BG Note | News - What We're Reading (November 27, 2017)
Could ‘dockless’ bike-share be an Uber-Lyft replay for Austin? (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
The sudden appearance of several dozen “dockless” bikes back in March might have a familiar ring to anyone who watched Uber and Lyft barge unauthorized into the Austin market back in 2014.
The rental bicycles, some of them bright yellow and others a non-Austintatious shade of orange, simply showed up here and there on downtown Austin streets as South by Southwest kicked off. City officials, looking at the Ofo and Spin logos on the bikes — some properly upright on kick-stands, others lying forlornly on their sides — were befuddled at first. There were even a few gray bikes from a company creatively called Donkey Republic.
“We tried to get ahold of them, and weren’t initially successful,” said Laura Dierenfield, the city’s Active Transportation manager. “There was absolutely no understanding of who they were, how they were operating at all.”
Rosedale bar expansion elicits neighborhood resistance (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
For established neighborhood businesses like the Draught House in North Central Austin, it can be an uphill battle to convince those nearby that expansion does not necessarily mean selling out to the new kids on the block. At its Nov. 14 meeting, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the pub and brewery, a Rosedale neighborhood staple, be permitted to spread to a second story, under the condition that the applicant does not build a second-floor deck...
Colony Park could bounce back with planned development (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
At a recent meeting attended by about 40 developers, city staffers laid out a vision of a dense mixed-use neighborhood with green infrastructure. The city estimated in its master plan that the development would add 3,031 housing units to Colony Park, with about one-third being single-family homes. It would also create about 1 million square feet of commercial development.
Ahead for the Colony Park project is a Dec. 21 deadline for developers to submit qualifications for the first phase of the plan. In January, the city will announce a short list of finalists who will have until June to submit proposals. The site’s master developer should be selected next summer, city staffers said...
Changes in the Texas wholesale energy grid may increase prices (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
In August 2017, City Council made a commitment to providing 65 percent renewable energy to its residents by 2027. This aggressive energy plan is, according to Robert Cullick, director of communications and marketing at Austin Energy, the only one of its kind in the country.
At the Nov. 13 meeting of Council’s Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee, Erika Bierschbach, AE’s market operations and risk management manager, reviewed upcoming changes to the Texas wholesale energy grid and their corresponding effects on pricing. The most noteworthy of these changes was a 5 percent shutdown of fossil fuel power generation in 2018...
UT regents expected to authorize bid to run Los Alamos (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
The governing board of the 14-campus University of Texas System was expected on Monday to authorize a proposal to run Los Alamos National Laboratory, birthplace of the nation’s nuclear weapons program.
The UT System tried once before to have a hand in running Los Alamos, partnering with Lockheed Martin Corp. but losing out in 2005.
The regents, who are scheduled to meet by phone Monday afternoon, could also take action on a proposal to have the system participate in a research collaboration in Houston with the Texas A&M University System, Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Medical Center. The project, known as TMC3, would involve two UT System institutions, MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Health Science Center at Houston...