Frequently Asked Questions

Street and Bridge Operations

How can I get speed bumps or other “traffic calming” measures installed on my street?

These requests are handled within the Austin Transportation Department. Please call 3-1-1 or visit the Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) webpage for more information.

How can I get speed bumps or other “traffic calming” measures installed on my street?

These requests are handled within the Austin Transportation Department. Please call 3-1-1 or visit the Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) webpage for more information.

I just received a door hanger stating that my street will be receiving preventative maintenance. What does that mean and how is this decided?

The City of Austin uses a Pavement Management Information System (PMIS) to track pavement inventory and performance to coordinate, plan, and forecast pavement needs. The PMIS ensures that the sealcoat method is the most cost effective program for long-term pavement maintenance. The decision to maintain a specific street is primarily based on its age and condition.

Read more about street preventative maintenance and the sealcoat process.

What types of services does the Street and Bridge Operations Division provide?
Where can I find information on Protected Streets in the City of Austin?
Where can I find information on which streets are scheduled for preventative maintenance?

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Access the interactive 2017 Service Plan Map to see if your street is scheduled for preventative maintenance. To use, simply enter your address into the search field in the upper left of the map. You can zoom in and out and move the map around to see what maintenance is happening near you and all around Austin. Please call 3-1-1 to find out when a particular street is due for preventative maintenance. To hear which streets are scheduled for the following day, please call the Street Resurfacing Hotline at 512-974-7878.



Where can I find more information on right-of-way vegetation maintenance?

The Public Works Department is raising awareness to encourage Austinites to lend a hand in clearing vegetative obstructions in an effort to create safe and accessible paths (streets, sidewalks, trails, and alleyways) for all users in the public right-of-way. The goal of the campaign is to help educate property owners of their responsibility in keeping the public right-of-way clear of excessive vegetation that is obstructing a pathway. By doing so, the City will increase the functionality of sidewalks, streets, and alleys; and increase safety for all users. People with mobility and vision impairments or distracted users might not be able to pass by the overgrown vegetative barrier.

Learn more about:

Right-of-Way Vegetation Maintenance

Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful brochure outlining Property Owners Responsibility

Where can I report a pothole or other street maintenance issue?

Just call 3-1-1 (512-974-2000 outside of Austin) or visit 311's customer service page to make your request. You can also report issues through the 311 app available on Google Play Store or iTunes Store. Users with Blackberry, Palm, Nokia and Windows Mobile devices can access it at

How do I apply for an exemption to the Transportation User Fee?

Residential customers may be eligible for an exemption to the Transportation User Fee if the person who is responsible for paying the utility bill meets one of the following criteria

  • Age 65 or older or 
  • Does not own or regularly use a private motor vehicle

If you believe you are eligible for this exemption, please download and complete the forms below and then email them to

Click here to download the fee exemption application for residents over 65.

Click here to download the fee exemption application for residents who do not own or use a private motor vehicle.

How is the Public Works Department organized?

Check out our illustration to see how the department is organized.

What is the transportation user fee?

The Transportation User Fee (TUF) is a fee assessed to residents and businesses based on the traffic levels generated by each dwelling unit or business. View the City of Austin Ordinance regarding the fee. 

This monthly fee funds street maintenance and repair, annual street overlay and striping, and other activities necessary for keeping Austin's roadways in good condition. City of Austin residents pay the mandatory fee to help prolong the life of city infrastructure and assets. By managing and maintaining public right of way infrastructure, the City of Austin is able to save taxpayer money by intervening before full reconstruction is needed. Full street reconstruction can be costly and time-consuming, therefore preventative maintenance provided by the fee helps reduce these costs.

Vacant properties are exempt from the fee including both residential and commercial properties.

Residential customers may be eligible for an exemption if the person who is responsible for paying the utility bill meets one of the following criteria

  • Age 65 or older or 
  • Does not own or regularly use a private motor vehicle

If you believe you are eligible for this exemption, please download and complete the forms below and then  email the form to,

Click here to download the fee exemption application for residents over 65.

Click here to download the fee exemption application for residents who do not own or use a private motor vehicle

For residential customers, the fee is a variable monthly rate. See residential rates below. 

House/garage apartment $12.79
Duplex $11.51
Triplex/fourplex $9.60
Townhouse/condo $9.60
Mobile home $8.46
Five or more units $10.03


For commercial customers the rate is $63.98 per developed acre and then multiplied by the usage category which is based on the type of business. 

