And the winner is…

Austin on Your Feet has held a contest to come up with our readers’ favorite design for Congress Avenue. You have voted and the results are in, winner to get a gift certificate to Popbar.

In third place is a design by Ryan Young:

Ryan’s design includes many features! Center-running light rail lines with a transit shelter between the north-bound and south-bound trains. There are two 10-foot wide general travel lanes per direction. 10′ lanes are a safer design for city streets, because drivers feel unsafe taking them at faster speeds. There are bike lanes, sidewalks and a row of trees on each side. Congratulations Ryan!

In second place, a design by Dan Hennessy:

Dan’s design has one 10′ general travel lane in each direction, as well as a 12′ wide bus lane. Additionally, he has bike lanes, physically protected from the bus and car traffic by a transit shelter. The two directions of travel lanes are separated by a row of trees, adding a calming influence. A very nice touch in Dan’s design is the inclusion of wayfinding stations (i.e. maps). The “Main Street of Texas” sees a lot of tourist travel and even locals can sometimes get turned around.

And the winner is…a design by Mateo Barnstone:

Mateo’s design emphasizes a number of features that emphasize Congress Ave as a place to be and not just a place to pass through. 9½’ general travel lanes can be very uncomfortable for drivers to take at speed, but encourage drivers instead to drive slow enough to take in their surroundings. Each wide sidewalk has two columns of street trees, offering a unique, fully-shaded experience to pedestrians walking through the hot Texas sun, as well as shaded benches for taking in the scene.

Thanks to all of you who submitted entries and voted! Congratulations to Ryan, Dan, and Mateo. Mateo, get in touch and I will get you your gift certificate generously donated by Popbar!

Announcing Austin on Your Feet’s new home at TOWERS

I’m very excited to make an announcement that has been a short time coming: Austin on Your Feet has a new home as part of the TOWERS network. For readers of Austin on Your Feet, little will change: instead of reading our particular brand of Austin and national urbanism at WordPress, you’ll be able to continue reading the very same content at our new home: For those who subscribe via email, you’ll need to re-subscribe in the form on the right-hand side. We are also introducing a new twitter account, @atxonyourfeetIn addition to finding the same great blog posts on the blog or via e-mail, now you’ll be able to find our posts appearing on the TOWERS site.

TOWERS is a new force on the Austin media scene: with breaking news and in-depth articles about development, policy, and urban life, written by and for people who care about Austin as a city. I had already been excited about what the site has been becoming so when TOWERS’ publisher and friend-of-the-blog Jude Galligan approached me about joining forces, I was excited to say yes. I hope you can already see the benefits in Austin on Your Feet’s first ever visual refresh and first ever logo!

So, Austin on Your Feet readers, I encourage you to check out the main TOWERS site, like them on Facebook, follow them on twitter, tell your friends! If you like Austin on Your Feet’s posts, you’ll definitely find things to love at TOWERS. To new Austin on Your Feet readers coming in from TOWERS, welcome here! Check out the content that’s made us famous. And I hope to give you at least 9 reasons to stick around.

I’m blogging!

After years of getting progressively more interested in local politics and policy wonkery, I’m making the plunge into joining the conversation.  The goal of the blog is partially to get my ideas out there, but even more so, to put ideas into the crucible of feedback that helps me refine them and understand the context of the city I live in.

Compared to the national and international politics which I spent most of my time on in my 20s, I’ve found local politics to be much harder to break into.  There are fewer sources of both news and analysis of what goes on in local politics, and not many people make a concerted effort to involve new people in policy-making.  Decisions are often hashed out over the course of months and months of back-and-forth and to be in the loop, you often need to attend meetings in person, rather than reading about what happened in the media.  Fortunately, since the internet has really come into its own as a discussion of local issues, it’s getting easier and easier to learn about local politics online; I hope to both benefit from and contribute to this trend.

I’m planning on a very soft launch; perhaps I’ll tell a few friends or my facebook friends, but probably only really publicize after I get some true posts up here.