People Over Cars

Guadalupe Street
photo from the City of Austin

People over cars. That’s the driving force behind a new plan for Guadalupe Street.

Unveiled by city staff last week, the plan calls for:

  • Reducing the number of car lanes along Guadalupe Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to 29th Street (along UT’s campus) from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction
  • Removing on-street parking, giving more space for protected bike lanes and sidewalks
  • Adding a dedicated bus lane in each direction

According to the city’s report, these changes can allow three times as many people to move through the corridor than with cars alone. Capital Metro has also said that adding bus-only lanes will save buses up to three minutes in travel time, attracting 218,000 new riders annually.

The city made the decision to focus on alternative means of transportation on Guadalupe for two main reasons. First, that is what the public has asked for, through various master plans/public input opportunities. Second, studies have shown that even if buses and bikes were completely removed from Guadalupe, car traffic wouldn’t be reduced on the street. At this point, Austin’s entire downtown core is too congested to do much for automobile traffic (especially since widening the roads is not an option).

So what comes next?
The cost estimate associated with this proposal is $33.7 million. Funding for this project could come from the 2016 mobility bond money, if City Council approves the plan. You can look through the entire report here>>

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