Kay Newell [Email address: kayn7 #AT# austin.rr.com - replace #AT# with @ ]

In case you are wondering whether there is a freeway in the works for Koenig now that they have approved a US 290 Toll Road to Manor, there is not. It is not in the plan. A road in our three county area (Hays, Travis, and Williamson) can’t be touched if it is not in the Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) 2030 plan.  As an example, the conversion of Cesar Chavez from one-way to two-way is in the CAMPO plan, specifically, in the CAMPO  FY 2008-2011 Transportation Improvement Plan, pg 61 item 2. 

The only thing in the CAMPO 2030 plan for Koenig is the area between Lamar and Shoal Creek (see Pg 146-147)  which shows the upgrade of the section from Shoal Creek to Lamar from Major Arterial UNDIVIDED 4 (MAU 4) to major arterial DIVIDED 4 (MAD 4).  If you notice when you are out driving, the sections of Koenig from Lamar to Airport and from Loop 1 to Shoal Creek have already been upgraded from MAU 4 to MAD 4.  If you all remember a couple of years ago they upgraded the section from Lamar to Airport, and a number of years prior to that they upgraded the section from Loop 1 to Shoal Creek. 

That leaves the section from Shoal Creek to Lamar as the remaining
section of Koenig needing upgrading.  And if you remember, the
construction from Lamar to Airport was done within the existing right
of way.   When you consider that Lamar & Koenig is one of the 10
most congested intersections in the CAMPO area
(see most congested intersections here) you begin to
understand the need for the upgrade.  I for one can’t wait for them to
finish the upgrade of this final section of Koenig.  If you compare the
traffic count on Koenig between Loop 1 and N Lamar Blvd for 1990 – 28,000
to 2005 – 35,000 you have a 25% increase.  And with the population
projections showing our five county area doubling in population to 2.1
million by 2020, then finishing out Koenig as MAD 4 is important for
all of us.

From the City of Austin (COA) 2222 Corridor Study, Page 1.12 – note the traffic east
of Loop 1 during the period 1992-1997 increased only 3%, yet there are
high percentage increases west of Loop 1.  This equates to the fact
that the bulk of the people coming from the west on 2222 are turning on
to MoPac, not continuing on to our section of 2222. 
What I understand from the engineers is that this pattern has continued
much the same for the last 10 years.  The additional parts to this
report can be found at this link, scroll down to Future Plan Updates –
The 2222 Corridor Study. 

As part of a traffic analysis you have to consider since 1997 the
number of cars in Austin is growing at a staggering rate.   Notice the new car counter on the top
right.  The counter shows that for 2007 there were 42,816 new cars on
the roads in Central Texas which means every 20 minutes there is
another new car on our roads!

Click here and scroll down to
"Too Much Congestion, Too Little Federal Money" which explains why the
federal highway funds are drying up.  Then scroll down to State Cuts
Federal Transportation Funds which explains that TxDOT has already
returned half a billion dollars to the Feds in unobligated highway
funds (obligation is a way of ensuring that actual cash is available to
pay for project expenditures).  This is not just a Texas issue; the
feds are going to all the states and taking back the unobligated
highway funds.  As in everything else in our society, money is tight
for everyone.  This is one of the reasons TxDOT is partnering with the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority
(CTRMA) to build specific toll roads that are outlined in the CAMPO 2030
plan but were pulled from the TIP – as an example the Hwy 290 toll
roads. 

If anything is to be done to Koenig beyond what is currently in the
CAMPO 2030 plan, it will have to go through the entire CAMPO process
which is very public process. 

Kay Newell
Allandale resident for 26 years
President MoNAC – MoPac Neighborhood Associations Coalition
http://www.main.org/monac/