Plus, City Manager T.C. Broadnax will make his first public appearance next week.
 
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🚙 Austin on the move
A view of the Austin skyline and Lady Bird Lake on a sunny day.
The VMT climate factor captures how many miles vehicles travel in a city on average each day.|Photo by ATXtoday
Streetlight released its 2024 US Transportation Climate Impact Index, which ranks the top 100 most-populated metros across eight key climate impact factors. We’re breaking down the numbers + diving into Austin’s ranking.

Behind the methodology

Each of the eight climate factors (see the “How we ranked” section below) were assigned a weight “based on their relative climate impact.” Utilizing the ranking results for each factor, cities were then given an overall ranking.

Learn more about how each climate factor was measured.

Key themes

  • Vehicle miles traveled — the largest contributor to a city’s emission levels — bounced back since taking a dip in 2020.
  • Biking sustained popularity, but pedestrian activity “dropped significantly.”
  • The number of electric vehicles per 100 people is still relatively low. Read: We’re still not seeing a large saturation of EVs; most cities saw fewer than one EV per 100 people.
In addition to discovering key themes, the data can aid in identifying where improvements are needed and where current efforts are making an impact in each city.

Transportation in Austin is going through changes. Initiatives like Project Connect light rail, electrifying city buses, and launching a new fleet of electric-assist bikes are all geared toward reaching a goal of zero emissions. By 2030, the city hopes for 50% of transportation to come from public transit, biking, walking, or carpooling.

How we ranked

Bat City ranked No. 33, with varying rankings across the eight key factors:
  • VMT: No. 71
  • Fuel economy: No. 19
  • Transit ridership: No. 20
  • EV penetration: No. 9
  • Biking activity: No. 29
  • Pedestrian activity: No. 30
  • Truck miles traveled: No. 41
  • VMT change: No. 30
 
Asked
 
Which of the key climate factors is the largest contributor to a city’s emission levels?

A. Vehicle miles traveled (VMT)
B. Fuel economy
C. Transit ridership
D. EV penetration
 
 
Events
 
Friday, July 5
  • The Band of Heathens | Friday, July 5 | 8 p.m. | Jester King Brewing, 13187 Fitzhugh Rd., Austin | $20 | Drink a sour beer, see the goats, and watch this live music performance with special guest Jamie Lin Wilson.
  • Good Luck Club - An Unapologetic Party | Friday, July 5 | 10:30 p.m. | The Ballroom at Spider House, 2906 Fruth St., Austin | $15-$20 | It’s “queer pop music dance night” on the dance floor, and you better not kill the groove.
Saturday, July 6
  • New York City FC vs. Austin FC | Saturday, July 6 | 7:30 p.m. | Q2 Stadium, 10414 McKalla Pl., Austin | $47-$179 | The Big Apple’s football club is in Austin for a match — can they take the heat?
Sunday, July 7
  • Recharge Sunday | Sunday, July 7 | 12-8 p.m. | Blue Owl Brewing, 2400 E. Cesar Chavez St., Ste. #300, Austin | Cost of purchase | Unwind from a busy weekend + prepare for the week ahead with massages, eye masks, and frosé.
  • Sundance Short Film Festival Tour 2024 | Sunday, July 7 | 6 p.m. | AFS Cinema, 6406 N. I-35, Ste. #3100, Austin | $14 | This “best of the fests” show features seven short films from Sundance.
  • “Point Break” | Sunday, July 7 | 7 p.m. | The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave., Austin | $12 | This 1991 classic, starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, is hitting the big screen once again.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
 
News Notes
 
Civic
  • City Manager T.C. Broadnax’s first public appearance since starting the job in May is set for Friday, July 12. He’ll present the city’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year and speak with the community about their ideas for investing in services and programs. (Austin Chronicle)
Drink
  • Did you know 67 bars in Austin stock alcohol test strips? Customers can request and use them to detect drugs if they suspect their drink has been spiked. The initiative, called the “Sip Safely” program, began about two months ago and continues to grow. (KXAN)
Environment
  • In an effort to meet the City of Austin’s net-zero emission target by 2040, the Austin Police Department will begin testing two electric Chevrolet Blazers by the end of the year + throughout 2025. In early 2026, they’ll decide if a full fleet should be purchased. (Austin Monitor)
Number
  • 5.6 million. That’s how many Texans are expected to travel over the Independence Day holiday travel period, which began on Saturday, June 29 and runs through Sunday, July 7. The AAA Texas projection is a 5.2% increase over last year.
Health
  • Amid an uptick in heat-related illnesses this year in Austin, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced new regulations this week to provide more water and rest breaks for people who work outside in extreme heat. (KVUE)
Eat
  • Vegans, rejoice. Popular New York-style pizza joint Home Slice Pizza added vegan mozzarella to its menu for the first time this week. The vegan cheese is available at every location and can be added to any pie. (Culture Map Austin)
     
     
    The Buy
     
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    The Wrap
     
    ATXtoday-morgan-headshot.jpg Today’s edition by:
    Morgan
    From the editor
    Anyone else feel like they need to hibernate today? Lake Austin was filled with floating parties for the Fourth of July — and I was on one of them. If you’re not working this AM, here’s your guide to taking a mental health day in Austin.
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