AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Transportation Department (ATD) has created three “Healthy Streets” in pedestrian-heavy areas of Austin. Healthy Streets are achieved by closing select local streets to through traffic while maintaining local access only for residents, deliveries, and emergency vehicles.
The Healthy Streets Initiative was developed with the context that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing many aspects of how residents live and move throughout Austin. On Healthy Streets people can more comfortably use these low-traffic areas for activities like walking, wheelchair rolling, running, and bicycling with enough space to maintain physical distance, according to a press release from the City of Austin.
The initiative launched on Thursday, May 21, 2020 with "soft closures" which consist of signage, traffic cones, and barricades along three initial roadway segments.
- Bouldin Ave. / S 3rd St. / Garden Villa Ln. from Banister Ln. to Barton Springs Rd.
- Comal St. from Manor Rd. to Lady Bird Lake
- Country Club Creek Trail extension (Trail, Wickersham Ln., Ventura Dr., Madera Dr.) from Mabel Davis Park to Lakeshore Dr.
The first batch of streets are in addition to prior streets that have been implemented to support physical distancing.
- Riverside Dr. from Lamar Blvd. to South 1st St.
- Pleasant Valley Rd. from Canterbury St. To S. Lakeshore Blvd.
The Healthy Streets Initiative aims to steadily add new batches of streets until people in all parts of the city have access to spaces that promote mental and physical health. Austin Transportation will take feedback on current Healthy Streets locations, suggestions of new locations, and general feedback.
This effort does not impact emergency vehicle access in any way.