For additional billing information, please call 512-974-7696. For commercial or residential accounts ask for Evie Bishop.

Where can I find information about Public Works' source of funding and how it's used?

View our 2016 Annual Report for funding information. 


Capital Project Delivery

How can I access construction design and technical resources for contractors, designers, and consultants?

Access Standards in pdf, AutoCAD and MicroStation format here. You can use the table of contents to locate details by name. This is a temporary location for the standards while the publisher sets up their site to provide all formats.

To access Specifications, access the publisher's website. All other Criteria Manuals and the City Code are also available on the publisher’s website.

City of Austin Sidewalk Program

How are new sidewalk projects funded?

New sidewalks are funded both by private development and through City of Austin Capital Project Delivery projects. When a new private development project is constructed, the developer is required to provide sidewalks. This requirement also applies to most redevelopment projects. City CIP projects that involve full street reconstruction also generally include pedestrian and sidewalk improvements. Want to learn more about sidewalk funding? View a helpful handout that breaks down the history of sidewalks in Austin, the state of the sidewalks, how sidewalks are funded and built, benefits and how you can get involved to make a difference.

In addition the City CIP program, there are also standalone Sidewalk construction and rehabilitation projects. These projects are typically funded through voter-approved bonds, but also receive funding from state and federal grants and from the City of Austin sidewalk fee-in-lieu program.

How are new sidewalk projects prioritized?

The City of Austin Sidewalk Master Plan has a prioritization matrix for new sidewalk projects that includes the following factors:

  • How far are the nearby schools, major employers, transit stops, government offices, public accommodations and public housing?
  • How many people live in the area?
  • Are there already existing sidewalks in the area?
  • How busy is the street?
  • Has a request been made? (Has the request been made by the ADA task force, as part of an Adopted Neighborhood Plan, or by a neighborhood resident?)
  • Have there been reported pedestrian safety concerns?

Using this decision matrix, the Sidewalk Program’s limited budget is used to achieve maximum benefits.

How do I request a new sidewalk or curb ramp?

Submit your request by calling Austin 3-1-1 or by entering it online or by using the Austin 3-1-1 app. Please provide the location and extent of the requested improvements. If you provide your contact information, City of Austin staff will follow up and provide feedback about funding availability.

Is there a list of upcoming sidewalk projects available online?

Yes. There are a couple of different ways you can look further into upcoming and current sidewalk projects:

1 | Sidewalk Improvement Projects can be viewed through a quarterly report map that shows you where sidewalk improvement projects are active, completed and planned as part of the Sidewalk Master Plan and ADA Transition Plan. Within the report, the map highlights where bus stop improvements are complete.

2 | You can view a map-based display through the new CIVIC website which provides information on current projects funded in whole or in part by the bond programs from 2013, 2012, 2010, 2006 and earlier. 

Want more information on how sidewalks are funded, built, facts about the current state of sidewalks in Austin and more? View our helpful handout.

Want to learn more about Sidewalks in Austin?

Let's take a walk: A look at Sidewalks in Austin. View a helpful handout that breaks down the history of sidewalks in Austin, the state of the sidewalks, how sidewalks are funded and built, benefits and how you can get involved to make a difference. 

What is "sidewalk fee in lieu"?

The sidewalk fee in lieu allows for developers to pay a fee in lieu of building sidewalks if the project meets a certain criteria within the Land Development Code, Chapter 25-6-354. Should the criteria be met, the developer pays the fee. The money collected, is then set-aside in a fund for future sidewalk construction in the area. The City of Austin will then notify the Neighborhood Contact Team in the area if an application for fee-in-lieu is approved as part of a new subdivision, site plan, or building permit.

Learn more about sidewalk fee in lieu.

Where can I find a copy of the 2009 Sidewalk Master Plan?

View the 2009 Sidewalk Master Plan here (pdf).  For additional resources and information about City of Austin sidewalks, visit 

Where can I find a copy of the approved 2016 Sidewalk Master Plan?

View the approved 2016 Sidewalk Master Plan here (pdf).  For additional resources and information about City of Austin sidewalks, visit our Sidewalk Program page.

Neighborhood Partnering Program

1) What is the Neighborhood Partnering Program (NPP)?

