Some of the biggest challenges facing North Burnet/Gateway concern mobility. The area suffers from poor internal street connectivity, a disconnected pedestrian network, and lack of direct access to transit. Both the North Burnet/Gateway Master Plan and Regulating Plan provide tools to address these challenges. These tools are aimed to encourage a greater number of trips traveled by walking, biking, or transit and as such, address elements such as streets, sidewalks, building placement, site size, and streetscaping to ensure that there are multiple transportation routes for all transportation modes.
The NBG boundary encompasses several major existing and potential transit modes including, bus, MetroRapid Transit Bus, MetroRail commuter line, and Lone Star Rail regional line. As Austin continues to look to transit as a relief from increasing roadway congestion, NBG stands in a position to serve as a hub for Austin’s transit modes.
The North Burnet/Gateway Master Plan recommended the addition of streets as well as new street alignments in order to create the framework for the redevelopment of NBG into denser, more urban, and mixed-use neighborhoods. The North Burnet/Gateway Regulating Plan codified these new streets into a Collector Plan. Collector Streets are defined as “a street collecting traffic from other streets and serving as the most direct route to a thoroughfare”. (LDC Section 25-1-12(15)). The locations of the new required Collector Streets can be found in Figure 3-11 of the NBG Regulating Plan. The Collector Plan requires that these streets be dedicated as ROW as determined in accordance with LDC Chapter 25-6, Article 2. Although the new streets will be constructed over time as the area develops on a parcel by parcel basis, the location and connections portrayed in the Collector Plan will serve as the basis for future development of the street network in NBG.
Street Cross Sections
In addition to new street locations the NBG Regulating plan contains Street Cross Section standards contained in Appendix A of the document. Appendix A provides a map linking the Street Cross Section with the location of required and recommended new streets. These street sections provide a range of street types to address the size of NBG and its wide hierarchy of streets.
In order to ensure that the built environment is able to support a range of travel modes including foot travel, the NBG Regulating Plan requires that sidewalks be built to support a high-quality street and sidewalk environment that is supportive of pedestrians and vehicular circulation patterns. Trees, sidewalks, and buildings are required to be arranged in a manner that supports the creation of safe, human scaled, and well-defined roadway environments. Roadway types for NBG are illustrated in Figure 1-3 and articulated in Article 3: Circulation, Connectivity, and Streetscape of the North Burnet/Gateway Regulating Plan.
The North Burnet/Gateway Regulating Plan has specific requirements to encourage and accommodate the use of bicycles as transportation device. Some of these requirements include, bicycle parking on site and in close proximity to the main entrance of the building and the reduction of parking requirement with the provision of bicycle amenities such as showers and fully enclosed bike cages on site. Bicycle requirements are included in several articles relating to site design and connectivity.