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City bringing safety improvements to Lamar Boulevard in North Austin

The additions include adding new traffic signals with crosswalks at three intersections, and a pedestrian hybrid beacon at another.

AUSTIN, Texas — The City of Austin broke ground on its pedestrian safety improvements on Lamar Boulevard in North Austin on Friday. 

The city is specifically working on four intersections that will receive new sidewalk connections, new ADA-accessible curb ramps and crosswalks. 

West Powell Lane, Fairfield Drive and Grady Drive will all get new traffic signals with crosswalks, and Cooper Drive will get a new signalized pedestrian crosswalk, according to the city.

"One of the challenges there is that it's got long stretches between safe crossings; it's also got long stretches of areas where there’s actually no pedestrian facilities at all," said Randy Harvey, the program delivery manager for the City's Corridor Program Office. "Lamar has a couple of the top crash location intersections that have been identified through the city."

Below is a picture of the map where some of the changes will be made. 

Credit: Austin Transportation Department

One of the concerns is that people can be seen jay-walking across five lanes of traffic to get to the other side every day. 

"The more safe crosses we can provide and closer proximity, the less we’ll see these types of things happening," said Harvey. "Whatever it is they’re using it for, we want to be able to navigate safely and efficiently."

RELATED: Airport Boulevard has some of Austin's top crash intersections

At New Madina Market, at the corner of Cooper Drive and Lamar Boulevard, owner Mohmad Khan said he sees accidents and close calls on the road. 

"Somebody goes to make a turn on the left, boom," said Khan. "Walk light is better – it's safety for the people and easy for the children to cross the street."

Overall, he said he's happy to see the change coming, and said the growth of the area has attributed to the demand. 

"Last four years, five years, too many people coming, moving down here," said Khan. "Lamar is a very, very busy street." 

Credit: Luis de Leon

These improvements are part of a bigger plan to improve safety and mobility along North Lamar Boulevard between US-183 and Howard Lane. 

Funding for the project is coming from the 2016 Mobility Bond.


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