A review of pedestrian, cyclist, and micromobility user safety in the Austin West Campus neighborhood

Date

2022-05-06

Authors

Tsai, Wesley

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Abstract

The safety of users of alternative modes of transportation is incredibly important for usage and accessibility to local services, public transit, resources, and amenities. As the City of Austin continues to grow, and the West Campus neighborhood continues to densify, it is important for the city to consider the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and users of micromobility options (i.e., dockless electric scooters) and other alternative modes of transport. Safe roadway networks and adequate alternative transportation infrastructure, such as bike lanes and well-maintained sidewalks, are especially relevant for individuals with mobility related disabilities. How safe and protected from vehicular traffic individuals feel impacts how they get around. Occurrences of traffic incidents involving vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists/e-scooter users can deter people from utilizing these more climate and environmentally friendly transportation options. As the West Campus neighborhood generally consists of students who do not use personal vehicles to travel to the UT Austin campus, it is important for the City of Austin to consider the safety of people not using motorized vehicles.

This professional report will focus on pedestrian, bicyclist, and micromobility user safety in the West Campus neighborhood in Austin, TX. Specifically, it will analyze traffic incidents involving these modes from 2012 through 2021, and what the City of Austin has implemented to improve safety for users of non-motorized forms of transportation. With the recent amendments and implementation of the University Neighborhood Overlay (UNO) and other development density bonuses that have allowed for taller residential towers and greater population density, it is even more important to consider the safety of pedestrians and users of alternative modes of transportation, such as bicycles, e-scooters, and public transit (Austin, TX L.D.C. Ordinance No. 040902-58, 2004). The greater number of students and other residents in West Campus will impact crash rates. The City of Austin needs to account for this potential population growth and consider street infrastructure improvements, especially in areas with greater crash rates. With the city’s Vision Zero initiative, and the future implementation of Project Connect, pedestrian, cyclist, and e-scooter safety should receive greater attention and consideration.

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