Parks and Recreation BoardJan. 22, 2024

10-1: Draft Recommendation on Zilker Park Transportation — original pdf

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PARKS AND RECREATION BOARD RECOMMENDATION YYYYMMDD-XXX Seconded By: Date: Subject: Zilker Park Transportation Motioned By: Whereas Zilker Park, is a major summer tourist destination with a sample peak-use day of July 2, 2023, with recorded Barton Springs Pool admissions of over 11.5K visitors in one day1 Whereas over 70% of peak-day visitors to the water zones of Zilker Park are tourists from out-of-town who may need tailored information for how to access the crowded water zones of the park;2 Whereas during the Barton Springs Bathhouse Rehabilitation project, commencing in early 2024 Zilker Park associated roadways and 140 parking spaces will be obstructed by construction equipment and supplies, limiting access to the north entrance of the bathhouse during the 14 months of construction; Whereas the Parks and Recreation Board (PARB) recently passed a recommendation “that the Austin City Council direct the Transportation and Public Works Department to develop a Transportation Plan for visitors to Barton Springs during the Bathhouse Rehabilitation construction”;3 Whereas the PARB created a Zilker Shuttle Working Group to address transportation issues within Zilker Park Whereas several requests to perform transportation studies of Zilker Park and vicinity have yet to be fulfilled, including a Council Resolution No. 20180628-072 from 2018 to “Conduct a traffic and parking study to be completed no later than December 21, 2019, and brief Council by January 30, 2020, regarding determinations and recommendations for improvements”; Whereas in May of 2022 Council Member Ann Kitchen requested a Work Session briefing regarding transportation challenges around Zilker Park with a presentation by ATD and CapMetro with potential solutions to moving more people without cars into and around this area;4 Whereas, on May 12, 2022, Asst. City Manager Gina Fiandaca acknowledged CM Kitchen’s request, and recommended that Austin Transportation Department be the lead and that a Traffic Impact Analysis, and a Transportation Demand Management / Mobility study be performed5 Whereas, both CM Ann Kitchen and ACM Gina Fiandaca believed that shuttles would likely be a part of the solution 1 Visitor count on Sunday July 2nd, 2023.pdf 2 C201348_PARD_Final_Binder2_Redacted.pdf 3 4 Email #1 - 05-05-2022 CM Ann Kitchen to City Managers requesting ATD and CapMetro presentation to upcoming work session.png 5 Email #2 - 05-12-2022, Fiandaca, Gina request staff in multiple departments to collaborate to create the requested presentation.png 1 of 2 Whereas, several dynamic changes inside the park in 2024 will make a transportation professional’s analysis and recommendations essential in 2024 for route, frequency, schedule, equipment, staffing and capacity to ensure appropriateness for the general public and to accommodate peak-day visitor capacities; Whereas, because the Barton Springs Pool Bathhouse Rehabilitation project creates an atypical mobility / parking situation, TPW might consider a longer timeline of study; Therefore, the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Board recommends: (1) Austin City Council direct the Transportation and Public Works Department to conduct a TIA (Transportation Impact Analysis) and a Transportation Demand Management / Mobility study for the Zilker Park vicinity and that the studies begin as soon as possible to allow early implementation of TPW recommendations for 2024, and extend sufficiently past the Bathhouse Rehabilitation to allow TPW to capture realistic transportation data in order to make iterative adjustments as necessary; (2) Austin City Council request a budget allocation for the transportation-related studies for Zilker Park; and (3) Austin City Council direct TPW to implement an interim transit shuttle system (during the TIA and Transportation Demand Management/Mobility study) that allows visitors to park and have internal shuttle service from multiple parking lots throughout Zilker Park, and that Council fund the proposed transit program fully as it addresses the unusual demands of the summer of 2024. Vote For: Against: Abstain: Absent: Attest: [Staff or board member can sign] 2 of 2