The City of Austin is proposing the Pressler Street Extension Project to help better connect Austin.
While designing this project, we’ve heard from numerous groups that have questions about how the project will impact their commutes, the nearby high school and neighborhoods. So, we “hit the pause button” on this design so we could take a few months to have those conversations, answer questions and make sure we are moving forward with the best solution for the most people.
During our “break” we stayed pretty busy. Project staff engaged with the Lamar Beach Master Plan process – a process which will result with a master vision for the entire area surrounding the proposed Pressler Street Extension, from the railroad tracks to Lady Bird Lake, and from MoPac to South Lamar. The staff recommendation for Lamar Beach Master Plan is anticipated to be presented to the City Council in Fall 2016, and will include information about the alignment of Cesar Chavez, the proposed MoPac South Project, and more. This will heavily impact the Pressler Street Extension Project. City Staff working on the Pressler Street Project will wait until after the plan is adopted to determine how to move forward with the Pressler Street Extension. This means the upgraded at-grade railroad crossings at Pressler and Paul Streets (aka Downtown Quiet Zone) and a north-south connection, features of the Pressler Street Extension Project, will remain on hold.
Below is more information about the project, but if your question is not answered here send us an email at AustinMobility@austintexas.gov and we’ll be happy to help.
The Pressler connection includes many safety enhancements. Those include sidewalks for students and users to access the ball fields and park, a roundabout that is safer than a four-way intersection and an at-grade railroad crossing with safety features approved by the Federal Railroad Administration. In addition to the safety features on the railroad crossing, we anticipate a impenetrable fence along the UPRR tracks guiding people to use the safer crossing.
Building the connection is estimated to save people, on average in the study area, 4 minutes during their evening commutes. Currently travelers between MoPac and Lamar Boulevard do not have north-south access between Cesar Chavez and 5th/6th Streets; this connection provides a more direct connection for travelers, students, teachers, emergency vehicles, and even transit vehicles. The alternate route will allow drivers to vary their route as traffic patterns/congestion forms throughout the system.
Better access to MoPac Express Lanes
The Express Lanes are coming, and as it stands travelers who want to use them to go northbound will have to use Cesar Chavez. To get to Cesar Chavez, people will either drive through the Lamar Boulevard/5th Street intersection, or from the west drivers will loop around the high school on Veterans Boulevard or go under the overpass on Cesar Chavez to access the Express Lanes. Pressler would allow for drivers to use 5th or 6th Streets to access the Express Lanes, rather than adding congestion to the Lamar Boulevard/5th Street intersection or looping around the high school.
Check out our F.A.Q. section to learn more about the design, safety and anticipated traffic volumes. Do you still have questions or comments? We’re developing a survey that will be live in the next week, so continue to check back for that. Please send questions to AustinMobility@austintexas.gov.
May 2015 Open House Materials
The City of Austin hosted a public Open House on May 18, 2015 at Austin High School. Below are the materials that were on display for comment and review at the Open House.
As part of the Pressler Extension Project, the City's consultant conducted a traffic study around the area. The following documents include the Traffic Study Executive Summary and the Traffic Study Full Report. Due to the large file size, the Traffic Study Appendices file is available on request; email AustinMobility@austintexas.gov.