What would Austin's roads look like if they were built for all 1 million residents? For starters, there would be a lot fewer cars.
That's what the city planned for when it adopted the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan in 2019—when similar to today, heavy traffic, rapid growth, and safety on roads were at the forefront of concerns in the city. The plan includes implementing Project Connect, a transition toward greener transportation and an emphasis on connecting communities, with the help of Vision Zero.
It is also part of a bigger goal of getting 50% of Austinites to stop driving alone or get off the roads altogether, according to Austin Transportation Systems Development Division Director Cole Kitten.
With rail lines to come and more emphasis on micro-mobility, the city will be able to accommodate a growing population, put money back in their wallets and be eco-friendly.
Lowering traffic deaths
In 2021, 4,480 people were killed on Texas roadways—marking the second-deadliest year in the state since 1981—part of a deadly national trend that led to the deaths of 38,000 Americans.
Austin adopted Vision Zero, a network of cities committed to reducing “people hurt or killed by crashes to zero with street improvements, policy changes and education,” in 2015. So far this year, Austin is up on traffic fatalities with 27 as of Tuesday, compared to 24 this time last year.
While speaking at SXSW 2022, United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said achieving the Vision Zero goal of no roadway fatalities is going to rely on creating equity within local communities, making climate-conscious decisions and taking as many humans out of the driver’s seat as possible, whether it’s AI drivers or implementing widespread public transit.
“The policy frameworks have not fully caught up with the technology—the safety potential for autonomous driving is enormous,” Buttigieg said. “Human drivers do not have a good track record, human drivers killed 38,000 people last year, so the potential is extremely appealing.”
The ASMP is a key part of achieving Vision Zero, as it will create the framework for necessary changes to help hit the goal of getting 50% of Austinites to stop driving alone or get off the roads altogether. Kitten said currently, 74% of Austinites drive alone.
With the implementation of greener infrastructure, safety, affordability and connected communities come hand in hand:
- Car ownership is extremely costly: The U.S. Department of Transportation Statistics reported transportation was the second-highest cost for American households at a $9,826 price tag in 2020. On the other hand, Austin Transportation Director Robert Spillar said more than half of surveyed Austinites were willing to bike if the route was safe.
- When people choose not to drive: Kitten said successfully creating alternative transportation to personal vehicles is “all about options.” Austin recently became #1 in the nation for bike lane investments and has seen success with micro-mobility options like scooters.
Climate concerns and electric vehiclesElon Musk predicts Tesla's Model Y—soon to be made in Austin—will be best-selling car in the world
If the goal is to get people out of cars, where do EVs fit in? Amid lithium shortages and climate concerns surrounding electricity, the reality is that many people need to have a car while living in Texas in 2022.
Buttigieg said he believes the 2020s will be transformative for transportation and views EVs as a means to an end.
“At the utility scale, (EVs are) more efficient, so it is still more efficient, even with a fossil source to turn it into power at a utility generation site,” Buttigieg said. “Track two is to take that trip but don't take it in a car. And that's a mode shift, right?”
Kitten said that gathering up-to-date information and having a long-range plan is essential to getting ahead of growth. Passing Project Connect was a big step toward filling gaps in Austin’s transportation and Kitten said the city has made progress since and will continue toward its goals.
“If everything happens the way it’s envisioned, then people could ultimately choose where to live based on how they can get to where they work without driving a car,” Kitten said.
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It's not on the level of LeBron signing with the Spurs, but who knows, maybe you'll see him at Guero's one day, having a Rob's Especial marg and a No. 1 dinner?
LeBron James, Draymond Green, Kevin Love, LeBron's business partner Maverick Carter, and a bunch of other sports-related investors are buying a Major League Pickleball expansion franchise.
Oddly, MLP teams aren't associated with places, so at this point it's just "an expansion team."
But Major League Pickelball is based in Austin, created, according to the Austin Business Journal, by Dreamland and Richard's Rainwater owner Steve Kuhn.
League investors include familiar Austin names like C3 Presents founders Charles Attal and Charlie Walker, Parsley Energy founder and partial Austin FC owner Brian Sheffield, Silicon Labs Chairman Nav Sooch, and pickleball enthusiast Brené Brown.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!