High-Injury Roadways

Austin Transportation’s Vision Zero program identified 13 High-Injury Roadway sections to receive effective, low-cost safety improvements. The Vision Zero team analyzed the most recent five complete years of crash data to identify top locations for focused engineering design initiatives, improved signage, and targeted enforcement on key dangerous driving behaviors.

Over 350 Austinites were seriously injured or killed in the last five years on just these 13 sections. The 13 sections also comprise more than half of the top 100 comprehensive cost locations in Austin, which is based on national guidance to quantify the negative quality of life and economic impacts of crashes on our community. Pursuing low-cost treatments to increase safety will continue to build on the ongoing efforts towards reaching Austin’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating serious injuries and deaths caused by traffic crashes.

Airport Blvd. (Manor Rd. to Springdale) Riverside Dr. (Lakeshore Blvd. to Montopolis Dr.)
Burnet Rd. (US 183 to MoPac) South Congress Ave. (Ben White Blvd. to William Cannon Dr.)
Cameron Rd. (E St. Johns Ave. to Rundberg Ln.) South Pleasant Valley Rd. (Cesar Chavez St. to Oltorf St.)
East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Airport Blvd to Johnny Morris Rd.) Slaughter Ln. (Menchaca Rd. to IH-35)
North Lamar Blvd. (US 183 to Braker Ln.) South First St. (Stassney Ln. to Slaughter Ln.)
North Lamar Blvd. (Koenig Ln. to US 183) William Cannon Dr. (Menchaca Rd. to Elm Creek Dr.)
Parmer Ln. (Metric Blvd. to Dessau Rd.)  

Sections in progress

Installation of High-Injury Roadway signage is complete on City roadways, and Austin Transportation has planned and completed improvements on the following five sections:

  • Riverside Drive (Lakeshore Blvd. to Montopolis Dr.)
    • Added Leading Pedestrian Intervals at South Lakeshore Blvd. and Crossing Place
    • Adjusted red light clearance times at Parker Ln./Shore District Dr.
    • New protected-only turn signal phases at Royal Crest Dr.
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Riverside and Faro
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Riverside and Crossing Place
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Riverside and Grove with extended protected-only turn signal phases
  • Slaughter Lane (Menchaca Road to IH-35)
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Slaughter and Cullen with protected-only turn signal phases
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Slaughter and Palace Parkway
    • Refreshed crosswalk markings at multiple locations in fall 2020
    • Battery backup system installed at Slaughter/Talley Ln./United Kingdom Dr.
  • Pleasant Valley Road (Cesar Chavez Street to Oltorf Street)
    • Updated scope of work for upcoming interim safety improvements, including PHBs, wider shared use paths, dedicated turn lanes, and new signal infrastructure
    • Backplates installed at multiple locations for better signal visibility
    • Refreshed crosswalk markings and extended protected-only turn signal phases at S. Pleasant Valley and S. Lakeshore Blvd.
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at S. Pleasant Valley and E. Oltorf
    • New Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon at S. Pleasant Valley and Sheringham Dr.
    • New signal battery backups at multiple locations
    • Battery backup systems installed at Pleasant Valley and Cesar Chavez, and Pleasant Valley and S. Lakeshore Blvd.
  • Cameron Road (E St. Johns Avenue to Rundberg Lane)
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Cameron and St. Johns, with protected-only turn signal phases and leading pedestrian intervals
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Cameron and McKie/Coronado Hills and leading pedestrian intervals
    • New signal battery backups at multiple locations
    • Added Leading Pedestrian Interval at Cameron Rd. and Ferguson Ln.
    • Battery backup system installed at Cameron Rd. and Cross Park Dr.
  • William Cannon Dr. (Menchaca Rd. to Elm Creek Dr.)
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at William Cannon Dr. and Woodhue Dr. with protected timing
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at William Cannon Dr. and Cooper Ln. with protected timing
    • New Leading Pedestrian Interval at William Cannon and Circle S Rd.
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at William Cannon at Century South, with protected timing and a Leading Pedestrian Interval
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at William Cannon and Bluff Springs Dr., with protected timing for left turns in all directions
  • North Lamar Blvd. (US 183 to Braker Ln.)
    • Added Leading Pedestrian Intervals at Thurmond, Kramer, Masterson Pass, Rundberg
    • Refreshed crosswalk markings at multiple locations in winter/spring 2021
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Lamar and Thurmond
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Lamar and Rutland
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Lamar and Kramer with extended protected-only turn signal phases
    • Closed mid-block bus stop in coordination with CapMetro after new stops completed at Powell Lane
    • New Flashing Yellow Arrow at Lamar and Longspur
Graphic of a High-Injury Roadway Segment sign that says : Caution High Crash Roadway ""Graphic of a High-Injury Roadway Segment sign that says : Eyes up, Buckle up High-Injury Roadway Segment sign that says: La Velocidad Mata Reduce Tu Velocidad

Engineering improvements

The scope of work will vary for each section depending on current conditions and observed crash patterns. In some locations, Vision Zero is partnering with planned street design work already underway on other City of Austin projects, including multiple 2016 Mobility Bond projects.

Improvements may include:

  • New roadway signage
  • Traffic signal upgrades, which can include adjusted cycle timing, new or expanded protected left turns, new retroreflective backplates, and new leading pedestrian intervals
  • Refreshed roadway markings and crosswalks
  • New pedestrian hybrid beacons
  • Improved street lighting
  • Bus stop relocations
  • Other street design changes in partnership with planned or ongoing street design work, including lane conversions, new bicycle facilities, and additional pedestrian crossing opportunities

Selection methodology

To identify the 13 High-Injury Roadway sections, a quantifiable approach based on national guidance was developed to compare crash locations. Through using a consistent standard of comparison, a number of streets were identified where focused efforts might have the biggest impact.

A comprehensive cost scale was used to determine the economic impact of crashes at locations throughout the city, including costs associated with wage and productivity loss of those involved in the crash, medical expenses, motor-vehicle damage employers' uninsured costs and more. This approach does not attempt to put a dollar value on a life, but represents the loss of calculable costs and the loss of quality of life depending on the severity of the injuries resulting from a crash.

After applying a comprehensive cost, crashes were mapped out through GIS so that aggregated comprehensive costs for any particular location could be viewed along with their location. The top comprehensive cost locations were analyzed and 13 sections accounted for over half of the top 100 locations. The 13 sections were selected as High-Injury Roadways.

To learn more about the methodology for High-Injury Roadway identification, read the report.