Bike Lane And Back-In Parking Coming To W 6th

Bike Lane And Back-In Parking Coming To W 6th

Back-in parking along W 6th is a pilot program for Austin

Back-in parking along W 6th is a pilot program for Austin

[pdf of parking plan]

From the City of Austin, Department of Public Works:

“In coordination with routine street maintenance (road re-surfacing and re-striping), and to improve safety and mobility in the corridor for both motor vehicles and bicycles, the street striping will be reconfigured. In order to reconfigure the street striping some on-street parking will be removed. These modifications are to provide delineated bicycle lanes.

The City’s Public Works Department and Transportation Departments are implementing and improving a bicycle route system, as directed by the Austin City Council per City Ordinance No. 20090611-075 (The Austin Bicycle Plan). W. 6th Street from Lamar Boulevard to Patterson Avenue is a portion of Route 52 of the City of Austin bicycle system.

The new parking restriction will be as follows:

* W 6th St. (Lamar Blvd. to Patterson Ave.) – parking modification is to prohibit parking on both sides of the street in travel lanes and to-be-installed bike lanes.

Additionally, the inset angled parking between 1110 6th St and Blanco St will be converted to back-in angle parking; parking capacity will remain the same. Back-in angle parking provides drivers with improved safety, increased visibility, fewer collisions, and easier loading and unloading, and is compatible with bicycle lanes. This section of W. 6th St, like Dean Keeton St installed in August 2009, will be a pilot project for back-in angle parking in Austin. If the pilot program is unsuccessful, then front-in angle parking will be restored. The inset parallel parking between Harthan St and Winflo Dr, and Lamar Blvd and Baylor St will remain the same.”

New Parking Meters In Downtown Austin

New Parking Meters In Downtown Austin

New downtown Austin parking meters

New downtown Austin parking meters

The City of Austin has posted a video of the new parking meters with instructions on how to use them.  The kiosk style meters are solar powered and accept credit cards – nice!  I’ve always believed the mechanical parking meters contributed to urban blight in a small way.  I also make a point to never carry change so the credit card option will be very useful.

-Jude

Downtown Austin Parking + the most interesting presentation on parking in the history of the world.

Downtown Austin Parking = FAIL

Downtown Austin Parking = FAIL

The most interesting presentation about parking in the history of the world (pdf).

(Okay, this is about parking so it’s dry as your grandmothers turkey.  But, in the world of parking, this is a home run presentation.  I’ve heard from DANA board members that Patrick Siegman, the guy who wrote the presentation, is an amazing speaker on the topic of parking and new urbanism.)

I’ll help out… below are three major reforms that could be applied to Downtown Austin parking.

1. Charge fair-market prices for curb parking
2. Spend the resulting revenue to pay for neighborhood public improvements
3. Remove the requirements for off-street parking

Over the past 48 hours there’s been lots of discussion over at Austin Contrarian about parking issues. This is encouraging because sometimes I wonder if our citizens recognize the immense impact that parking guidelines have on the look and feel of our city.  Downtown Austin apartments, condos, and retail are putting more stress on the availability of [convenient] parking.  Parking has a causal relationship with keeping cars on the road, walkability, and overall neighborhood-ness.

In October I was fortunate to be included in a delegation of Austinites sent to Vancouver in order to learn about how they’ve managed rapid growth and become one of the most admired cities in the world. One of their council members, Gordon Price, delivered one of the most impassioned orations about smart urban planning.  He made one particular comment that struck me…

“Show me your parking ordinance, and I’ll show you what your city looks like!”

Personally, this was a revelation.  Will Austin City Council adopt new parking rules that will encourage use of mass transit and walkability?  I hope so.  The alternative is more cars, more roads, and more scorched earth strip malls.