Austin Public Works Begins Construction of Zilker Park Multimodal Access Improvements
Feature Illustration: The City of Austin reports that by 2024, residents and visitors alike will be able to walk, bike or roll comfortably between MoPac and Zilker Park.
Austin (Travis County) — Austin Public Works recently kicked off construction of improvements to transform an intimidating .7-mile stretch of Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive into a comfortable and walkable destination.
Once complete, these improvements will transform pedestrian, bicycle and transit access to Zilker Park, Zilker Botanical Garden and the Austin Nature and Science Center. The project includes:
- Shared use paths along Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive
- A landscaped buffer between the shared use path and vehicular travel lanes along Barton Springs Road
- Improvements to bus stops on both sides of Barton Springs Road including new concrete pads and benches
- A pedestrian hybrid beacon and crosswalk across Barton Springs Road near the Zilker Botanical Garden entrance
“I am so excited to put my district’s Quarter Cent funding to work in this way,” said Mayor Pro Tem Paige Ellis, who represents District 8 on Austin’s City Council. “Giving our residents more options for getting around safely is a top priority for my office. Improving this stretch of Barton Springs Road will make a huge difference in unlocking access to Zilker Park for families, people with disabilities, and transit riders in south Austin and beyond.”
The Zilker Park Multimodal Access Improvements project is made possible through Quarter Cent funding allocated by City Council as well as the 2016 and 2020 Mobility Bonds. Austin Public Works’ Sidewalk Program is managing the construction of the safety improvement project in partnership with Austin Transportation, Capital Metro, Austin Parks and Recreation and Zilker Botanical Garden.
“This project is a great example of the importance of collaboration,” remarked James Snow, Austin Public Works interim director. “Our staff is always looking for ways to leverage and stretch the Mobility Bond dollars to go further. Our partners are helping us take this from a straightforward safety project to a beautiful, green community benefit.”
“The shared use path will greatly improve safety and access to the area, especially since many people who visit Zilker Botanical Garden arrive on foot, by bicycle or via the bus,” said Cynthia Klemmer, program manager of Environmental Conservation at Austin Parks and Recreation.
Barring weather delays or other unforeseen circumstances, construction is expected to take 12-18 months to complete. Work will occur in three phases. Barton Springs Road and Stratford Drive will remain accessible in both directions during construction. However, park visitors and commuters traveling through the work zone should proceed cautiously and stay alert for traffic signs, cones and flaggers.
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Edited from news release.