WGI engaged in a neighborhood-wide transportation planning effort for the Rainey Neighborhood near Downtown Austin, Texas. The study area was unique in that it was re-zoned as Central Business District after decades of operating as a single-family neighborhood. The area has transitioned from a single family neighborhood to a commercial and late-night entertainment district and is now further transitioning to a significant high-rise area with residential condominiums and apartments as well as dense office space.
The right-of-way in the area is significantly constrained by past planning and engineering decisions, and the neighborhood is adjacent to an interstate freeway that is highly congested during the peak periods. Additionally, there are only a couple of paths into and out of the neighborhood for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles; the older street network is also not friendly to larger
transit vehicles and delivery trucks.
WGI completed a comprehensive inventory of every mode within the boundary area and conducted several public workshops and stakeholder outreach meetings to determine the needs of residents, employees, and visitors. After identifying those transportation needs, WGI developed a comprehensive list of improvements focused on pedestrian, bicycle, and transit-oriented trips to create a vision for the neighborhood. Feasibility of the improvements, as well as timeline and cost for implementation were analyzed for each improvement. WGI also met several times with the development community to understand their plans for the area and how to leverage those projects into better transportation improvements area-wide.
The City and development community engaged with WGI for additional phases based on this initial work, which have included finalizing the improvement list, identifying potential funding sources, and detailed designs of several improvements. Several of the improvements are now in various stages of design and implementation.
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