Project Connect may close Austin’s Drag to car/bus traffic

Written by RT&S Staff
image description
Option B, shown above, would be a transit mall for the Orange Line on The Drag in Austin, Texas.

The Drag in Austin, Texas, might be a strip for just light-rail cars to show off their speed.

The Austin Transit Partnership, the product of Capital Metro and the city of Austin, held workshops on Dec. 8 to show the public two design alternatives for a section of Guadalupe Street, also known as The Drag.

The section would be part of Project Connect’s Orange Line, which will be 20 miles long and will operate along North Lamar Blvd. and Congress Avenue from the Tech Bridge park-and-ride at Howard Lane south to Slaughter Lane. One design includes the light-rail line with traffic, while another calls for just the light-rail line.

Option A offers a light-rail line and a bus/traffic lane in each direction. The design calls for narrower sidewalks and no bike lanes. Option B calls for a transit mall with no traffic lanes. Buses might be able to share some of the space.

The Drag runs near the University of Texas at Austin campus and some students are concerned Option B would create traffic spill off onto other local streets. Engineers, however, said Option A would slow down traffic in the area.

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