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Zilker Metropolitan Park Vision Plan draft released

Possible changes include parking garages and changes to Barton Springs Road.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — Austin city leaders are looking at making some changes around Zilker Park.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department recently released its Zilker Park Vision Plan draft. The plan includes adding more parking garages, pedestrian bridges, and also some changes to Barton Springs Road.

The plan states that parking is a major concern from residents.

"More of a centralized parking facility that would be right pretty much where Stratford Drive and Barton Springs Road intersect," said Ricardo Soliz, division manager at the Austin Parks and Recreation Department.

Other locations being considered are one near MoPac and another off Azie Morton Road with more than 2,000 spaces.

The plan also explores possible changes to parts of Barton Springs Road that would include having trees, lighting and sidewalks, along with parallel parking. It would reduce it from two lanes to one on each side.  

"Beautifying the road to say that you are entering a park now, it’s not just an exit ramp from the expressway," said Soliz.

"Definitely some good ideas in there but certainly some that are concerning as well," added Austin Resident Lyndsey Anderson.

Anderson lives in the Barton Hills-Zilker neighborhood. She said her biggest concern is the proposal to reduce lanes on Barton Springs Road. She thinks it would cause traffic issues and impact her access to MoPac.

"It's something as a resident that we drive through everyday. It's something we're used to and that we're accustomed to being adjacent the park," said Anderson.

There are two public input sessions coming up in December where Anderson does plan to voice her concerns. One is set to take place virtually on Dec. 7 and the second is in person at the McBeth Rec Center on Dec. 10. 

Other proposed improvements to the park include putting a visitors center near Barton Springs Pool, playscapes and a set area for recreational activities.

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