Development on interim transit bus lanes on East Riverside Drive will start in late February and are anticipated to open in April, based on the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Austin Transportation Division.

One among Austin’s main corridors, the 9 bus routes on East Riverside carry roughly 20 p.c of Capital Metro’s ridership. These precedence lanes are supposed to ease site visitors and supply larger public transit protection within the space earlier than Venture Join work is applied, together with the Blue Line and different potential bus routes.

“It’s a undertaking that’s been on people’ minds for fairly some time,” Caitlin D’Alton, ATD transit program supervisor, mentioned, including that since final fall the organizations have been transferring via all phases of labor on the proposal together with design, permits and group engagement.

The 2 companies are partnering underneath the 2018 Transit Pace & Reliability Interlocal Settlement to finish design and building of the undertaking. Funding will come from the identical settlement, which outlines how the town of Austin and Capital Metro collaborate on transit initiatives, together with building and monetary obligation issues.

The lanes will cowl a 2-mile stretch from Summit Road to Grove Boulevard touring within the right-most lane that will probably be marked by a stable white line and a “Bus Lane Solely” discover. New signage will probably be applied and common site visitors will solely be allowed within the lane for proper turns. Present bus stops on Parker and Nice Valley will probably be relocated.

Capital Metro and ATD count on these precedence lanes to avoid wasting passengers as much as 5 and a half minutes throughout high-traffic durations when in comparison with pre-Covid-19 journey instances. Additionally they count on journey time for normal site visitors to extend, nonetheless minimally.

In accordance with a Jan. 26 memo from Capital Metro and ATD, the precedence lanes undertaking aligns with the Austin Strategic Course 2023 Mobility Strategic Consequence that goals to get “Austinites the place we need to go, once we need to get there, safely and cost-effectively.”

The organizations additionally wrote that “an funding in transit is an funding in fairness,” including that prioritizing an space the place many important employees depend on transit will help the group and financial restoration in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

ATD and Capital Metro additionally hope to help the Metropolis’s multimodal transportation imaginative and prescient based mostly on the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan Coverage 1, which is to “give public transportation precedence.”

“It’s right this moment already an essential hall for transit given the quantity of ridership,” D’Alton mentioned. “We do have plans as a part of Venture Join to reinforce it even additional.”

The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan was adopted in April 2019 and was developed to put out tips and plans to extend mobility, transit velocity and multimodal transportation applications in an effort to “envision a transportation community that’s accessible and dependable, supplies decisions, and serves the various wants of our group.”

In accordance with the ASMP, about three-quarters of Austinites drove their very own automobiles to work in 2019, and 4 p.c used public transit. Town plans for half of employees to drive their very own automobiles and 16% to make use of public transit by 2039. Additionally they intend to extend the quantity of individuals strolling, utilizing bicycles or working remotely.

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