In many ways, Second Street has become the center of downtown Austin activity. With a dense mix of retail and restaurants, Austin City Limits, and the W Hotel, the 2nd street action continues to accelerate.
One of the ways that the City has made 2nd street social is by creating broad sidewalks with benches, rooms for outdoor cafe seating, and lots of trees and public artwork. Now, the City plans to add these fancy features to the 2nd Street sidewalks between Congress Avenue and the convention center. This will provide a foundation for an improved and more continuous 2nd street experience which will eventually extend from the convention center on Trinity street to Seaholm.
According to the Statesman, “Second Street east of Congress Avenue will be reduced from three lanes to two and lose about two dozen parking spaces under a $5.4 million “great streets” project approved unanimously Thursday by the Austin City Council.
Work is expected to start shortly after South by Southwest in March . Sidewalks along East Second between Congress Avenue and Trinity Street (currently 10 feet wide or less) will be broadened to 32 feet on the north side and 18 feet on the south. That will match the design of Second Street west of Congress where a similar makeover took place in two phases since 2004.
Currently, those three blocks east of Congress have two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane, with parallel parking on both sides of the street. When the 11-month project is done in early 2013, there will be one travel lane in each direction and parallel parking only on the north side.”