and longer-term proposals include:
- Fully implementing the Advanced Traffic Management System that will allow engineers to diagnose signal problems in real time, fix signals quickly and manage traffic peaks during rush hours and special events.
- Accelerating the City’s wayfinding project that includes signage and means to help travelers have access to Austin and the region’s major roadways.
- Working with Capital Metro to enhance transit routes to and from Downtown.
“This is a great start toward addressing a very visible and persistent problem we have here in Austin,” Council Member Kitchen said. “And I think I can speak for my colleagues when I say that we’re all ready to get moving.
CITY OF AUSTIN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release Date: Mar. 28, 2015
Contact: Samantha Alexander 512-974-7923 Email
To view the news conference announcing the plan, go to www.atxn.tv.