Many times requests are ignored or not followed up with and this isn't fair to taxpayers and citizens.
We would've passed comprehensive light rail in 2000 had it been a municipal vote rather than countywide, and that's probably not going to change -- why would the rest of Travis County pay for us to have light rail? Perhaps we can reorganize CapMetro to be municipal rather than countywide so that we can finally pass light rail as a city without the rest of the county voting it down.
Basel, Switzerland and a number of other cities have a hospitality tax that is paid on any overnight stay at a hotel, motel, short term rental, etc. Each guest receives a pass that gives unlimited access to public transit options for the time of the stay. This increases ridership, promotes sustainable methods of getting around, keeps car off the roads (especially ones with people who don't know their way around), and it helps subsidize the public transit networks for those who live here full-time.
How about the idea that residents should not have to pay to use libraries. The Briscoe Center for American History just announced you will have to pay to park to do research, and the closest parking lot is half a mile away. The Austin History Center and Austin Library is down to one (1) free day a week. Ditto other "cultural instituions": The Harry Ransom Center, the Blanton Museum and the Texas Memorial Museum. The taxes to live here go up, up, up, and amenities to even basics like library access go down, down, down. This is not the direction Austin should be going.
The only recycling center is in South Austin. North Austin needs the same in order to easily recycle hazardous waste and items that can not be recycled weekly. It is an inconvenience to have only one facility so far away from those living in North Austin.
I was able to report and complain about graffiti, but was not able to complain about the ugly old sign in the park that has graffiti on it. I wanted to request that the sign be removed. No one uses it. It's reasonably portable. It's near here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/1761+Greenbrook+Pkwy,+Austin,+TXfirstname.lastname@example.org,-97.697529,18z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x8644c9ff1324ed89:0x7182225fda0bb4ea
Our drinking water comes from this lake. And even when in conservation mode, people with lakefront property continue to suck water out of the lake to keep their lawns green.
How to improve Austin? Actually respond in a timely manner to requests made through the Austin 311 app? I have submitted three different requests over the last 6 or so months regarding the "new" intersection at Brodie Lane & Deer / Davis Lane and have received exactly ZERO feedback or contact. None of the problems have been addressed either. I even put my direct contact information in at least one of the last two asking them to call me to discuss the safety issues. No response.
The very 1st lesson your child will probably learn this year? *******DON'T USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!!!******** I REALLY hate the increased traffic during the school year just like everyone else. Has anybody considered that the number of cars on the road during EVERY SINGLE rush hour, (morning and evening), would be diminished by MILLIONS of cars IF parents just had their children walk, bike or take the bus? The arguments for not taking the school bus are the same ones adults use for not taking the city bus or train or any other form of mass transit. "It's inconvenient." "It's cold/wet/windy out." "I wish there were more stops closer to me." "NOBODY takes the bus but losers." Those same people that do drive their kids right to the front door of the schools will complain about their taxes and how nothing seems to ever get done to eliminate ALL THAT TRAFFIC! Solutions for rush hour traffic in YOUR town? Yes I have a few. 1) Make being dropped at school by Mommy allowed ONLY with a permit for a true hardship. (Severe disability where buses aren't equipped with lifts, etc.) 2) Those students old enough to drive to school can ONLY do so if they have a permit that is granted by PASSING ALL OF THEIR CLASSES the previous year AND during the current school year! NO Pass, NO Drive! (Talk about a POWERFUL incentive for kids to crack their books!) 3) Schools need to spend the money on more bus stops and more realistic pick up and drop off times. Will this cost more? Sure. But the money saved in gas, frustration, accidents, increased costs associated with building more roads with more lanes to handle more traffic and lost wages because of snarled rush hour traffic would MORE than make up for that cost. 4) Where school buses are unavailable then city buses need to increase routes and improve/increase pick-up and drop-off times to fill in the gaps. Who knows, maybe even mom and dad will start taking the bus to work and back which will further reduce traffic, pollution, frustration... 5) Governors and Mayors across the country should mandate that EVERY single government employee take mass transit or quit their job. Every parking spot that is currently being used by government employees could have a meter placed in front of it and used by the public where public parking is typically so scarce. 6) Where possible interstates running through the center of congested cities should be fitted with cameras and made TOLL ROADS for all 18 wheelers and toll roads/loops AROUND the city be made TOLL FREE for those rigs to make city travel safer for everyone....#AUSTIN,TX. PLEASE!!! 7) Major employers should be given tax abatements to have their staffs start work at 7 or 9 am to stagger traffic to non-peak times and deeper breaks for allowing a significant # of employees to work remotely from home. #AustinTrafficProblemsSolutions, #TexasGovernorPayAttention, #AustinMayor, #AustinCityCouncilPayAttention, #TXDOT, TxDOT, Texas.gov, Austin City Council, Round Rock, Texas – City Government, Office of the Governor Greg Abbott, City of Cedar Park, Texas-City Government, Austin, Texas - Your City Government, Pflugerville, TX Municipal Government, City of Georgetown, Texas - Government, City of Hutto, TX – Municipal Government, Txdot, @speakupaustin Speaking of specific local traffic...ALL of the traffic lights on Hwy 360 should be pulled down, the medians restored and instead add extended merge lanes and U-turn lanes which would make giant traffic circles instead of the constant stop and start traffic that plagues 360 now. Imagine never having to stop at another traffic light on that stretch of road!! And the cost? Not that much...really. smile emoticon Following these few, inexpensive, quick, simple solutions we could drastically improve everyone's quality of life immediately. Please share this if you feel the same way. Ken Moench's photo.