The Neighborhood Partnering Program (NPP) allows citizens to partner with the City to propose small to medium scale projects on City-owned property to improve the places in which they live, work and play.  Click here to download our guide to all things NPP

Examples of projects that qualify:

  • Beautification/landscaping, including adopting a City median
  • Pedestrian and bicycling enhancements
  • Community gardens
  • Pocket parks
  • Trails, trailheads, and gateways
  • Curb, gutter, and green streets
  • Street furniture
  • Park improvements
2) I have an idea, can I apply?

All proposed projects must be on City-owned property, have a community benefit and be publicly accessible. They must also come from a community group such as a:

  • Neighborhood Association registered with the City of Austin
  • Neighborhood Plan Contact Team
  • Community service associations
  • Educational, ethnic, cultural, or religious organizations
3) What services does the Neighborhood Partnering Program provide?
  • Neighborhood Cost-Share is when you apply to the City to have your project funded.
  • Grant Assistance is when you apply to the City for funding to meet a cash portion of a grant you have received or for which you are applying.
  • Adopt-A-Median is when you apply to the City to enter into an agreement to beautify and maintain a median or other rights of way.
4) Is there a deadline?

Yes! For cost-sharing programs, completed applications are due June 1st and October 1st of each year; or the first business day thereafter. You can submit your application early, however, all applications will be considered for funding at the same time. Grant Assistance applications can be accepted at any time in order to meet grant deadlines, however, only 1-2 of these are awarded per year. Adopt-A-Median project proposals are processed on a rolling basis.

5) What do I need to apply?

First, you need:

  • A great idea!
  • A simple sketch of your idea, with the location identified
  • An idea of the project budget
  • A plan to meet your cost-share through fundraisers, in-kind labor, cash donations, etc. 

Second, talk to your neighbors: show them the sketch, tell them about the cost-share, earn their support! The City requires:

  • The endorsement of the commonly recognized neighborhood association or the homeowner’s association for your area (City staff can help you to identify this).
  • The endorsement of at least 60% of the area bounding the project. (City staff can assist in identifying the affected residents).
  • An agreement to maintaining the project for the life of the project.

Third, send an email to the Neighborhood Partnering Program. Please include in your email:

  • Your name, phone number, and organization you are representing.
  • A project location, a simple sketch, and a brief description of your idea.

*Projects that are determined to be eligible for the Neighborhood Partnering Program will be sent a formal application. 

Fourth, work with the Neighborhood Partnering Program staff to submit the full Neighborhood Partnering Program application and requested back-up materials.

6) What maintenance is required?

Your organization will be responsible for maintaining the project for the life of the project. This means that you must be prepared to replace or repair certain aspects of the project if need-be, and must be able to do ongoing maintenance. For landscaping projects, you should be prepared to do maintenance on regular intervals as determined by a project agreement, which is developed with each awarded project.

7) How is cost-share calculated?

Cost-share is calculated as a combination of any of the following:

  • Cash is directly applied to the project cost-share.
    • Grants can also be used as a cash match under the cost-share program as long as the granting organization authorizes that use.
    • Applicants have 180 days to raise the funds from the time their project is approved.
  • In-kind labor is credited at the same rate non-profits utilize to calculate the value of volunteer hours. That rate is set each year by Independent Sector, and the rate is approved by the Government Accounting Standards Board. For 2014 applications, this rate is approximately $24.66/hour.
  • Professional and other in-kind services are credited at fair market value. To receive this credit, the service provider must provide an invoice for services, which will be credited to the project.
  • Donations of materials and equipment are credited at fair market value. 
  • Maintenance such as paying water bills estimated for credit over a 2-year period. Projects are required to be maintained for the life of the project by the successful applicant, and credit for maintenance is given for a 2-year period.
8) Ready to apply?

Application tips

Want to submit a strong application? Below, you can find some pointers.

  • Have a complete project description in mind. This part, called the “scope,” is the most important part of your application. In order to evaluate the projects, staff must understand the full breadth of the request. You should be able to describe each item requested with respect to location and size, but you do not have to provide overly detailed specifications. Here are some examples:  
  • For landscaping, a location and general size is fine. Landscaping type can be described as  “native plants and xeriscape,” or an installation pattern can be described. 
  • For public art displays, describe the location and the type of improvement. For example, a map might be marked with the notation, “install art exhibit in areas marked with a red dot.” 
  • When describing your project, it is helpful to list some of your goals so that staff can better assist with technical issues related to the scope. Examples are:
    • Create a safer place for people to walk
    • Add play elements to the park that are attractive and fun
    • Make our street look more residential and attractive
  • Refer to Imagine Austin or your neighborhood plan to see how your proposed projects fit into the larger vision for your neighborhood. 

