Burnet Road
(US 183 to MoPac Frontage Road)

Thank you to all who participated in the Burnet Road virtual public hearing, which was held from May 20 to June 5. The summary report for the public hearing, including responses to comments received, is available for review here.
About the Virtual Public Hearing
The City of Austin completed an environmental analysis to understand the potential impacts of proposed mobility, safety and connectivity improvements for the Burnet Road corridor. The analysis was conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the state-owned portion of Burnet Road between US 183 and the MoPac frontage road.
The public hearing was held from Wednesday, May 20, 2020 through 5 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 2020. The public had the opportunity to review information and reports on this website, watch a presentation about the results of the environmental analyses, and provide comments. 
Watch the public hearing presentation:
alt='illustrative teal speech bubble with black, dashed outline and a small, grey bicycle icon centered above text that says, "The public hearing is both a state and federal requirement because the proposed improvements include the addition of bicycle lanes on the state-owned segment of Burnet Road.'
The City made every reasonable effort to accommodate the needs of the public. The virtual public hearing information is available in English and Spanish.
The public hearing was conducted virtually in accordance with Governor Abbott’s Executive Order (No. GA-08) prohibiting social gatherings of 10 or more people as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. The public hearing followed Federal Highway Administration-approved guidelines for conducting virtual meetings when an in-person public meeting should not be held out of concerns for public health or safety. For the most up to date information on COVID-19 from the City of Austin, please visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19
Comment Themes 
We greatly appreciate that so many community members participated in the virtual public hearing, taking time to review the mobility and safety improvements for the Burnet Road corridor, funded for construction through the 2016 Mobility Bond. See the Mobility and Safety Improvements section below for more information about the funded and unfunded improvements.
We recorded more than 4,900 English and Spanish-language web page views and received 278 public comments. Responses to each comment are included in the public hearing summary report, and the common comment themes are summarized below. 
Support for shared-use paths separated from a landscape buffer in the funded improvements.
The funded improvements include 2.5-miles of new, shared-use paths to create continuous ADA-compliant sidewalk and bicycle facilities on both sides of Burnet Road between US183 and the MoPac Frontage Road. The project will leverage existing sidewalk when possible and build separate bike facilities next to the existing sidewalk. Except in constrained areas, these facilities will be separated from the roadway by as large as an 11-foot landscape buffer.
Regarding additional travel lanes in the unfunded improvements, a desire that these be designated for transit, as opposed to vehicles.
If funding becomes available to construct the unfunded improvements and if the City assumes ownership of the roadway from the State of Texas, the future use of additional travel lanes will be determined during a final design process that will include community engagement and coordination across City departments and with Capital Metro.
A desire for safer bicycle facilities in the unfunded improvements by separating bicycle lanes from vehicular traffic with a wider landscape buffer that includes street trees, and by making all intersections bike-friendly.
Improved safety for all corridor users, including cyclists, is a primary goal of the improvements.
As proposed in the unfunded improvements, bike lanes would be raised and separated from travel lanes by a 2-foot wide curbside buffer to minimize the possibility of direct collisions. A 7.5-foot landscape buffer would be provided between the raised bike lane and the sidewalk, providing shade trees for both cyclists and pedestrians. 
Right-of-way (ROW) is constrained on Burnet Road. Acquiring more ROW to provide a wider landscape buffer would add significant costs to the projects and would result in greater impacts to property owners and local businesses.
Each intersection is being evaluated by the Austin Transportation Department's Active Transportation and Street Design Division to integrate bike and pedestrian safety elements including pavement markings, signage, reduced curb radii, bike ramps and speed tables. Utility and ROW constraints at some intersections make some of these bike-friendly elements infeasible.
If funding becomes available to construct the unfunded improvements, the City will initiate a final design process that will include community engagement and further coordination with Austin’s Active Transportation and Street Design Division to refine the improvements. The process could result in alternative cross-sections, particularly in areas where utilities or other factors preclude placement of trees in recommended locations. Where such conflicts exist, space for trees may be reserved nearer the curb edge, with the bike lane, buffer, and sidewalk located inbound of future trees.
What's Next?
The Braker Lane/Burnet Road intersection is the first project that will go to construction and includes upgraded traffic signals, pavement rehabilitation, shared-use paths and protected bike lanes. We expect construction to begin as early as fall 2020 on the drainage system followed by sidewalk improvements.
If the City secures funding for the unfunded improvements, we will initiate a full design process to refine the projects and prepare them for construction. Full design would include community engagement, as well as coordination with various City departments and partner agencies, including Capital Metro, as well as the Texas Department of Transportation (Burnet Road from US 183 to the MoPac frontage road is owned and operated by the State of Texas). We would strive to be consistent with policies outlined in the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan.
We encourage the community to remain engaged in future planning efforts for the Burnet Road corridor. You can stay informed about our progress on the funded improvements and be notified of any new developments regarding the unfunded improvements by signing up to receive updates here.
Notice of Availability
Beginning on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the City of Austin made the environmental reports, as well as the proposed design of the improvements between US 183 and the MoPac frontage road, available for public review on this website.  

The City of Austin is pursuing environmental clearance for Burnet Road improvements between US 183 and the MoPac frontage road using recommendations from the Corridor Mobility Plan for Burnet Road that was completed in December 2013. Environmental clearance is being sought on 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 enables the City of Austin to construct them when future funding sources are secured.  

