JOIN US FOR AN OAK HILL PARKWAY
OPEN HOUSE ON JAN. 20, 2015
Mobility improvement concepts for the Oak Hill Parkway have been refined and narrowed using public input, the purpose and need for the project, and detailed traffic analysis. The refined concepts, now called “alternatives,” will be available for public review and comment at the upcoming open house.
TUESDAY, JAN. 20, 2015
Covington Middle School Cafeteria
3700 Convict Hill Road, Austin, TX 78749
Attendees will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation, the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority and the rest of the project team. No formal presentations will be given, so feel free to come-and-go at your convenience.
If you plan to attend the open house and have special communication or accommodation needs, please contact Jon Geiselbrecht at 512-832-7218.
WE NEED YOUR INPUT
At the Open House, you will see how we have made changes to the proposed project design based on YOUR comments! Your input matters to us, and now we need your comments on the alternatives.
Comments can be submitted during the Open House in writing, or given verbally to a court reporter. Comments may also be submitted electronically at www.OakHillParkway.com. Written comments can be mailed to TxDOT Austin District Environmental Coordinator, Texas Department of Transportation, P.O. Box 15426, Austin, Texas, 78761-5426 or faxed to 512-832-7157. Comments must be received by Jan. 30, 2015 to be included as part of the official Open House record.
If you can’t attend the Open House in-person, visit our Virtual Open House online at www.OakHillParkway.com. This provides another opportunity to view the same information available during the Open House, as well as submit comments. The Virtual Open House runs Jan. 21 – 30, 2015.
WE'RE ON SCHEDULE
Development of the Oak Hill Parkway’s environmental document is currently underway. Our team is working to evaluate the alternatives for a wide variety of parameters, provide a detailed description of the affected environment, and evaluate any potential impacts. This document will be on display for your review and comment at a public hearing to be held in 2016.
Before that key project milestone, we will be asking again for your input at a variety of events in 2015. Keep up to date by signing up for our project e-newsletter, checking out our project website, following @OakHillParkway on twitter, and/or requesting a presentation from the project team to your organization or neighborhood.
The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by TxDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 16, 2014, and executed by FHWA and TxDOT.
FOCUSING IN ON A CONTEXT SENSITIVE SOLUTIONS APPROACH
The first Context Sensitive Solutions workshop held last October provided valuable insight on the public’s priorities regarding the Oak Hill Parkway. Context Sensitive Solutions is a collaborative approach involving stakeholders to develop transportation design and engineering solutions appropriate for the setting. The goals are to preserve and enhance local scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources, while improving transportation safety, mobility, and infrastructure.
At the Oct. 9, 2014 Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) Workshop, attendees learned about this collaborative approach process.
Workshop attendees ranked CSS elements presented in order of importance to them and their vision for the Oak Hill Parkway project using remote electronic devices.
At the workshop, citizens helped initiate development of a CSS Vision Statement for the project. Additionally, more than 650 people viewed online information about Context Sensitive Solutions elements, and 346 completed surveys. Thank you for your participation and input!
Further Context Sensitive Solutions outreach will continue into 2015, including additional workshops and surveys. Watch www.OakHillParkway.com for upcoming dates.
WHAT WE'VE HEARD
We’re still analyzing all the great input we received from the Context Sensitive Solutions online survey, but here are the top priorities we heard as a result of your input:
Survey participants ranked the following CSS elements in order of importance:
1. Pedestrian and Bicycle Access
2. Environmentally Sustainable
5. Enhanced Water Quality
7. Streetscape Enhancements
8. Use of Public Art
Bicyclist/pedestrian facilities rated No. 1 in the CSS survey priority rankings. Above is an example of a recreational bicyclist/pedestrian shared use path. The final design of a shared use path for the Oak Hill Parkway will be determined based on public input and feasibility analysis.
Above is an example of a separated bicyclist/pedestrian pathway. Cross streets may include roadway bicycle lanes and sidewalks.
Here is a sample of some more qualitative comments received:
- “Improve traffic flow should be priority one.”
- “Bicycles need separated, efficient passage along the length of the corridor.”
- “While the parkway is being built for cars and buses, including bike and pedestrian options will enhance multi-modal transportation options in the southwest.”
- “Less concrete. Less asphalt. Minimal impervious ground cover. Ground level traffic.”
- “Lighting is important. We need less. Dark skies are important to ecosystems and stargazers.”
- “Use native landscaping where possible, reducing the need for water. Drought-sustainable. Plant trees.”
What do you think about these results? Let us know at the upcoming open house and future events, or contact us online!
PREVIEW OF A FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS UPDATE
We get a lot of frequently asked questions on the Oak Hill Parkway project, and for our next e-newsletter, you’ll see a good handful that we get consistently from the community.
Right now, across multiple projects, TxDOT is hearing the following question, so we’d like to provide that answer right away.
Why can’t Prop 1 funding be used to fund the final design, construction, and operation of this project?
In November 2014, Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment to provide billions more in reliable transportation funding, colloquially known as Proposition or Prop 1. The amendment authorizes annual disbursements from the state’s oil and gas production tax collections to the State Highway Fund.
For fiscal year 2015, Prop 1 will provide an estimated $1.7 billion for TxDOT’s use. Of that amount, the TxDOT Austin District, which is comprised of 11 counties including Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Gillespie, Hays, Lee, Llano, Mason, Travis and Williamson, expects to receive approximately $120 million in funds. The rest of the money is going elsewhere in the state.
These funds must be used and allocated throughout the state in accordance with existing formulas adopted by the Texas Transportation Commission. The funds can only be used for the construction, maintenance, rehabilitation, and acquiring right-of-way for public roads, but may not be used for toll roads.
While helpful, what the Austin District is receiving through Prop 1 is nowhere near close enough to cover the cost of building the proposed Oak Hill Parkway. Find out more about Prop 1 here.
- Visit the project website: www.oakhillparkway.com
- Call the project team: (512) 996-9778
- Participate in meetings throughout the environmental study process
- Invite the project team to meet with your group
- Follow us on twitter @OakHillParkway