    • Estimate a budget. This will help you with developing the cost-share. 
    • Know your cost-share! In order to be fair to all projects, City staff must calculate the in-kind contributions as accurately as possible. Talk to your neighbors and develop a solid plan so that staff can approve the cost-share.
    9) What happens after I apply?

    Staff will review your application to ensure that all the minimum requirements are met, as well as:

    • Ensuring the requested land/area is available for use
    • Ensuring the requested amenity is suitable for the area
    • Reviewing the appropriateness of the scope, budget, cost-share and demonstration of support
    • Undergoing a three month vetting process wherin the applicant must be available for occasional questions and meetings with Neighborhood Partnering Program staff

    If the above criteria cannot be met, the application will not be allowed to proceed. If minor corrections can be made that will allow the application to move forward, staff will give the applicant one week to resubmit. 

    Applications that do proceed will go through a technical review committee, if needed, to understand everything that is required to install the project. That committee will determine whether or not the project is feasible from both technical and cost perspectives. If the project is not feasible owing to technical, budgetary, or logistical issues, your organization will be notified.   

    Requests that make it through the feasibility assessment will be reviewed, scored, and ranked with awards being made based on available funding.

    How are funding requests evaluated?

    There are six main evaluation criteria for the Neighborhood Partnering Cost Share Proposals:

    • Community Participation (20 points) – Points are awarded based upon the active participation of the responsible entity in the project. 
    • Cost Share Proposal (20 points) – Points are awarded to projects that assume a greater percentage of the project cost.
    • Quality of Life Enhancement (20 points) - Points are awarded to projects based upon the degree that they contribute to physical environment improvement, neighborhood quality of life and neighborhood identity.
    • Incorporates or Meets City Initiatives (15 points) -Points are awarded for projects that address an existing but under-funded requirement, implement adopted neighborhood plans or incorporate City sustainability initiatives.
    • Geographic Equity (20 points) - Additional points will be awarded to neighborhoods from underrepresented areas based upon previous NPP project awards.
    • Reconsidering Qualifying Applications (5 points)- Qualifying applications that have been previously presented but were unfunded, are eligible for 10 extra points when funding is available at staff discretion.

    Safe Routes to School

    How can I schedule a Safe Street Crossing Educational Training, Safety Patrol Training, or Bike Rodeo for my school?

    The Safe Routes to School's team of Safety Trainers is available to provide training free of charge to interested schools in Austin. They are also available to assist with holding a bike rodeo for your school. To schedule a training or rodeo, contact Rhonda Bolick, Education Program Coordinator, at (512) 974-5633.

    How do I request a crossing guard at my child’s school?

    All requests for crossing guards should be supported by the Campus Advisory Council (CAC) for the school. With CAC approval, call Austin 3-1-1 or submit a request online citing the specific intersection for the proposed crossing guard.

    The request will be received by the Safe Routes to School Program, which will conduct a pedestrian and bicycle count on an unannounced, fair-weather day to determine an accurate average count. A minimum of twenty children crossing during school zone hours is the usual standard to warrant a crossing guard.

    How do I request a new school zone or changes to an existing school zone?

    To be considered by the Austin Transportation Department, all requests for infrastructure or engineering changes near a school, such as school zones, must be coordinated and approved by the Campus Advisory Council (CAC) for the school. If the CAC is supportive of changes, the first step is to submit a 311 request with the specific location of the desired school zone.

    This request will be received by Safe Routes to School, which will evaluate the request, seek additional information if necessary, and pass it along to the appropriate ATD Traffic Engineer with a recommendation. The Traffic Engineer will then make an assessment, and if the engineer believes a new school zone or change to the existing school zone is necessary, he or she will seek appropriate approval for the changes.

    How do I request traffic calming devices near a school?

    Requests for traffic calming for speed mitigation issues are handled through the Local Area Traffic Management Program. You will find additional information and an application form on their website.

    What is Safe Routes to School and how can I implement a Safe Routes program at my school?

