Austin Transportation creates more space to support physical recreation and community health
More space to allow for physical exercise for residents to walk and play is being opened up today on select Austin streets through Austin Transportation’s Healthy Streets Initiative.
Following direction from the Austin City Council (Resolution 20200507-062), Austin Transportation identified the first batch of streets where the initiative will be implemented:
- Bouldin Ave. / S 3rd St. / Garden Villa Ln. between Banister Ln. and Barton Springs Rd.
- Comal St. between Manor Rd. and Lady Bird Lake
- Country Club Creek Trail extension (Trail, Wickersham Ln., Ventura Dr., Madera Dr.) between Mabel Davis Park and Lakeshore Dr.
This effort follows the recent successful temporary street modifications on the bridge over Longhorn Dam on Pleasant Valley Road and the closure of Riverside Drive from South First Street to Lee Barton Drive.
Transportation staff on Thursday began installing closures on the three street segments to limit through vehicle traffic, while maintaining local access for residents, deliveries, and emergency vehicles. In response to these closures, people living on or near these streets can more comfortably walk, wheelchair roll, run, and bike with enough space to maintain physical distance. This effort does not impact emergency vehicle access and transit service will remain on Bouldin Ave.
“Users of these roadways, whether on foot or behind the wheel, are reminded to be cautious and watch out for each other as the changes will result in greater interactions,” said Rob Spillar, Austin Transportation Director.
The closures include signage, traffic cones and barricades along approximately five miles of roadway and connect previously disconnected portions of the active transportation network to create more space for daily physical activity. The streets will be closely monitored to assure they operate safely and continue to meet the needs of the community.
Healthy Streets are designed for “active use” only, individuals are prohibited from gathering, barbecuing, or playing games that involve physical contact of any kind. Participants are expected to keep at least six feet apart at all times and required to wear a face covering while engaging in active recreation.
Community members can weigh in on future “Healthy Street” options and tell ATD how the effort is working using tools available at AustinTexas.gov/HealthyStreets.