South Lamar Boulevard     (Riverside Drive to US 290)

Notice of Availability 
The City of Austin conducted an environmental analysis to understand the potential impacts of the proposed mobility, safety and connectivity improvements for the South Lamar Boulevard corridor. The analysis was conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the South Lamar Boulevard corridor, which is a state-owned roadway. The results of the analysis have been used to help refine the improvement projects to reduce impacts.     
As of Wednesday, July 1, 2020,  the City of Austin is making the environmental reports available for public review, as well as the proposed design of the improvements between Riverside Drive and US 290.    
The City of Austin is pursuing environmental clearance for all South Lamar Boulevard improvements between Riverside Drive and US 290 that are recommended in the Corridor Mobility Plan for South Lamar Boulevard that was completed in April 2016. This includes improvements that have been funded by the 2016 Mobility Bond, as well as improvements that are not yet funded. Achieving environmental clearance for all improvements will enable the City of Austin to construct them when future funding sources are secured. 

Environmental Reports 
When completing the environmental analyses, the City of Austin evaluated potential impacts that could result from both the funded and unfunded improvements. 
 The City of Austin considered biological resources, hazardous materials, community impacts, water resources, air quality, as well as archaeological and historical resources. Click on the links below to review the findings of each report:  


Purpose and Need
The purpose of the proposed project is to improve mobility and safety on South Lamar Boulevard between Riverside Drive and US 290.   
According to crash data collected by Austin Transportation, 2,173 crashes occurred over the last five years. Those crashes resulted in 4 fatalities, 21 serious injuries, and involved 53 bicyclists and 46 pedestrians.   
Over 40,000 vehicles travel this major Austin roadway each day, and there are over 220 access driveways in approximately 3.3 miles, causing additional safety concerns.   

Currently, there are no bicycle facilities from Barton Springs Road to Riverside Drive. From US 290 to Barton Springs Road, bike lanes are unprotected and on-street on both sides of South Lamar Boulevard. 
 
The existing sidewalks are continuous; however, some areas need repair. Additionally, not all curb ramps are accessible due to sidewalk configurations or utility poles.
Mobility and Safety Improvements  
If the projects receive environmental clearance, some of the proposed mobility, safety, and connectivity improvements will be constructed using funds from the voter-approved 2016 Mobility Bond. The projects are expected to improve approximately 3.3-miles of South Lamar Boulevard between Riverside Drive and US 290 for everyone, whether they walk, bike, drive or take transit.
South Lamar Boulevard from Riverside Drive to Barton Springs Road 
This project would provide critical mobility and safety improvements, and reflect the ultimate corridor vision for South Lamar Boulevard: 
  • Upgraded traffic signals at Riverside Drive, Toomey Road and Barton Springs Road 
  • Bus stop improvements 
  • Pavement rehabilitation  
  • Removal of continuous right-turn lanes 
  • ADA-compliant sidewalks and two-way raised protected bicycle lanes on both sides of South Lamar Boulevard
  • Access management improvements such as raised medians and driveway modifications 
  • Enhanced landscaping with a variety of plant and tree species 
  • Street lighting 
  • Streetscape improvements such as benches, bike racks, scooter parking and waste receptacles 

South Lamar Boulevard from Barton Springs Road to US 290  

This project would provide critical mobility and safety improvements: 
  • 13 existing traffic signals would be enhanced with upgraded technology 
  • Two new traffic signals at Del Curto Road and Evergreen Avenue 
  • Four new pedestrian hybrid beacons (mid-block signalized cross-walks) located at the following locations: West Oak Drive, Dickson Drive, Oxford Avenue, and near the Post Apartments Intersection improvements at Barton Skyway, Menchaca Road, Bluebonnet Lane, Oltorf Street, and Evergreen Avenue; will include improved crossing conditions and connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists, including enhanced and separated facilities 
  • Pavement rehabilitation and relocation of the existing curb closer to the centerline of the roadway. 
  • New shared-use paths for pedestrians and cyclists on both sides of South Lamar Boulevard that will comply with ADA guidelines 
  • Access management improvements such as intermittent-raised medians in some locations and driveway modifications 
  • Drainage improvements 
  • Bus stop improvements in partnership with Capital Metro, including a new dedicated transit priority lane northbound through the intersections at Barton Skyway and Menchaca Road. 

The City of Austin has also evaluated the environmental impacts of additional improvements outside the existing right of way in this same segment of South Lamar Boulevard between Barton Springs and US 290. These currently unfunded improvements reflect the ultimate corridor vision, and could be constructed if funding sources are identified:  
  • Enhanced and separate pedestrian and bicycle facilities 
  • Landscaping and streetscaping enhancements
  • Street lighting

Tentative Project Schedule 
If the projects receive environmental clearance by Fall 2020, design and construction could progress according to this tentative schedule:  
  • Anticipated environmental clearance: Fall 2020
  • Riverside Drive to Barton Springs Road (funded):
    • Final design plans: Summer 2020
    • Construction start: Winter 2020
  • Barton Springs Road to US 290:
    • Funded improvements
      • Final design plans: Fall 2021
      • Construction start: Fall 2022
    • Unfunded improvements
      • Final design plans and construction start dependent on funding availability

Virtual Public Hearing
In accordance with NEPA, the City of Austin will host a virtual public hearing on July 15, 2020. During the virtual public hearing, information will be presented on the South Lamar Boulevard corridor between Riverside Drive and US 290. 
The public is encouraged to provide comments on the proposed improvements.

Public Comments  
The public is encouraged to provide comments on the proposed improvements by submitting feedback. The official comment period begins on Wednesday, July 15, 2020, and extends until 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, 2020.   Comments may be submitted:   
  • Verbally by calling 512-974-9444 and leaving a voice message
  • In writing by using web form (will be activated on July 15)
  • By mail to: 
    • City of Austin                                                                                                                                                                        Corridor Program Office                                                                                                                                                        PO Box 1088                                                                                                                                                                        Austin, TX 78767                                                                                                                         
Please note that per TxDOT requirements, the City of Austin is not permitted to respond directly to comments or inquiries that are received during the official comment period (from Wednesday, July 15, 2020 through 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 30, 2020). Responses to verbal and written comments received will be available online at AustinTexas.gov/SouthLamarENVonce the final report has been approved.     
The City makes every reasonable effort to accommodate the needs of the public. The virtual public hearing information is available in English and Spanish. If you have a special communication accommodation or need for an interpreter, a request can be made. If you have a disability and would like assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Please call 512-974-7904 no later than Friday, July 10, 2020. Please be aware that advance notice is requested as some accommodations may require time for the City to arrange.     
If you experience technical difficulties with the virtual public hearing, please contact the South Lamar Boulevard Communications Liaison in the City of Austin Corridor Program Office at SouthLamar@AustinTexas.govor 512-974-7904.     


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