Mobility35 Aesthetic Guidelines
Innovation. Focused on the nine-mile Capital Area segment of the Mobility35 program corridor from Rundberg Lane to Woodland Avenue, LJA developed overall aesthetic guidelines and engineering details for the region based upon extensive community outreach exercises and stakeholder objectives. The project will provide aesthetic consistency along the freeway corridor through central Austin for both the traveling public who use the freeway and the adjacent communities who use the cross streets for vehicular traffic as well as alternative modes of transportation. The aesthetic improvements will increase connectivity for both sides of the freeway and help eliminate the freeway as a dividing line between east and central Austin. LJA also provided PS&E for East 51st Street and the surrounding corridor.
The Mobility35 program is a regional plan to not only improve overall transportation corridor functionality throughout the central Texas region, but also to ease traffic, increase capacity and safety for all users, and provide improved east/west connectivity through enhanced bicycle, pedestrian, and transit-user options. LJA coordinated on past studies and district guidelines, held numerous public involvement meetings, worked through suggested scenarios to gain consensus, and provided a final recommended plan that considered regional mobility, transportation, wayfinding and illumination, safety, pedestrian needs, long term maintenance and operations, and evaluation of costs and constraints of each option. LJA added additional value beyond creating the aesthetic guidelines with unique, locally-based capabilities to accomplish multiple tasks in-house including structural details to assist with future design efforts.
LJA’s comprehensive role in the project began with preliminary engineering services in support of creating aesthetics guidelines for the downtown segment of the Mobility35 program. Development of an overarching communications plan and a contextual aesthetics summary were key pieces. Data gathering and information sharing for the study included extensive public outreach and stakeholder involvement utilizing multiple points of contact including workshops, project website, online surveys, and town hall meetings. LJA developed all public outreach materials including presentations, boards, maps, and illustrative graphics for each effort.
In tandem with community outreach, LJA prepared an existing conditions report, studied cultural influences in the corridor, and identified existing themes and projects along with current and potential environmental impacts. Visioning meetings with the client became the basis for five aesthetic workshops to communicate project initiatives, gain feedback, gather additional public opinion and suggestions, and present findings from previous workshops as well as summarize alternative concepts for the corridor enhancements. The capitol building being named as a prevailing influencer emerged from the outreach activities, and that theme was aptly incorporated into the final plan. The final workshop presented a preferred concept based upon stakeholder goals, community needs, and public input.
Representative stakeholders include City of Austin, Art in Public Places, Austin area chambers of commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, neighborhood associations, and University of Texas at Austin. The improvements will guide structural details, wayfinding elements, shared use paths, landscaping, and illumination. A number of stakeholders desired more landscaping, public art installation, and bike facilities, however, LJA demonstrated that the restricted right of way (ROW) along the corridor did not allow for extensive use of either, but with careful planning, significant impact could be attained for a small expenditure due to the limited ROW.
For more information regarding aesthetic guidelines development and transportation design on this project, please contact Todd Thurber, PE at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information regarding landscaping on this project, please contact Charlie Patout, PLA at email@example.com.
Aesthetic Guidelines Development
Plans, Specifications, and Estimates