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Williams Drive Study

In recent years the City of Georgetown and its community members have undertaken a number of studies to spur the redevelopment of the Williams Drive corridor, both as a gateway and as an entire corridor. This study is the first to consider both transportation and catalytic development sites, prioritizing the safe and convenient travel of vehicles, transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians along with development visions. It is the culmination of a year-long community planning process. It proposes context sensitive multimodal operational improvements, streetscape changes, and mixed-use development concepts that will transformhow people travel and live within and along the corridor.

Planning Context

The Williams Drive Study was informed by a number of local plans, policy documents, and guidelines. Specific recommendations and concepts were developed within the context of CAMPO’s Platinum Planning Program that prioritizes multimodal transportation, mixed land use, housing choices,
environment, economic development, and equity. Key planning documents and guidelines that were reviewed include:
• 2003 Williams Drive Corridor Study
• 2005 Williams Drive Gateway Redevelopment Study
• 2006 Williams Drive Gateway Redevelopment Master Plan
• 2030 Comprehensive Plan
• 2014 Overall Transportation Plan
• The Mobility35 Implementation Plan
• 2015 Sidewalk Master Plan
• 2040 CAMPO Regional Transportation Plan

Key Findings

Traffic Congestion/Circulation
• Traffic congestion and circulation is a significant concern. Congestion, particularly at the intersection
with I-35, is a key challenge and is currently under design through a separate TxDOT initiative. The lack of
alternative connections also highlights the constraints that Williams Drive operates under on a daily basis.

Traffic Operations & Safety
• Traffic Operations & Safety along the corridor is highlighted by a lack of access management, with
corridor-wide center turn lanes and over 150 curb cuts. The unsynchronized traffic signal timing leads to
an interrupted vehicle flow and underutilized capacity.

Redevelopment and Reinvestment Barriers
• Redevelopment and reinvestment opportunities are challenged by City and State development
requirements, as well as fragmented ownership amongst neighboring parcels. The current zoning also
presents barriers, as it is not tailored to suit the corridor and its land use potential.

Pedestrian/Bicycle Improvements
• Multimodal transportation opportunities along Williams Drive will be enhanced with transit service
beginning in 2017. Transit will operate within the southeastern section of the corridor with a single route
circulating from Downtown out Williams Drive on an hourly headway.
• Pedestrian activity and bicycle ridership are almost non-existent along the corridor today. Fast-moving
traffic dominates the street, creating an unpleasant environment for other users. Williams Drive does not
currently have any bicycle lanes, but wide shoulders are present along sections of the corridor. Sidewalks
are narrow and intermittent. The vehicle-oriented design of the corridor has limited the attractiveness of
biking and walking. Major barriers, such as I-35, also present both a physical and psychological obstacle.

Aesthetic Enhancements
• Development along the corridor has evolved through various iterations of zoning codes, leaving signage,
landscaping, frontage usage, parking, etc. that do not conform to current code.

Progress to Date:

  • City Council Acceptance of Study and Adoption of the Short Term Implementation Plan
  • Traffic signal coordination, installation of flashing yellow arrows to alleviate turning conflicts and improve light wait times
  • Award by Central Texas Transportation Plan of the Year, 2017
  • Award of $1.38M in Federal transportation funding for access improvement.

Projects underway:

Construction of turn lanes at Rivery Blvd and Williams Drive.
The City has begun work to incorporate the land use findings from the Centers Area of the Williams Drive Study as part of the update to the City’s Comprehensive Plan update, which will include additional outreach opportunities.

Work will commence this summer on the Rivery Boulevard extension project and expected to be completed by mid-2019, creating additional connectivity to Northwest Boulevard and eventually over I-35. Recommendations resulting from the Williams Drive Study have been incorporated into the design of Rivery Boulevard. Following the completion of Rivery Boulevard in mid-2019, the City will begin constructing the Northwest Boulevard Bridge, which will provide a parallel route to Williams Drive from Austin Avenue to Lakeway Drive.

Study Links: