Pay By Donation Yoga in Rainey Street

Pay By Donation Yoga in Rainey Street

Be Yoga just opened in the Rainey Street District!

Located in the Windsor (née Legacy on the Lake), Be Yoga is a no-frills studio, about 1,000 square feet, just a stone’s throw from the lake and across from the Milago condos.

Perhaps more intriguing than it’s location is the fact that it’s a [Read more…]

Seaholm Redevelopment Interactive Map

Seaholm Redevelopment Interactive Map

Developing_the_Seaholm_District

The Statesman has a really good interactive map of the Seaholm Redevelopment.  Our skyline today is so impressive compared to just a few years ago.  I’m excited for the proposed buildings to fill in the gaps!

Thanks to Scot @ Live Oak Pharmacy for the heads up!

The Other Seaholm Project

The re-utilization of downtown Austin’s Seaholm Power Plant will happen.  When?  Not soon.  Why?  No $$$.  No surprise.

However, at Wednesday evening’s Parks Commission meeting, CM Chris Riley shared the opportunity to adapt the Seaholm intake structure (which sits on the lake) into something usable and complimentary to the trail.

 

An ordinance passed in 1985 required facilities such as this, owned by the city, immediately become park land upon termination or cessation of their existing uses.  Hence… PARD controls these buildings.

Furthermore, the 1987 Town Lake Park Comprehensive Plan states:  “…the building south of W. First Street that houses the cooling water intake for the power plant is ideally situated for conversion to lakeside dining.”  It goes on to suggest: “A water taxi stop will give additional access.”

OK, this is getting interesting, right?

PARD is strapped for cash, and PARD director Sarah Hensley is a progressive force.  There is reason to be optimistic that something can happen here, and we’re not going to have to wait 10 years to see it realized.

According to CM Riley, the use should be contextual, and specifically cater to the myriad people using the trail.  I understood this as concessionaires and open seating, rather than a proper restaurant as might be inferred from the plan.  This makes sense, considering there is little/no room for additional parking here.  Not a bad thing, IMO.

How can you help?  Keep the discussion moving, and share the idea with your friends.  Send a note to city council that you want to see these buildings put to public use.

-Jude

 

5 MAJOR ISSUES OF CONCERN ABOUT THE “BOARDWALK” PROJECT

5 MAJOR ISSUES OF CONCERN ABOUT THE “BOARDWALK” PROJECT

Part 2 of 2 Parts (click here to read Part 1 – The Overview of the project and its design)

1. It is not a “boardwalk”. Look closely. It is an elevated concrete human highway. 14-feet wide, 6-feet above the water, up to 70 feet out from shore. Built of concrete and steel. Out over the open waters of our beautiful and naturally pristine lake/river.

Existing LBL Trail in front of Hyatt Hotel

2. Cheaper alternatives exist. Either fully on land, closer to land, or a combination of both. With specifications that start with the minimum specs of the existing Trail: the Hyatt Regency segment, 5 to 6 feet wide, between the First Street and Congress Avenue bridges. This CAN be built across nearly the entire 1.2 mile stretch. For far less cost. However the necessary analysis and conceptual design work has never been done. The necessary conversations have never been had.

3. The “full project cost” could actually be over $20 million. Nearly $4.3 million has already been allocated toward consultants and design over the past two years out of existing city budgets of which $2.4 million has been spent or obligated to date. Plus the $16 million more now sought for construction. All for 1.2 miles of roadway. This road should be paved with gold.

Existing LBL Trail pedestrian crossing over Longhorn Dam

4. This project does not “complete” the trail gap. It will lead users east along the shoreline to the Longhorn Dam. That dam has a narrow and dangerous sidewalk crossing – where two strollers can barely pass each other over the Dam – alongside heavy traffic flow on Pleasant Valley Road. Clearly a “Pfluger-style” pedestrian bridge needs to be built parallel to the west side of the dam. A very expensive bridge. Then there is another “gap” on the North Shore around the former Holly Power Plant. Those segments? Not addressed.

5. The cleverly packaged and named “Boardwalk” is itself a hazardous solution for the need it is trying to fill and the improved safety it is attempting to yield. True, the existing sidewalk-based trail routing along Riverside Drive has a challenging crossing at IH-35 and some close proximity to road traffic. Interestingly, though, no ped-bike-vehicle accidents statistics have ever been produced. Folks know they must be very careful getting through there. But the 14-foot wide Boardwalk over-design intentionally promotes high-speed, two-abreast, bicycle traffic…in two directions…out over the open river waters…in direct conflict with pedestrians, strollers, wheelchairs, dog-walkers, and others who would also be on the same pathway. There is nowhere to jump out of the way of danger. There is no easy way to reach injured parties. There is no shade out in the open water.

Some folks have been asking how this project came to be?  Good question.  Please read on…

[Read more…]