Today, it’s difficult for many people in Austin to accomplish their daily tasks, including work and recreation, without access to a vehicle. CodeNEXT provides tools that enhance the connections between neighborhoods and offer more walkable communities.

Mobility goals addressed in CodeNEXT include:

  • Requiring Pedestrian Street Design

  • Creating Urban Trail Connections

  • Incentivizing Multi-modal Transportation

  • Improving Walkability

Challenges with the current code:

  • By separating land uses, the old land development code encouraged sprawl and made it necessary for more people to get in their cars and drive to access amenities and work far from their homes.

  • Streets designed without adequate consideration for non-automobile users disregards the character of the places they connect or travel through and discourages the use of alternate transportation options.

  • Residents seeking ways to enjoy the outdoors and live healthier lifestyles often lack access to recreational trails and active methods of commuting.

  • Many Austinites want the option to get around the city without having to rely on an automobile, but the city lacks multimodal infrastructure and services necessary to make doing so safe and convenient.

  • Small neighborhood shops found historically in urban core neighborhoods are discouraged by the current code, and are rare in newer neighborhoods located further from the urban core.

Proposed solutions in the new code:

  • The new code offers a framework that encourages a mix of uses in centers and along corridors, supported by housing, giving more people the opportunity to live near transit and within walking distance of amenities.

  • New requirements for street design include human-scale elements to support walkability, including sidewalks, street trees for shade, and frontage designs that reflect local character.

  • Under new requirements for subdivisions, site plans, and building permits, projects must connect to existing trails or construct new urban trails where applicable, in accordance with the Urban Trails Master Plan.

  • The new code incentivizes the provision of facilities that make using active modes of transportation, such as walking, biking, and transit, easier and safer.

  • The new zoning code allows small neighborhood shops in many more Austin neighborhoods to provide amenities within walking distance. It also reduces the number of parking spaces required for most uses to allow for better use of land.

WATCH:  CodeTALK on Mobility (May 31, 2017)