    Safe Routes to School is an international movement with two basic goals: improve the safety conditions of routes to school and encourage more children and families to bike or walk to school. Locally, Safe Routes to School is an initiative of the Child Safety Program. Our goal: To enable and encourage all children to choose a health-enhancing, physically-active mode of transportation to and from school.
    The Child Safety Program partners with schools to help them develop their own individualized Safe Routes to School Program and Plan. Program elements can include Walking School Buses, Bike Rodeos, classroom walking contests, and much more. Contact our Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator, Amir Emamian, to see how to get your school involved, or check out our quick-start guide.

    What is the BOW WOW Program?

    BOW WOW (Bike on Wednesday – Walk on Wednesday) is an encouragement program promoted by the Safe Routes to School Program to motivate more children to bike or walk to school. The month-long program runs each Wednesday, when children who bike or walk are able to enter their names into a raffle. At the end of the month, two bicycles (one for a boy, one for a girl) and ten pedometers are distributed to raffle winners.

    To learn when your school will be scheduled or for assistance in starting your own BOW WOW encouragement campaign, contact Rhonda Bolick, Education Program Coordinator, at (512) 974-5633.

    What is the Deferred Disposition Program?

    Motorists who receive a moving violation in a school zone for speeding or cell phone use may be offered a Deferred Disposition by the City of Austin Municipal Court Prosecutors.

    If the deferral is offered, the defendant may participate in the Safe Routes to School Deferred Disposition Program which consists of two shifts with a crossing guard and the Program Coordinator or one of our supervisors. In exchange for successfully completing the program, the offense does not go on their driving record and is not reported to their car insurance provider. The program is not intended to raise school zone speeding and distracted driving awareness. We enjoy a 99+ percent positive feedback rating and have had only one repeat offender.

    Urban Trails

    How will urban trails affect the environment?

    Expanding choices for safe, affordable and sustainable travel modes has a positive impact on our environment. By making transit, biking and walking realistic options, we encourage families and residents of all ages to reduce car trips and the reliance on cars. Reduction in motor vehicle trips positively impacts our air and water quality, as well as our quality of life. A recent survey of Austin citizens showed that 80 percent are more likely to ride bicycles more often if more separated paths or trails were available. 

    All current environmental protections in the City Code will be applied to the construction and design of urban trails. The Urban Trails Program recognizes that many proposed urban trails may be located in greenfield development areas. Therefore, significant care will be taken to promote the utmost sensitivity for environmental concerns. If environmental concerns are not met to the satisfaction of City of Austin staff, the community, or appropriate boards and commissions, a "no build" option may be considered. 

    What does an urban trail look like?

    An urban trail is a hard surface, all weather path for active transportation and recreation uses. Urban trails are designed to accommodate users of all ages and abilities. In general, the standard width of an urban trail is 12 feet and the standard surface is concrete. A 12 foot wide hard surface trail accommodates two-way bicyclists and pedestrians. Urban trail width may vary based on the context of the trail, projected trail usage and surrounding environmental opportunities and constraints. 

    What is an urban trail?

    The City of Austin defines an urban trail as a citywide network of non-motorized, multi-use pathways that are used by people walking, running, or on bikes for both transportation and recreation purposes. 

    Our goals for urban trails are to:

    • Provide easy access to urban trails for both transportation and recreation users from all parts of the city.
    • Link all urban trails to the on-street bicycle and sidewalk network around them.
    • Ensure that all urban trails are adequately sized to accommodate both recreation and transportation uses.
    • Incorporate trail amenities and features that transform them from a paved surface into unique greenways that reflect the city around them. 
    Who should I contact about trail maintenance?

    Keeping Austin's urban trail system free of debris and trash is one of our top priorities. Please call 311 to report excessive trash and debris on a trail. Be sure to include the trail name and location of the trash and debris. 

    Will an urban trail affect my property value?

    A comprehensive literature review of trails and their impact on property value, nationally and internationally, show no negative impacts. Studies as far back as 1978 have demonstrated that trails either increase or retain property value. More recently, a 2011 study by Rainer vom Hofe and Olivier Parent demonstrated that, "investment in infrastructure and public amenities [such as trails] is a solid investment that will result in a positive return for communities." These positive benefits are more than quantifiable economically, as they are desirable by home owners who are willing to pay a premium for convenient access to healthy, active transportation options.