Austin Public Works and Austin Transportation are testing a new program to make some neighborhood streets without sidewalks safer and more comfortable for walking, bicycling, and playing. The program is called “Shared Streets.” Shared Streets use traffic calming and pedestrian-centered design to accommodate all travel modes, ages, and abilities.

Shared Streets are neighborhood streets with low amounts of traffic, low speeds, and no or few sidewalks. Shared Streets will use traffic calming devices, such as bollards, paint, or planters to make residential streets more comfortable for people walking, biking, or rolling. 

Ave G and H Shared Streets Pilot Projects

Click the image above to learn about Shared Street pilot projects.

Purpose

There are over 2,500 miles of missing sidewalks in Austin. At the current funding rate, it would take almost 200 years for the City of Austin to build out all of the missing sidewalks. Shared Streets are a less costly, more flexible option with fewer impacts to existing trees and landscaping than installing sidewalks. Shared Streets were introduced in the 2016 Sidewalk Plan, and the City is interested in testing Shared Streets as it updates the Sidewalk Plan to better understand the role Shared Streets could have in the overall pedestrian network. Shared Streets, plus sidewalks, improved street crossings, and urban trails could help the City to complete the pedestrian network more quickly. 

Pilot Projects

As part of the ATX Walk Bike Roll plan update process, the City of Austin is testing the Shared Street concept using temporary materials inlocations across Austin. The City worked closely with residents along potential pilot streets to describe the purpose of the pilots, assess support, and identify street design options. The pilot projects will remain in place for approximately six months and will be evaluated before and after street design changes to help determine how well they worked. If pilot projects produce the desired outcomes and continue to have the support of residents along the street, the design changes will remain in place longer than six months.

Locations

To identify potential locations for these pilot projects, the City looked for residential streets without sidewalks located in areas where walking activity is expected to be relatively high. Pilot projects will only be installed along streets where residents express strong support for Shared Streets.  

Learn about pilot locations along Avenues G and H from East 51st to East 56th streets. 

Contact

For questions about this pilot program, email ATXWalkBikeRoll@AustinTexas.gov