East Riverside Drive is a highly traveled roadway located a few minutes from downtown Austin. In addition to being a primary route to and from the Austin Bergstrom International Airport, it is an important commercial corridor to the diverse group of residents living in proximity to the roadway. Much of East Riverside Drive, in particular west of Pleasant Valley Road, epitomizes the car-dominated environment that is typical of much of the modern American landscape. However, pedestrian activity along East Riverside Drive is much heavier than average. Many residents rely on public transportation and walk to and from local services, bus stops, and existing retail establishments
Recently there has been significant interest in redevelopment of several large properties in the area due to its proximity to downtown and Town Lake. East Riverside Drive has an extremely wide right-of-way (up to 120’) which could provide locations for future pedestrian, bicycle or transit-friendly improvements. The corridor presents a significant opportunity to transform an underutilized commercial corridor into a more sustainable, mixed use, transit-oriented neighborhood. However, in order to ensure that future development is intentional and high quality, a focused and comprehensive planning effort needs to occur.
The City of Austin selected the consultant team A. Nelessen and Associates, Inc. (ANA) to develop a master plan for the East Riverside Drive corridor from Interstate 35 to State Hwy 71/Ben White Boulevard. Through a community involvement process, the Master Plan will establish a vision, plan and implementation strategy for the corridor, including specific land use, urban design, and transportation recommendations.
The Master Plan will provide land use and urban design recommendations to improve the character and function of the environment along the East Riverside Corridor. The plan will include transportation recommendations and identify infrastructure improvements that may be required to implement the plan.
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The study area will be along the East Riverside Drive Corridor from approximately I-35 to Highway 71/Ben White Boulevard. The exact extents of the study area will be determined as part of the planning process.
Preliminary Project Schedule
Key project benchmark elements are as scheduled below. Note this schedule may change as planning progresses.
May 2008: Contract signed with Anton Nelessen and Associates to provide consultant services for the E. Riverside Corridor Master Plan.
Summer 2008: Consultants gather data, meet with stakeholders and conduct Existing Conditions, Opportunities and Constraints analyses
September 13, 2008: PUBLIC MEETING – Community Visioning Workshop, Travis High School cafeteria, 1211 E Oltorf St., 9:00am – 1:00pm
September/October 2008: Development of Concept Plans from public input.
October 2008: PUBLIC MEETING – Presentation of Concept Plans (“Did We Get It Right?”)
November 2008-December 2008: Revisions of Concept Plans, Development of Draft Plan, and Staff Review
January 2009: PUBLIC MEETING – Draft Master Plan Public Presentation
February 2009: Revisions to Draft Master Plan based on public input
February/March 2009: PUBLIC HEARINGS – Presentation of Draft Master Plan to Planning Commission and City Council for consideration of adoption.
September 13, 2008: PUBLIC MEETING – Community Visioning Workshop. Travis High School cafeteria, 1211 E Oltorf St., 9:00am – 1:00pm. Everyone welcome!
Maps and Documents
The E. Riverside Corridor Plan study area is located within the following neighborhood planning areas:
– East Riverside/Oltorf Combined Neighborhood Plan http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/zoning/eroc.htm
– Montopolis Neighborhood Plan http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/zoning/montopolis1.htm
A PDF map of the preliminary study area boundary, to be finalized during the planning process, can be found here.
About the Consultant Team
ANA is an award winning visioning, planning, and design firm led by principal Anton Nelessen. ANA believes in the development of high quality communities. They accomplish this through a small team of professionals, their trademarked community visioning process, innovative land planning and urban design, and the integration of pedestrian and transit systems with quality street and parking standards. ANA has experience in North America and Europe and serves a diverse body of clients ranging from private developers to municipal, state, and federal agencies.
ANA uses a proven community visioning process and the professional translation of this vision into plans and codes for the public and private sectors. Called Vision Planning, it is an innovative method that allows citizens, government officials, builders, and all other interested parties to participate in developing a common vision for a single parcel of land, a downtown, a city, or an entire county. ANA utilizes its trademarked Visual Preference SurveyTM a unique tool that enables diverse groups to build a consensus vision for future growth and development. Public involvement is the core of the visioning process, because no one knows a place as well as those who live and work there.
In addition to ANA, several subconsultant firms are part of the team, each bringing a specific expertise to the planning process: Estilo Communications for public relations; Bucher, Willis & Ratliff Corp. for engineering and stormwater management; Rz & Associates for economic research and community outreach; and MWM Design Group for design support.
Tonya Swartzendruber, Senior Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org , (512) 974-3462
Erica Leak, Senior Planner, email@example.com , (512) 974-2856
City of Austin Neighborhood Planning and Zoning Dept. P.O. Box 1088 Austin, TX 78767