Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
×
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Austin rolls out speed limit changes and 14 other projects to slow down motorists
(City of Austin)

Austin Transportation Department workers update speed limit signs to 25 miles per hour throughout the city.

Downtown Austin speed limits have been reduced among other centrally located streets and neighborhood roads that are slowing down vehicles.


The Austin Transportation Department is following through with City Council plans approved in June to reduce speed limits on many residential roads and add "speed mitigation treatments" where necessary. These projects typically involve speed bumps and curb reconfigurations to slow down motorists.

Downtown streets have already been converted to 25 miles per hour speed limits as of Friday. The plan approved by council members also calls on main roads in the city's central core to have a maximum speed limit of 30 to 40 mph. A city memo states those changes should be complete by the end of the year.

"Speed limit signs in the urban core will be larger than our typically sized signs for multi-lane streets and include supplemental ribbons to enhance noticeability," the memo states.

Neighborhood streets less than 36-feet wide will be changed to 25 mph, according to the memo, and new speed limit signs will be installed starting next year.

Residents will again notice a different looking sign than usual, one that incorporates a yellow fluorescent pattern to enhance visibility. Neighborhood roads that are 36- to 40-feet wide will continue to be evaluated for potential speed limit reductions as well.

Wonder if the speed limit is changing on your road? The city created this before and after map, which allows residents to see potential speed limit changes in their neighborhood.

The next step is to add "speed mitigation treatments" in 14 selected neighborhood roads. Here are the roadways selected for these treatments, which are yet to be designed:

Transportation officials intend to meet with neighborhood residents near selected projects to finalize details and begin construction by the end of the year on all 14 projects. Spillar stated in the memo that road work will be complete by the end of 2021.

Spillar said he will return to elected officials for more financial support in the coming months.

"These projects represent a substantially small portion of the entire citywide need to manage speeds on our neighborhood streets," the memo states. "ATD will seek a mid-year budget amendment next spring to request additional resources to [extend] the program."

For more information about the city's related speed reduction projects, visit the Austin Transportation Department Speed Management Program homepage.

More on speed limits:

Not so fast: City Council approves lowering speed limits across Austin


Popular

‘Like speed dating of cats’ at Purr-fecto Cat Lounge
Purr-fecto Cat Lounge

Lina Martinez with her newly adopted cat, Emmanuel, who she renamed Sullivan.

Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.

As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.

“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”

Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.

“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”

Actually, a purr-fect idea.

Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.

At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”

Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.

“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”

Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.

“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”

Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.

“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”

Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.

“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”

And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.

“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”

Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.

“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”

Austin's 7 Best Indian Restaurants

We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.

Keep ReadingShow less