August 3, 2022

 

 

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Austin Avenue encompasses five miles of roadway running from Southeast Inner Loop to the Northeast Inner Loop North in Georgetown. An upcoming corridor study planned for the roadway will gather data surrounding traffic patterns, pedestrian access and other transportation related information.

Austin Avenue being evaluated

 

City shares info, timeline of upcoming corridor study

By BRIGID COOLEY 

One of Georgetown’s key north-south corridors, and one that takes motorests through the city’s historic downtown, will soon be evaluated for needed changes and upgrades. 

Details of the upcoming Austin Avenue corridor study were shared during a July 26 workshop for the Georgetown City Council. A presentation on the study was given by Assistant City Manager Nick Woolery. 

“I think this is going to be a really exciting study for the city and for the region,” Mr. Woolery said. 

The corridor study will identify transportation strategies, concept layouts, road projects and poritizations along the road, as well as traffic patterns and their impact on the area, Mr. Woolery said. The study is being led by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, also known as CAMPO. 

CAMPO is the metropolitan planning organization for Williamson County and other counties around the Austin area. Individual planning organizations are charged with producing 20-year regional transportation plans, as well as other short-term improvements plans. 

While CAMPO is spearheading the study, the city is acting as a vital partner for the project, Mr. Woolery said. 

The Austin Avenue corridor spans five miles of roadway running from Southeast Inner Loop to the Northeast Inner Loop North in Georgetown. The road encompasses 31 intersections with speed limits varying from 30 to 55 miles per hour. Depending on the location, road maintenance is managed by either the City of Georgetown or the Texas Department of Transportation. 

During the study, the corridor will be broken down into six subsections, which are determined by location and speed limits within the area. Information gathered will inform the city as it continues to plan improvement projects, roadwork and future city development, Mr. Woolery said.

Key components and goals are the study include: 
• Identifying needs in order to create a transportation vision for corridor subareas
• Identifying catalytic land use and placemaking opportunities 
• Adding to previous plans in the CAMPO's existing Regional Transportation Plan 
• Provide additional information and support for the city’s Downtown Master Plan 

Pedestrian accessibility within the city, as well as sidewalk connectivity, will be heavily prioritized throughout the project, Mr. Woolery added. 

An interlocal agreement with CAMPO is expected to be presented during an August 9 city council meeting, Mr. Woolery said. A consultant for the project will then be selected by the two entities, with the project start date planned for October of this year and the completion date anticipated for late 2023 or early 2024. 

The city anticipates paying $60,000 toward the project, while CAMPO is expecting to pay $200,000. 

Throughout the project, community stakeholders, including TxDOT, local business owners, homeowners associations throughout the city, city staff, representatives from Southwestern University and the Georgetown Independent School District, will be invited to provide insight, Mr. Woolery said. 

During the workshop, District 1 Council member Amanda Parr expressed wanting specific attention given to any sightline issues along the corridor, as well as the potential use of one-lane protected turns within residential areas and downtown Georgetown. She also encouraged the community to participate in planning efforts. 

“From a public perspective, I hope we get a lot of comments,” Ms. Parr said. “I certainly hear a lot of comments [from Georgetown residents] and I would just ask people who are listening to this … to really come out and give comments on those [road] projects.”