As the central spine of downtown Austin and the connection between Lady Bird Lake and the Texas State Capitol, Congress Avenue is arguably Austin’s most prominent street. Despite this, the Avenue lacks the vitality and identity of a great people-centric place. The goal of this effort is to develop an urban design and implementation strategy that results in a human-centric, multi-functional complete street with a clear and attractive identity.

Image of Congress Avenue corridor with view of Capital building

Improving Congress Avenue as the ‘Main Street of Texas’ is called for in the Council adopted Downtown Austin Plan, and the project is made possible with funding from the City’s 2012 bond program. In partnership with the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and community stakeholders, the City contracted with an Urban Design consultant team to help refine and realize the vision for the Congress Avenue from the Capitol to Riverside Drive.

Through this process, outreach efforts will gather input about the future development of Congress Avenue. Public events and focused meetings will allow stakeholders to participate and will give every Austinite and Texan a voice in the process.

 

Congress Avenue project timeline graphic

PROJECT UPDATE | September 2020 

Following the open house #4 the new draft vision for the Avenue was presented to Boards and Commissions. Feedback from these boards and commissions is being incorporated before taking the final recommendations to Council for adoption.  

 

Previous Events

OPEN HOUSE #4 | March 5, 2019

The City of Austin, in partnership with the Downtown Alliance, hosted two open house events to present the recommendations for the future of downtown Congress Avenue. At our last meeting, "Imagine!" we presented a number of options for improving Congress Avenue as a place for people. During this public engagement we shared a draft of the new vision for the Avenue.

View the presentation slides

View the Congress Avenue Mobility Report

Take the survey

 

Open House #3 | May 15, 2018

Our Congress Avenue Imagine! graphic

The City of Austin, in partnership with the Downtown Austin Alliance, is continuing the planning effort for Congress Avenue between 11th Street and Riverside Drive. We want to share with you what we heard, what we found, and some initial ideas about the future of the main street of Texas.

On May 15th, 2018, City Staff and the Downtown Alliance hosted an open house for Our Congress Avenue – Imagine! Attendees learned about the history of the avenue and provided input that will inform the final design.

Open House Presentation Boards

 

LAUNCH | April 5, 2017

The Congress Initiative launched in early April with an open house on the Avenue. Over 150 people joined the City, the DAA, and the design team to “walk the Avenue” (laid out in colorful tape across the floor) and discuss the future of Congress. The design team gathered comments on subjects ranging from economic development and ecology to social equity.

Image of crowds gathered at the Congress Avenue open house launch

Introductory Presentation

Streetscape Inspirations

TRANSFORM | June, 2017

For two days Austinites took walking tours, biked along mocked-up streets, tested material performance, and built street sections with strips of paper. With the help of organizations and volunteers, a wide range of ideas poured forth from young and old. The fun culminated with a marching band making its way up the entirely of Congress Avenue.

Image of people conversing at a tabling event

Image courtesy of Michael Knox

Introductory Presentation

 

Contacts 

David Taylor, Public Works 
Project Manager
512-974-7132
Email

Jorge E. Rousselin, Urban Design
Division Manager 
512-974-2975
Email