Hancock Neighborhood Association Statement on I-35 CapEx Central Project [Draft]

Link to Google doc:

The Hancock Neighborhood Association opposes TxDOT’s current plans for the I-35 Capital Express Central project. The schematics provided on August 10, 2021, reflect TxDOT’s insufficient attention to community feedback and represent unnecessary harm to north central neighborhoods.

Expanding I-35 to 20 – and in some areas 22 – lanes will induce more than 100,000 additional vehicle trips per day through central Austin neighborhoods, offsetting potential gains in traffic safety, increasing emissions, degrading air quality, exacerbating health conditions, and obstructing Austin’s Community Climate Plan target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. All this for an expansion that will not relieve con­gestion, as stated by TxDOT’s own District Engineer in a presentation to Austin City Council on September 1.
We find these plans to be indefensible in light of the already unfolding climate crisis, which requires that we all think more carefully and creatively about how we travel. We also find them to be outdated, as they do not take into account – let alone strategically integrate – the Project Connect plans for extensive light rail service and additional bus service that will reduce Austinites’ need for vehicle trips.

We do applaud TxDOT’s intent to remove the upper decks, which bring noise into the entirety of our neighbor­hood and exacerbate the division between Hancock and our eastside neighbors in Cherrywood, Wilshire Woods, Mueller, and East Austin. We also applaud TxDOT’s openness to reconnecting downtown with a cap and stitch plan and adding pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

However, with only two “stitches” between US 290 East and MLK Blvd, and no plans for any “caps” in this 3.5-mile stretch, north central neighborhoods like ours will disproportionately bear the considerable negative outcomes of an expansion of I-35. It is already exceedingly difficult and dangerous for us to travel east to Cherrywood or Mueller on foot or by bicycle. We can only imagine the additional challenges posed by a 20-lane thoroughfare, including 4-lane frontage roads, no matter the particular design. What is more, the overwhelming majority of up to 147 displacements and 32 acres of right-of-way required for Alternatives 2 and 3 are located in north central neighborhoods, including Hancock.

In 2020, Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Bruce Bugg vowed that plans for I-35 in central Austin would be “no wider and no higher.” With its dismissal of community alternatives and the removal of Alternative 1 from study – the only alternative that approached this claim – before the public was able to comment on it, TxDOT has not kept this promise.

Furthermore, TxDOT’s Alternatives 2 and 3 are practically identical, leaving no opportunity for the community to participate in the project in a meaningful way. North central neighborhoods affected by this proposed expansion deserve a direct, open dialogue with TxDOT to develop a reasonable alternative that produces positive impacts for the people living and working along the I-35 corridor, now and in the future.

We therefore join other north central neighborhoods in rejecting TxDOT’s current plans. We would like to engage with TxDOT to identify solutions that balance TxDOT’s mandate to move traffic with our neighborhoods’ needs to breathe clean air, travel safely on foot and by bicycle, and keep our homes and businesses from being demolished to make room for an even larger highway.

We ask TxDOT to heed our concerns and design a I-35 corridor that

  1. truly connects us, instead of dividing us further;
  2. preserves the integrity of our neighborhoods, instead of uprooting businesses and families;
  3. that (if anything) reduces I-35’s footprint, instead of expanding it further;
  4. works hand in hand with Project Connect, helping reduce traffic and pollution, instead of increasing them further;
  5. serves the needs, health, and safety of all Austinites engaged in all modes of transportation, of this and many future generations, instead of doubling down on the mistakes of the past.

Austin, TX, September 15, 2021

red river letter 2.25.19.pdf

red river letter 2.25.19.docx

Febuary 25, 2019 Letter from HNA President to City Council Re. Red River Realignment

From: mark harkrider <>
Reply-To: mark harkrider <>
Date: Monday, February 25, 2019 11:36 AM
To: "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>
Cc: mark harkrider <>
Subject: Red River Realignment

Dear Mayor Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Garza, Austin City Council Members, and City Manager Cronk:

On behalf of the residents of the Hancock Neighborhood, I am writing with concerns and questions about the proposed Red River realignment Hancock Neighborhood residents as well as many many others use Red River, the only north-south thoroughfare from 55th street to Caesar Chavez between IH 35 and Lamar. Users of Red River, particularly residents of neighborhoods which adjoin it, are concerned that one portion of the new Red River will be Robert Dedman Drive, which currently goes through the UT campus and is only two lanes wide. We foresee a future that will allow the University of Texas to close Robert Dedman Drive during football games and other events on UT campus.

