In response to the COVID 19 pandemic, Austin City Council directed Austin Transportation (Resolution 20200507-062), to create places that promote physical and mental health and provide safe options to access jobs and services. Called “Healthy Streets,” people can more comfortably use these low-traffic areas for activities like walking, wheelchair rolling, running, and bicycling with enough space to maintain physical distance. Healthy Streets are achieved by creating “soft closures” on select local streets to through traffic and maintaining local access only for residents, deliveries, and emergency vehicles.
Future Healthy Streets
The ultimate goal for the Healthy Streets Initiative is to ensure people in all parts of the city have access to spaces that promote mental and physical health. Community feedback, engineering judgement, equity and planning considerations will guide Austin Transportation in developing Healthy Streets that meet the needs of all residents. As needs continue to evolve rapidly, the City is working to keep pace, nimbly make adjustments, and provide updates as they develop.
The second batch of proposed Healthy Streets are currently available for review and comment. Not all of these candidate streets will necessarily become Healthy Streets
To get more information or ask questions about Healthy Streets, contact the project team via email at HealthyStreets@AustinTexas.gov.
Current Healthy Streets
The first batch of Healthy Streets were implemented along these initial roadway segments:
- Bouldin Ave. / S 3rd St. / Garden Villa Ln. from Banister Ln. to Barton Springs Rd.
Comal St. from Manor Rd. to Lady Bird Lake
Country Club Creek Trail extension (Trail, Wickersham Ln., Oltorf St., Pleasant Valley Rd., Ventura Dr., Madera Dr.) from Mabel Davis Park to Lakeshore Dr.
Riverside Dr. from Lamar Blvd. to South 1st St.
Pleasant Valley Rd. from Canterbury St. To S. Lakeshore Blvd.
Austin Transportation uses various devices on Healthy Streets to open street space for walking, running, biking, and other activities that promote physical and mental health. Below are some examples of installation types:
- Typical set-up
The most common type of Healthy Street installation features a saw horse type barricade and barrel with attached signage informing travelers that they are on a Healthy Street.
- Modified set-up
This is a modified Healthy Street installation that provides similar wayfinding features to the typical set-up with a sandwich board type barricade with signage communicating access to local destinations served by that street.
- Transit operation set-up
Healthy Street segments that serve transit are configured to enable buses to operate along the route by placing the barricade and barrel on opposite sides of the street.
- Major intersection set-up
Healthy Street installations typically use a larger fence style barricade at signalized or higher volume intersections, in combination with signage.
- Other unique approaches
Other unique approaches to achieving connectivity and comfort along Healthy Street routes include opening up the outside lane of multi-lane arterial streets where volumes permit or protecting space on one side of the street for two-way travel.
There are many ways to get involved with the Healthy Streets Initiative:
- Become a block captain
Block captains help oversee and maintain the traffic control set-ups on Healthy Streets (barricades, barrels, and signs). They also stay in touch with the project team to provide their own observations and suggestions for improvements to existing Healthy Streets.
To become a Block Captain, watch this video.
Registration is required, but the video can be viewed at any time.
After the video, you will be directed how to take the Block Captain Quiz. After passing the quiz, the Healthy Streets team will reach out to you about
- Make a comment on current Healthy Streets
Make a comment on current Healthy Streets using this linked map.
The map shows streets that are currently designated as Healthy Streets.
Click on the street in the map or on the street name in the list to view the route.
Click on the comment button to make a comment.
Choose whether you support, have concerns or suggestions, or do not support the selected Healthy Street, from the drop-down menu. Then provide detailed comments in the open comment box.
Your ZIP code is required to submit a comment. Your input will be anonymously displayed once you click "Submit."
- Suggest a new Healthy Street
To suggest a new Healthy Street, use this tool.
This map allows you to draw new suggestions for Healthy Streets and identify locations you want to be able to get to using a Healthy Street.
To suggest a new Healthy Street or an Important Destination:
- Click on "Identify a Healthy Street" or on "Identify an Important Destination" from the list, based on what type of suggestion you're making.
- Tip: Check first if someone else has submitted the same input as you, and if so show your support by making a comment instead.
- Click on "Submit Input" if no one has submitted your idea yet.
- Fill out the details like street name, and enter your ZIP code and comments.
- Click on the map to start drawing your suggestion, and double-click to stop drawing.
- Click "Report It" to submit your suggested route. Your input will be anonymously displayed once you click "Report It."
To comment on a Healthy Street or Destination suggested by someone else:
- Click on either "Identify a Healthy Street" or "Identify an Important Destination" from the list.
- Click the line or point on the map or the name in the list of the suggestion you would like to make a comment on.
- Click on the comment button to make a comment.
- From the drop-down menu, select whether you support or do not support the suggestion, or if you have concerns or additional suggestions.
- Your ZIP code is required to submit a comment.
- Write your detailed comments in the open comment box.
- Your input will be anonymously displayed once you click "Submit."
- Provide general feedback on our survey
To share overall program feedback instead of street specific feedback, complete this survey.
The information provided will help us improve this program, and as needs continue to evolve, we are working to keep pace and make adjustments. We will provide updates as they develop. If you have a location-specific issue with a Healthy Street, please call 3-1-1 to report your concern.
- Read the complete Batch 1 community feedback report
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: How will getting to my home or business work? Can I have guests and take deliveries?
All local traffic for residents, including guests and deliveries will be maintained. Where detours are necessary for safety, signage will direct vehicles to an alternate route.
- Q: How will emergency vehicles get to my home or business?
Emergency access will be maintained at all times. Emergency responders have been made aware of the closures.
- Q: How will my trash and recycling services be collected and my packages and mail be delivered?
All normal street services such as trash, recycling, mail and deliveries will be maintained. Where detours are necessary for safety, signage will direct service vehicles to an alternate route.
- Q: How were these streets selected?
Streets are being evaluated for their ability to offer recreation and for more comfortable connections to jobs and essential services. Streets with frequent transit service are generally being avoided. Austin Transportation will also consider public feedback in designating future Healthy Streets.
- Q: How will this be enforced?
City staff will monitor the routes. Community block captains will also assist with observations. If you are interested in becoming a block captain, please email us at HealthyStreets@AustinTexas.gov.
- Q: How long will Healthy Streets be in place?
Austin Transportation will monitor conditions and adjust as conditions warrant. Per Resolution 20200507-062, ATD will provide periodic updates to Austin City Council and the community as well as a transition plan back to Council for consideration.
- Q: Can I still park on the street?
Yes, you may park on the street in areas where on-street parking was previously allowed.