The Technical Assistance Panel was created to review CMTA’s plans for the current Downtown MetroRail Station, redevelopment into a permanent Downtown Multimodal Station.
The Panel established the following objective for the TAP:
The Panel will make recommendations on any missing elements and unintended consequences in design, scope and/or long-term usage.
ULI Austin completed a two-day review of the plans for the replacement of the temporary Downtown MetroRail Station with the more permanent Downtown Multimodal Station as presented in the CMTA Downtown Multimodal Station Stakeholder Briefing and the DMS Plan. A tour of the site, extensive interviews with stakeholders, reviews with CMTA staff and consultants were completed. To support the Panel’s analysis and recommendations, portions of the briefing and final briefing are restated in this Special Report.
The replacement of the temporary Downtown MetroRail Station with the Downtown Multimodal Station offers an exciting opportunity to create a singular “Marquee” experience for Austin residents and visitors alike. An effective station gives the impression of a city that is constantly on the move while still mindful of its unique heritage. Often functioning as a confluence of regional transportation modes, a Gateway encourages creative and diverse land uses. It helps develop a sense of place and to “brand” a community identity that defies the “cookie cutter” monotony of so much of the contemporary cityscape.
Summary of Major Recommendations and Conclusions
- Improve pedestrian safety with modifications to the Lance Armstrong Bikeway.
- Create a “Marquee” experience (in coordination with enhancement of City of Austin owned Brush Square) with distinctive design elements and a range of amenities within the Pedestrian Plaza.
- Investigate potential access and traffic issues resulting from the project.
- Maintain open communication about the project with the public.
Summary of Recommendations Outside of Scope
In addition, the Panel also made recommendations outside of the scope for thie TAP in the interest of long term use and adaptation of a new, more permanent Station.
- Determine the City of Austin lead who will champion the development of this area.
- 5th Street needs to become a two-way street for automobile traffic.
- Advocate for enhanced collaboration with adjacent properties
The findings and recommendations provided in this report are based on the collective expertise of the panel, along with the provided briefing materials, and information gleaned from the tour, stakeholder interviews, and discussions conducted during the panel’s two-day effort.
TAP’s at ULI Austin
Please contact Paulette Gibbins with any ideas for additional Technical Assistance Panels in the greater Austin area. ULI expertise can provide an unbiased view of land use and real estate issues. We have the ability to garner advice and participation from around the country to apply to local challenges.