November 2014 Mueller Update

Written by Rick Krivoniak

A 51st Street Vision Plan update was presented at October’s Mueller Commission meeting. The detailed study of existing underground utilities has revealed some replacements and relocations will be needed, along with some minor stormwater management alterations. Further design decisions have also been made regarding the parallel parking, protected bike lanes, crosswalks and wider sidewalks that will help make 51st a far more pedestrian and bicycle friendly link between Mueller and Windsor Park. Some existing trees, primarily along the UT-leased block between Lancaster and Mueller Blvd. will be relocated, but many new trees will be added to a center median and along the north side of 51st Street. Lowering the speed limit from 40 to 35 MPH between Cameron Road and the water tower – to match the limit along all the rest of 51st from 183 to Lamar – will make for a more calm and pleasant drive as well. Construction for this project is a still few years off, and some additional funding beyond the 2012 bond may be required.

Also, Janine Sisak with DMA Development provided an update on their planned “workforce” affordable housing project on 51st at the future Aldrich Street corner. While 22 units will be at market rate, the remaining 209 units will be priced for those making from 30% to 80% of the median family income for Austin, which for a single person corresponds to about $16K to $31K. Mueller Commissioners voted to send a letter advising the City Council to support this project. Due to WPNA’s candidate forum, Janine rescheduled from October’s meeting and will be presenting much more detailed information at the November 8th WPNA meeting.

Now visible from Manor Road, the first homes to the east of Berkman are under construction in the area where Mueller’s second park and residential pool, and its first community garden, will be located. Expected to be open for summer 2014, John Gaines Park was named for Austin’s first African-American policeman, who was shot and killed in the line of duty on November 19, 1913 while waiting for backup. At the time, only white officers could make an arrest.

Action by the City Council on a Parking and Traffic Management District for Mueller is anticipated by early December. Bringing together several existing City of Austin neighborhood, parking and traffic programs, the PTMD will be an Austin first and a possible model for future central-city neighborhoods experiencing traffic and parking problems.

And lastly – Torchy’s Tacos is aiming for a November 15th opening date.

The next RMMAPIAC (Mueller Commission) meeting is Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 6PM in Meeting Room 1 of the Carver Library, 1161 Angelina Street. Please send Mueller-related questions & comments to bc-Rick.Krivoniak@austintexas.gov.

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