3) The current Metro Rail only runs til 7-8 pm. Why not run it until 2-3 am so that visitors to 6th street can ride the train home? Start with providing service Thursday-Sat/Sun and if the ridership improves, expand it to late night for every night of the week. This will decrease the number of drinking and driving cases.
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2) Review and analyze all traffic signals to ensure they are working at maximum efficiency and are timed accordingly to ensure smoother traffic flow. Especially do this for highways like 183, 290, and 71 in which traffic flow is seriously impeded by traffic lights.
1) City council should try to work with trucking companies to have their trucks use I-30 toll. If that means paying a subsidy, signing a contract with incentives, etc. do it! We do it for Formula 1, why not to relieve traffic?
My street was swept this morning (thanks!!!) , however according to the city website this wasn't scheduled to take place until 8/1/2011-8/5/2011.
My guess is that few people check the website to find out exactly when street sweeping is scheduled to occur anyway. The city distributes flyers for bulk trash pick-up day and brush pick-up. A similar flyer for street sweeping would give residents the prior notification necessary to know when to move their vehicles off the street. Notification would allow residents to be more proactive and reduce the number of street obstructions to make sweeping service more effective.
A UK company named 'Cyclehoop' was commissioned by the London Festival of Architecture to create a bike rack capable of parking multiple bikes in a single parking space.
http://www.cyclehoop.com/products/ (click on 'car bike rack')
The design is clever, the racks are portable and they can park 10 bikes in a single car spot and there's even a built-in bicycle pump. This style of rack is being purchased and installed in cities across Europe.
These racks or some similar design should be installed in areas of high bicycle traffic. Dispite the number of bike racks already installed, it's still difficult to find a spot to chain up at night in certain areas like 6th st. (west and east of I-35), Red River, Rainey st. etc.
The rationale proposed for a universal 3% wage increase for city employees (to remain competitive with private employers) only applies during periods of rapid employment growth. Private companies do not offer the luxury of guaranteed employment, and even the most financially secure companies (e.g. IBM) periodically trim their budgets through layoffs. In the current economic downturn the majority of city employees should consider themselves lucky to be employed by a stable employer!
Basic GPS tracking devices are cheap and could affordably be installed on all city buses. Once this technology is installed and GPS data made public, someone could then develop a smart-phone application capable of tracking buses on specified routes in real-time. Riders would then be able to see how many miles/blocks away the bus is and could more easily anticipate how long it will take before the bus will arrive at their stop.
This idea came about because this morning I missed my bus due to it arriving earlier than scheduled and then the following bus arrived late, in the mean time I no idea how long it would be until the next bus would arrive. What good are paper-based time schedules if the buses can't / don't stick to designated arrival times?
Members of the Car2Go network can track the location of any Car2Go vehicle in the city on a smart-phone device (using the free ‘Find2Car’ android app. or Get2Car iPhone app), it seems that Capital Metro could do the same thing with their bus network.
This technology already exists in other cities, but the same thing could be done here without proprietary software or expensive hardware:
Add a GOTO number to each of these suggestion listings so we can refer each other to find a specific one and jump to it. What happens when there are hundreds of these? ANd allow me to seach through these by category also. How can anyone easily go through them all?
Are there other options on the table for the way we charge for downtown parking? In public places (streets, garages) I find it strange that we charge for public parking during the daytime, when it's more likely for an Austin resident to park to go to work, council, court house, etc. while we do not charge for parking at night time when it's more likely that someone from outside of Austin will be parking to go to Sixth Street. Someone who lives outside of Austin obviously doesn't pay Austin city taxes and in some cases doesn't pay utility contributions through AE. So wouldn't it make sense for us to at least charge for parking at night and not during the day?
To be clear, I truly advocate free parking in public spaces at all times. As I see it, the residents of Austin pay for the maintenance and construction of public parking through their taxes. So why should they be double charged if they park in a space downtown? I understand that downtown is busy during the day and if not enforced cars will park in spaces for days at a time. But the city currently charges user fees for places like Zilker, Barton Springs, etc. because it knows people from outside of Austin attends those attractions. The user fees are a revenue source. Why for downtown parking, can't we come up with a "Austin Resident" ID card or something similar to validate parking downtown. The way I see it, we pay for it through out taxes. Why should we "double pay" every time we try to park downtown? Plus charging to park downtown discourages shoppers and customers to businesses downtown. And we all know those businesses are already paying higher rents than those at shopping malls and are having a hard time competing as it its.
Sure you can commute by bike or other means to downtown and avoid paying to park. But for some people, biking or walking is not an option, and they pay for the infrastructure through their taxes.
Please contribute to this topic as I need suggestions and clarity as to why the city does this. Thanks