Environmental Reports 
The environmental analyses completed by the City of Austin evaluated potential impacts that could result from both the funded and unfunded mobility and safety improvements. 
The City of Austin considered traffic noise, biological resources, cultural resources (Archaeological and Historical), hazardous materials, social and community impacts, and water resources. Click on the links below to review the findings of each report:

alt='Burnet crash statistics collected by Austin Transportation, 918 crashes occurred between 2015 ‐ 2020. Those crashes resulted in 4 fatalities, 19 serious injuries, and involved 5 bicyclists and 14 pedestrians.'
Purpose and Need
The purpose of the proposed project is to improve mobility and safety on Burnet Road between US 183 and the MoPac frontage road. 
According to  data collected by Austin Transportation, 918 crashes occurred between 2015 ‐ 2020. Those crashes resulted in 4 fatalities, 19 serious injuries, and involved 5 bicyclists and 14 pedestrians.
35,000 vehicles travel this major Austin roadway each day, and there are approximately 60 access driveways in 2.5 miles, causing additional safety concerns. 
In addition, there are no bicycle lanes, and existing sidewalks are not connected. The open ditch system for drainage further hinders pedestrian mobility.

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 the 2.5-mile Burnet Road segment between US 183
and the MoPac frontage road for everyone, whether they
walk, bike, drive or take transit.  The funded improvements include:  
alt='illustrative map of Burnet Road between US 183 and the MoPac frontage road'
  • Eight traffic signal upgrades (Waterford Centre Blvd., Longhorn Blvd., Rutland Dr., Braker Ln., Kramer Ln., Esperanza Crossing, Palm Way, Gault Ln.)
  • Improvements to three intersections with turn lane modifications (Braker Ln., Esperanza Crossing, Palm Way) 
  • 2.5-miles of new, shared-use paths to create a continuous ADA-compliant sidewalk and bicycle facilities  
  • 2.5-miles of pavement rehabilitation  
  • Upgraded drainage to a closed storm system to support mobility improvements 
  • Raised median islands at the Burnet Road/ Braker Lane intersection  
  • Reconstruction and modification of some driveways
  • Bus stop improvements in partnership with Capital Metro
The City of Austin has also evaluated the environmental impacts of additional improvements outside the existing right of way in this same segment of Burnet Road between US 183 and the Mopac frontage road. These currently unfunded improvements could be constructed if funding sources are identified: 
  • 2.5-miles of full street reconstruction to widen Burnet Road from 4 lanes to 6 lanes 
  • Enhanced and separate pedestrian and bicycle facilities 
  • Streetscape and trees 
  • Raised medians 
  • Street lighting

Tentative Project Schedule 
If the projects receive environmental clearance by August 2020, design and construction could progress according to this tentative schedule:  
  • Anticipated environmental clearance: June/July 2020
  • First project Burnet Road/Braker Lane intersection (funded)
    • Final design plans: Summer 2020
    • Construction start: Late 2020
  • US 183 to the MoPac frontage road
    • Funded improvements
      • Final design plans: Fall 2021
      • Construction start: Late 2022
    • Unfunded improvements
      • Final design plans and construction start: dependent on funding availability

Frequently Asked Questions
Why aren’t all of the improvements funded for construction?
Austin voters approved funding for mobility and safety improvements throughout the city when they passed the 2016 Mobility Bond. $482 million was dedicated to nine corridors, including Burnet Road. This provides funding to construct some, but not all, of the improvements that are recommended for each roadway in corridor mobility plans. The City of Austin intends to build the unfunded improvements when future funding sources become available. Achieving environmental clearance for all improvements now is necessary to do that.
Are the designs for the improvements final?
No. The schematic available as part of this public hearing reflects preliminary project plans. The final design phase of work is currently underway, which includes ongoing evaluations, additional surveying, meetings with affected property owners, and partner agency coordination. Some design details will be refined before construction. If you have questions about the project plans or how they may affect your property, you may contact the Corridor Program Office at Burnet@AustinTexas.gov or 512-974-9714.
Why is the focus of this public hearing only on Burnet Road from US 183 to the MoPac frontage road?
The City of Austin completed an environmental analysis to understand the potential impacts of proposed mobility, safety and connectivity improvements for the entire Burnet Road corridor. However, only the portion of Burnet Road between US 183 and the MoPac frontage road is on state-owned right of way. For this area, the environmental analysis was conducted in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Federal and state agencies do not evaluate proposed transportation projects when they are located on locally-owned right of way, such as Burnet Road south of US 183.
Why are medians being added to Burnet Road? 
Left-hand turns are difficult to make on Burnet Road. The continuous center-running lane and numerous driveways means drivers make left turns whenever and wherever they can. This increases the risk of collisions with oncoming traffic, drivers traveling from behind, and with cyclists and pedestrians crossing driveways. Adding medians will help define where left turns should occur, making Burnet Road safer to travel for everyone.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, raised medians: 
  • Reduce motor vehicle crashes by 15% on average 
  • Reduce pedestrian crashes by 46% on average 
  • Decrease driver delay by 30% on average  
  • Increase roadway capacity by over 30% on average  
Why don’t the project schematics show all developments that are planned or underway?
We are aware of all developments that are planned and underway throughout the corridor. We work directly with developers as those plans are approved to ensure the proposed mobility improvements are included in their site plans and the final constructed improvements on the ground are connected. The schematics were finalized in 2019 and therefore do not reflect all developments that have been planned since then.
What does it mean if the proposed improvements are on my property?
If a proposed improvement is on your property, the Corridor Program Office will be in contact soon to discuss the proposed improvements in relation to your property and what next steps look like.
Why does the bicycle lane trigger a public hearing?
The Texas Department of Transportation requires a public hearing for any improvements that substantially change the function of a road. In this case, the addition of a bicycle lane will change the function of Burnet Road, which currently does not have a bicycle lane, by designating a portion of the roadway for exclusive bicycle use.
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