September 2014 Mueller Update

Written by Rick Krivoniak

Catellus hosted a community meeting at Our Lady’s Maronite Catholic Church on August 14th to share information on Berkman Drive. Construction (and disruption!) will soon start on Berkman within Mueller with the hopes of completing the full-width street by the end of 2015. Berkman traffic studies last October – after the HEB and schools had opened – revealed the 85th percentile traffic speeds were considerably above the posted 30 MPH limit, especially on the southbound lane. (The 85th percentile was 37 MPH just north of 51st where the limit is 35 MPH within Windsor Park.) Traffic engineers assured Mueller residents that traffic will slow when the street is completed due to the narrowness of the single lane of traffic with adjacent parallel parking. Mark Lenters, a nationally recognized roundabout consultant hired by Catellus, showed sketches of potential traffic circles at two key intersections. While roundabouts are possible within the existing platted right-of-way, none are planned at this time since they would complicate the routes of the Berkman cycle-tracks. The 4-way stop at the Market District driveway/Barbara Jordan Blvd. is currently the only anticipated control for traffic on Berkman within Mueller.

AISD’s 68,000 square foot Performing Arts Center at the corner of Barbara Jordan & Mueller Boulevards is now scheduled to be complete in November, with a grand opening event sometime in January, 2015. Back in May, the AISD Board of Trustees considered naming the facility after a paid sponsor. Current policy would not allow the selling of naming rights. No word to date from the Trustee’s naming committee, but with a budget shortfall of about $30 million, AISD may be looking for methods of generating revenue. The Performing Arts Center’s lot does not extend to 51st, so future buildings fronting onto 51st Street and wrapping the corner a bit at Mueller Blvd will someday hide the facility’s parking garage.

Two smaller spaces in existing buildings are all that remain vacant in Mueller’s Regional Retail Center, where the last pad site, now under construction between Wells Fargo and Jamba Juice, will be a La Madeleine restaurant projected to open in early 2015. The Austin Business Journal also reports that California-based pizzeria Pieology is opening a Mueller location. No date yet on Torchy’s Tacos grand opening, but is the website is up and running for the 1801 E. 51st Street address!

On a somber note, Jerry Perkins, my fellow Robert Mueller Municipal Airport Plan Implementation Advisory Commissioner until his recent resignation, passed away on July 31st. Jerry was a Mueller resident, active in the Austin Neighborhoods Council and ANC East. He had a knack for tactfully handling folks holding differing views on many issues, but especially with those surrounding Mueller. He will be missed.

The next RMMAPIAC meeting is Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 6PM in Meeting Room 1 of the Carver Library, 1161 Angelina Street. Please send Mueller-related questions & comments to .

 

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