With this as a major concern,

1. We ask that there be a firm agreement with the University of Texas that the new realignment will not restrict public use and specifically car use.

2. We ask that the Red realignment have four lanes, and include bike lanes and pedestrian sidewalks.

3. We would like to know if there has been any study showing the traffic impacts of the new realignment on 38th street from IH 35 to Guadalupe, from 32nd Street to Duval, from Harris Avenue to Duval,

or any other streets which might be affected by the realignment.

4. We would like to know the dates for when the realignment will start and the completion date.

5.We request a representative from the Hancock Neighborhood be included in any stakeholder meeting which is convened.

6. We request the City Manager or his designated person, keep me informed of all activities and major dates regarding the realignment.

Thank you.

Best regards,

Mark Harkrider, President, Hancock Neighborhood Association; Street address: 703 E 38TH ST, AUSTIN, TX, 78705 Council District: 9

I-35 Mainlines at Oltorf ST and Oltorf ST Bridge to Be Closed for Partial Bridge Demolition

I-35 mainlanes will be temporarily closed to north and southbound traffic from 11 p.m. until 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, July 21 and 22, weather permitting, for partial bridge demolition. Mainlane closures will begin at 9 p.m. During the closure, I-35 mainlane traffic will be detoured to the north and southbound frontage roads.

Drivers headed east or west on Oltorf Street will also be detoured at the I-35 crossing during this time to the Woodward and Woodland crossings. Drivers are encouraged to seek alternate routes during the closure.

I-35 mainlanes and Oltorf Street will be reopened Saturday and Sunday mornings beginning at 10 a.m.

As part of the Mobility35 improvements at Oltorf Street, lanes are being closed to allow crews to demolish the north side of the Oltorf Street bridge to prepare for reconstruction of the bridge and construction of a new U-turn lane. During this phase of construction, traffic lanes on the Oltorf Street bridge will be shifted slightly to allow for two travel lanes in each direction. A dedicated turn lane will no longer be available. This configuration was put in place starting Wednesday, July 19, ahead of the planned bridge demolition.

The I-35 at Oltorf Street Project will bring improvements to mobility, safety, and connectivity for all modes of transportation. These include improved entrance/exit ramps and lanes, adding U-turn lanes at the Oltorf Street bridge, and bicycle and pedestrian enhancements. Work on the $40 million project is expected to continue through spring 2019, weather permitting. The contractor is OHL USA, Inc.

To learn more about the I-35 at Oltorf Street project, visit

Connections 2025 January Update

Connections 2025 - January Update

This week, the Capital Metro board of directors took a deep dive into the numbers of our Connections 2025 study. On Monday, we reviewed the financial process, along with operating and capital costs at a special work session. Missed the meeting? Check out the presentation or view the meeting video recording online.

What's new?

Timeline change to February

In order to review more financial data and additional details on the proposed innovation zones, the board has extended the study timeline to include a final work session on Feb. 17. The final Connections 2025 plan will be voted on at next month's board meeting on Feb. 27. As always, board meetings are open to the public and can be streamed online.

Capital Metro Board of Directors - Work Session

February 17

Capital Metro Board of Directors - Action Item for Approval

February 27

Capital Metro
2nd Floor Board Room
2910 E. 5th St
Austin, TX 78702

More frequent. More reliable. More connected.

The Connections 2025 plan proposes some major improvements to existing or new bus routes. Throughout this year-long process, we've heard folks tell us they want more buses, more often with better connections.

In response, we're proposing increasing the number of high-frequency routes (operating every 15 minutes or better) from 6 currently, to 17 total. That means, 4 out of 5 riders (82%) would have easy access to one of those routes.

