In response to the COVID 19 pandemic, Austin Transportation is working to create places that promote physical and mental health and also provide safe options to access jobs and services. With direction from Austin City Council (Resolution 20200507-062), Austin Transportation has initiated a Healthy Streets Initiative that will connect previously disconnected portions of the active transportation network and create more space for daily physical activity.

 

Healthy Streets are achieved by closing select local streets to through traffic, while maintaining local access only for residents, deliveries, and emergency vehicles. On Healthy Streets people can more comfortably use these low-traffic areas for activities like walking, wheelchair rolling, running, and bicycling with enough space to maintain physical distance. This effort does not impact emergency vehicle access in any way. 

The Healthy Streets Initiative was developed with the context that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing many aspects of how residents live and move throughout Austin. This initiative launched on Thursday, May 21, 2020 with "soft closures" which consist of signage, traffic cones and barricades along three initial roadway segments.  

First batch of Healthy Streets implemented:

  • Bouldin Ave. / S 3rd St. / Garden Villa Ln. from Banister Ln. to Barton Springs Rd.  
  • Comal St. from Manor Rd. to Lady Bird Lake  

  • Country Club Creek Trail extension (Trail, Wickersham Ln., Oltorf St., Pleasant Valley Rd., Ventura Dr., Madera Dr.) from  Mabel Davis Park to Lakeshore Dr. 

The first batch of streets are in addition to prior streets that have been implemented to support physical distancing. 

  • Riverside Dr. from Lamar Blvd. to South 1st St. 

  • Pleasant Valley Rd. from Canterbury St. To S. Lakeshore Blvd. 

Get Involved

The ultimate goal for the Healthy Streets Initiative is to steadily add new batches of streets until people in all parts of the city have access to spaces that promote mental and physical health. Austin Transportation will take feedback on current Healthy Streets locations, suggestions of new locations, and general feedback.  

Community feedback, engineering judgement, equity and planning considerations will guide Austin Transportation in developing Healthy Streets that meet the needs of all residents—especially our most vulnerable. As needs continue to evolve rapidly, the City is working to keep pace and nimbly make adjustments, and will provide updates as they develop. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How will getting to my home or business work? Can I have guests and take deliveries?

All local traffic for residents, including guests and deliveries will be maintained. Where detours are necessary for safety, signage will direct vehicles to an alternate route. 

Q: How will emergency vehicles get to my home or business?

Emergency access will be maintained at all times. Emergency responders have been made aware of the closures.  

Q: How will my trash and recycling services be collected and my packages and mail be delivered?

All normal street services such as trash, recycling, mail and deliveries will be maintained. Where detours are necessary for safety, signage will direct service vehicles to an alternate route. 

Q: How were these streets selected?

Streets are being evaluated for their ability to offer recreation and for more comfortable connections to jobs and essential services. Streets with frequent transit service are generally being avoided. Austin Transportation will also consider public feedback in designating future Healthy Streets.

Q: How will this be enforced?

Austin Transportation will monitor the routes. Community volunteer block captains will also assist with observations. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer block captain, please email us at HealthyStreets@AustinTexas.gov.

Q: How long will Healthy Streets be in place?

Austin Transportation will monitor conditions and adjust as conditions warrant. Per Resolution 20200507-062, ATD will provide periodic updates to Austin City Council and the community as well as a transition plan back to Council for consideration.   

Q: Can I still park on the street? 

Yes, you may park on the street in areas where on-street parking was previously allowed. 

Q: How can I get involved and help with Healthy Streets?

There are a variety of ways you can get involved to help make the Healthy Streets initiative successful.

  • Call 3-1-1 to report damaged or missing traffic control devices, such as cones, barricades or signage. 

  • Sign up to be a block captain. Block captains will be Austin Transportation’s eyes and ears on the street, can help maintain barricade placement, and can help keep their neighbors and the City informed. Email healthystreets@austintexas.gov to let us know you’re interested or register your interest through the Healthy Streets Survey.  

  • Fill out the online survey to provide your feedback on Healthy Streets.  

  • Spread the word! Tell your friends and neighbors about Healthy Streets – you can suggest new streets and take the online survey to provide general feedback. On social media, use the hashtag #HealthyStreetsATX to share how you’re using Healthy Streets.  

Resources and Helpful Links