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Community pushes for transportation options at city meeting

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Members of the community addressed the City's Urban Transportation Commission Tuesday night about how to make Austin events and the streets surrounding them safer.

There are two main points of concern. How to prevent another tragedy like this year's SXSW fatal crash and giving people more transportation options, not just during special events, but all year long.

Some recent information released by the organization ATX Safer Streets reveals half of the 651 people surveyed go out and drink two times a week.

Sixty-six percent admit to driving intoxicated because they feel they don't have another viable option to get home. Ninety-four percent say they would use public transit, if it were available later at night.

Presentations regarding a SXSW resolution and safer streets took place during the Urban Transportation Commission meeting.

The commission members agree the city needs to come up with more standardized street closures, excluding the transit priority lane for buses. Transportation network companies, or TNC's, like Uber, Sidecar and Lyft were also discussed.

"Eighty-one percent of our survey said they would use TNC's if they were legalized. These companies are currently being used in other cities and we believe that utilizing the current codes in California and Chicago's legalization of TNCs can act as a basis as suitable regulations to protect both drivers and passengers," Sara LeVine of ATX Safer Streets said.

Another issue brought up is that SXSW in Austin is now a spring break destination and didn't use to be.

Several of the commission members agree it might be time to consider investing in retractable barriers similar to those at the Capitol and Governor's Mansion.

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