What else? Check out the full proposed network map, route-by-route proposals and our Top 10 list of benefits at

Recommendation to replace unproductive service with Innovation Zones

The Connections 2025 team has recommended replacing routes that experience low demand with other transportation options, "Mobility Innovation Zones", in six areas of our network. Wanna learn more? Check out last month's update on our blog. We'll explore the Mobility Innovation Zones more with our board next month.

Why Mobility Innovation Zones and not a regular bus route? By shifting resources from routes that have experienced low ridership, we can move that bus service to corridors with high demand. For example, we know our top 5 bus routes carry more than 30% of our ridership. By boosting frequency on those corridors, we could offer improved service to more than a third of our riders.

How would Mobility Innovation Zones work? The Connections 2025 Team is recommending a phased approach. First, we would explore new transit options outside of the traditional 40-foot buses like, carshare, vanpools, flex routes and shuttles. We'd work with our community to decide which suits each area best. Next, we'd run a pilot period to test the success of these new options. Finally, it's important to know, that no service would be changed in these areas for at least 2 years. This will be an ongoing process as we explore, collaborate on and test these new mobility options before implementation.

Phasing and implementation

Connections 2025 is intended to serve as the roadmap for Capital Metro over the next 10 years. This does not mean every route proposal is a done deal. Beginning in late 2017, we'll host additional open house meetings, make onboard announcements, post information at stops, and much more, to spread the word on any upcoming service changes and gather your feedback. Ultimately, each route change would need subsequent board approval.

TXDOT Open House on Tuesday, September 20 4:30-6:30 PM

Subject: TXDOT Open House on Tues 9/20 from 4:30-6:30pm at Memorial United Methodist Church (6100 Berkman)

Please mark your calendars for a TXDOT Open House (IH-35 Central 7-Mile, Braker to Slaughter) Tues 9/20 from 4:30-6:30pm at Memorial United Methodist Church (6100 Berkman).

Ground-breaking Ceremony was 9/7/16:

Work on the $16.5 million project at 51st Street includes untying a traffic snarl for drivers by adding a modern roundabout along the southbound frontage road, reconfiguring entrance and exit ramps, and adding a bypass lane along the interstate.

* The modern roundabout design is more efficient than the existing signalized intersection, increasing traffic capacity in the intersection by 30 to 50 percent, resulting in reduced travel time for motorists. It is anticipated that once the project is complete, drivers will travel through the 51st Street intersection on average almost four minutes faster than they do today.

* Construction on the near one-mile project is expected to begin this fall and is anticipated to be complete in early 2019. The project contractor is Capital Excavation Co.

Connections 2025 Open Houses September 12-15

View the Connections 2025
Draft Transit Plan

Share your feedback!

We're ready to show you our new transit network! The Connections 2025 Draft Transit Plan would establish a more frequent, more reliable and more connected system. Check out more details at [ref="].

The January 2017 Service Change [] proposal is the first phase of the Connections 2025 plan and includes making changes to Express Routes 982, 985 and 987; introducing two new routes, 980 and 981; and removing Route 983. Funding for these service changes is included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

Take the Connections 2025 survey [] or attend our final in-person open houses [] this week Sept. 12-15 or online open house [] Sept. 14.

Upcoming Open Houses

Have ideas or questions? View our interactive map [], email, tweet #Connections2025 or call 512-369-6000.

Monday, Sept. 12
Leander Station
Served by MetroRail, Routes 983, 985, 987
5 - 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 13
North Austin YMCA
Served by Routes 1, 142, 240, 275, 325, 801
5 - 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 14
Milwood Library
Served by Route 142
5 - 6:30 p.m.

Online Open House 6 p.m.
Register today:

Thursday, Sept. 15
University Hills Library
Served by Routes 20, 37, 233, 237, 323
5 - 6:30 p.m.

Reasonable modifications and equal access to communications are provided upon request. Please provide notice at least two days in advance. Contact Martin Kareithi at 512-389-7583 or email for more information or to request informational materials in another format.

Questions or comments? Contact us!
Capital Metro | Connections 2025
phone: 512-369-6000

North Central I‐35 Neighborhood Coalition 2 (NCINC2) Agenda for June 18, 2016

NCINC2 agenda forwarded by HNA President Mark Harkrider:

160618 NCINC2 Meeting Agenda.pdf

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