Archives for March 2009

Downtown Austin Car Share – Smart Car Pilot Program

How do you increase parking?  Shrink the cars, of course!

How do you increase parking? Shrink the cars, of course!

Daimler will partner with the City of Austin to operate a car-share pilot program, Mayor Will Wynn announced yesterday morning.

From the Statesman:

“The city will set aside urban-core parking spaces for 200 of Daimler’s “Smart” cars. Rather than paying for the spaces, Daimler will let city employees use the cars for a number of hours that’s equal to the monetary value of the spaces. (That amount hasn’t been determined yet; it will be negotiated over the next few weeks, city officials said.)…The program will start in October and run for six months. Daimler will pay for fuel, maintenance and insurance during that time, said the city’s transportation director, Robert Spillar.”

The car share program is a proven model in many cities, and the Smart Car program specifically is already smashing success in Germany.  Austin mayoral city council candidate Chris Riley is responsible for Austin Car Share – a small but well utilized car share program in Downtown Austin.

Thanks to Austin Contrarian for picking up on this story.

Downtown Austin Retail > Walton's Fancy & Staple


Back in December I reported on the construction activity at 609 W 6th.  It appears that Walton’s could be open any day now.  The doors were locked so here are some photos from behind the windows.  I dig the bistro furniture and old-fashioned look.

Waltons Fancy & Staple

Walton's Fancy & Staple

This will be a great addition to West 6th.   Another perspective…

Waltons Fancy & Staple

Walton's Fancy & Staple

Austin Medical School Courtesy of Carole Strayhorn?

Here is an intriguing idea courtesy of Carole Strayhorn!

1) Build a medical school, 2) enhance the medical/bio-tech industry in Austin, 3) create jobs, 4) create revenue for the city.

“This Council Spent $2.3 Billion for Biomass Energy in Nacogdoches. For less than half that cost, we could build this medical school, create $1.5 billion a year in revenue, and create 14,400 permanent jobs.”

If built in close proximity to Brackenridge, which I assume it would be, this could bring much needed life to the northeastern quadrant of downtown Austin.

Refreshingly, this makes good sense.


A Vision For Austin Rail

Imagine you work in Austin, but you live in San Antonio.  Rather than enduring Interstate 35 each morning, in a more perfect world you would have a rail system that drops you off into a downtown terminal.  Imagine if our city leaders could design a “Grand Central” of Austin.  This short homemade video makes Austin appear to be an international city.  It’s incredible to see the city come into view.

These days CapMetro can’t seem to tie its own shoes.  I do hear Amtrak is getting stimulus money, though.

link [via skyscraperpage]