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4 pieces of Austin civic news you may have missed

Catch up on city and county news from the past few weeks.

The front of Austin's downtown City Hall

Catch up on all the news at City Hall.

Photo by ATXtoday

There’s a lot happening in Austin and it can be hard to keep up, even for us.

We often stock our daily newsletter with updates from Austin and Travis County governments, but even we can’t cover everything. That’s why we rounded up four pieces of civic news you may have missed in the last few weeks.

Block party
The City of Austin will soon roll out its “Living Streets” initiative. The program — beginning implementation in early 2024 — will allow residents to apply to “activate” neighborhood streets for a range of short-term closures, meant to allow space for exercise, play, and community-building. See a map of eligible streets and find application details online.


Is your street eligible for Austin’s new Living Streets program?

Gif by ATXtoday, map via the City of Austin

Water conservation
Austin City Council voted to postpone the implementation of an ordinance requiring some large developments to use reclaimed water due to concerns the change would increase costs for multifamily housing projects. The new rule, which aims to reduce strain on local water supply, will now take effect on March 7, 2024.

Storm preparedness
In the wake of Winter Storm Mara, which damaged 10.5 million trees and left ~375,000 Austinites without power in February, Austin Energy will study the potential for burying some city power lines. The process wouldn’t be without its headaches, as buried power lines can be expensive, be vulnerable to flooding, and provide barriers to repairs.

A group of crew members pointing at branches downed by the ice storm

Ice from Winter Storm Mara downed more than 10 million trees in Central Texas this February.

That’s a long walk
A 32-mile trail following CapMetro’s Red Line, called the Red Line Trail, is in the works following the path of the commuter rail that stretches from Downtown Austin to Leander. Parts of the trail are already completed or under construction, but the transit company is examining remaining segments for short- and long-term implementation.