I was reading about an ongoing study within the city about determining how a lot of recyclable material does not make it all the way to outside bins. In the case of commercial complexes, I see first hand that this is often in part a result of janitorial staffing combining everything into one bin before taking it outside. While it is partly the responsibility of the people who hire the custodians to make sure they communicate the recycling procedures, I've tried this many times and have often failed because there is a high employee turnover in that field. As soon as the new guys come, all of the waste gets lumped together again.
It is my opinion just from what I've seen that it would be beneficial for Austin Resource Recovery and/or Balcones Recycling to contact the major custodial agencies in the area and send them instructions on how to handle collecting the two types of waste in two differently marked bins. Furthermore, it might be nice to emphasize the reasons why it is so important.
Both Secret Beach and the Lost Creek Greenbelt entrance (the underpass near the country club) have trash cans. These areas both generate a ton of cans and bottles that are currently being landfilled. Most people at these locations would be apt to place the correct waste in the correct bin, and this would help with Austin's zero waste goal by 2040.
There needs to be a reasonable cap on the amount of water a single family household should be allowed to use. Every year the top water hogs are published and I am always shocked that they are allowed to get to that point.
For example: 330,000 gallons of water in a month! http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2011/10/27/the-top-25-water-hogs-in-austin/
We've banned texting and driving (not that it is strongly enforced) but I think we need to step it up a notch. I get nearly hit driving to and from work (a 40 minute commute there and back) at least 5 or 6 times EVERYDAY. Every single one of the people that almost hit me are on their cell phones. They are swerving or cutting across several lanes at the last minute. Just this week alone I've had two close friends get in severe car accidents because the person was using a cell phone and not paying attention. So severe they had to go to the hospital. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that we have well over 100 people move here everyday who don't know the city. They are a novice to the city and also not paying attention by using their cell phones. I have never felt seriously unsafe in this city (and I was born and raised here) but I feel unsafe now. I honestly dread getting in my car everyday. And I rarely see police officers pulling people over for texting a driving. Is it being enforced? What is it going to take for us to see this as a serious public safety issue?
Glyphosate is an herbicide that is associated with health problems such as infertility, birth defects, damage to the nervous system, Parkinson’s disease and several forms of cancer. In addition to health risks for humans, the usage of this and other chemical pesticides is leading to loss of biodiversity and difficulties with purifying drinking water. This chemical is already being banned worldwide, but our government has been too slow to act. Please do something quickly as this is leading to a public health crisis.
Perhaps APD can use road spikes in front and behind barriers during big events to prevent a similar SXSW tragedy? The spikes should be sharp enough to puncture ties and disable a vehicle but light enough for two people to drag out of the way for emergency vehicles.
So far, many of the apartments I've lived in do not have any recycling programs. And the nearest recycling plant is way downtown. Not very convenient.. If Austin is trying to become a no waste city, better recycling is a must.
I just finished a two month process of having a recycler pick up old computer hardware. Most people are not going to keep at this the way I did. The city needs to have a drop off point for this waste and then have the private companies come and pick it up from there. Much easier to manage that way and you will get far more waste out of the landfills, particularly bad waste too.
Idea - During the hours of 7 -9 am and 4 - 6 pm, all trucks traveling on I-35 should be forced to use the left lane.
Reason 1: It is estimated that 70% of eighteen wheeler traffic coming from the south (San Antonio) does not make a stop in Austin/Round Rock. Why would we then subject them to driving in the center and far right lanes where vehiclular traffic is entering/exiting the highway? If trucks stayed to the left during peak traffic hours, they could stop and start at their own slower pace and it would prevent vehiclular traffic from having to enter the highway from the on ramp and move over 3 lanes to the far left. This would prevent cars from cutting in front of trucks on I-35 thus slowing down traffic flow. The center lane would be for faster moving vehicular traffic with the right lane designated for entering and exiting traffic.
Reason 2: In the case of a truck breaking down on I-35 during peak traffic hours, it would prevent the breakdown occuring in the center or right lane which prevents traffic from entering or exiting I-35 or forces traffic in the center lane to merge right or left. If the truck breaks down in the left lane, vehicular traffic in the center and right lanes are thus unaffected, and if need be, the right hand shoulder could be opened up to help with the flow of stalling traffic.
Since the left lane has little to no shoulder (in places like north of Riverside or downtown/UT) simple re-striping of I-35 could use existing shoulder on the right (just a few existing feet) and increase lane spacing for trucks in the far left lane to be used during peak hours.
This proposal is cheap, requires only posting a few signs in preparation of the modification, and could be implemented right away on a trial basis. I would predict at least a 30% improvement in traffic flow could be witnessed right away.
The City of Austin had done occasional collection of electronic recyclable in the past, the same way that they do the occasional bulk collection. I have not see this program in at least a year, and have been holding to my old electronic, waiting for the notification. Are we to expect a postcard in the mail regarding this type of recycling again? If not, do you have any suggestions as to what residents should do with old electronics? Thank for your comments.