Status of Multi-Modal Projects Coming to Cherrywood

By Girard Kinney
Originally published in the May 2018 issue of The Flea

Pedestrian Crossings

Over the next few years there will be several pedestrian crosswalks added to our corridors, including E. 38th1/2 at LaFayette which is currently under construction. It will extend the LaFayette sidewalk north across E. 38th 1/2 and will consist of a curb “bulb-out” on the south side, accessibility ramps on both north and south sides, and a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB) which will allow pedestrians to stop traffic in order to cross E. 38th 1/2. While we have long-sought a full lighted intersection at this location, in the interim a PHB will not only provide a safe crossing for pedestrians but will also slow the E. 38th 1/2 vehicular traffic.

This PHB, along with the traffic lights that we were able to have placed a few years ago at Chicon/Manor Road and at Lafayette/Dean Keaton, will complete a long-sought north/south pedestrian system between Blackland Neighborhood to our south, and the north side of E. 38th 1/2; a crucial path for students enrolled at Maplewood Elementary and for both Blacklanders and Cherrywooders headed to Cherrywood Coffeehouse.

Sidewalks

Several sidewalk projects will be undertaken this year. Refer to February Flea for a detailed description of the LaFayette Sidewalk extension from 32nd down to Dean Keaton. We continue to urge all Cherrywooders to call 311 to press for “bulb-outs” at all intersections.

CodeNEXT

The Land Use and Transportation Committee hosted a special meeting for representatives of both EVOLVE Austin (supports CodeNEXT if it implements the adopted Imagine Austin Plan) and Community Not Commodity (opposes all forms of CodeNEXT) where we learned that Draft3 of CodeNEXT does address some of previously aired Cherrywood concerns, notably changing our neighborhood from R3C in Draft2 to R2C, changing the number of dwellings on a lot from 3 units to 2 units. (See CodeNEXT Table for more information.)

One topic not addressed in the Table is changes regarding front porches. The current Cherrywood originated tool that allows our front porches to extend 5 feet closer to the street suffers slightly in Draft3, but our successful effort to preserve the ability to have wrap-around porches on corner lots is not only preserved, but apparently will now allow open porches on both front and side street yards.

It is anticipated that significant changes will be made to Draft3 before a City Council vote on CodeNEXT, and therefore it is not possible to enumerate the residential impacts or commercial property impacts on our corridors. While there appears to be consensus among most groups the value of a code overhaul, features including more user-friendly, contribute to affordability, stem displacement, achieve multi-modal transportation choices and other improvements, there are profound differences about how to achieve these goals.

As we all watch and participate in the very difficult decisions faced by our City Council following the sign company funded petition to put CodeNEXT on the November ballot, there will continue to be serious input from the many groups that are weighing in on CodeNEXT. The LUT will continue to keep the neighborhood informed as information becomes available. With CodeNEXT looming in one form or another, there has never been a more important time to become involved with the LUT Committee. We meet monthly on the first Wednesday. For more information, contact Girard Kinney at .

new pedestrian crossing on 38 1/2 St. Photo by J. Potter-Miller.

Jennifer Potter-Miller

About Jennifer Potter-Miller

Chair, Friends of Patterson Park, Social Media Chair, Maplewood Elementary School PTA, and Content Editor, Flea newsletter

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