The Zilker Metropolitan Park vision plan in Texas is in the clear after the Austin Parks and Recreation Board voted in its favour. According to the board, the plan would serve as a guide for the coming decades of maintenance, environmental restoration and development. However, this comprehensive plan for the 351-acre downtown park is still a long way from being finalized.
A council committee will review the Zilker Metropolitan Park vision plan by June. Afterwards, it will be up for approval by the full council dais in July. If the plan moves forward the featured elements would still come under further public engagement. This step will be followed by a city analysis, design work and cost estimates.
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Kimberly McNeeley, the Parks and Recreation Department Director described the Zilker Metropolitan Park project as one of the most challenging. However, he also said it was one of the most critical and urgent endeavours his department has undertaken. McNeeley said the current plan was the best representation of various concepts and community feedback that they studied and worked on.
Featured amenities in the Zilker Metropolitan Park Plan
The Zilker Metropolitan Park vision plan is proposing a wide range of changes around the park. Some changes will focus on mobility around the park, and environmental and facility additions, including potential updates to the park’s oversight. The proposed transportation changes in the document include the removal of two lanes of traffic on Barton Springs Road.
The plan would also remove informal parking in the Butler Landfill and Polo Fields areas for natural restoration. Additionally, it suggests of closing several roadways to vehicle traffic and converting them to bike and pedestrian routes. Most of the surface parking would also be removed, and parking garages added in and around Zilker to concentrate vehicle traffic.
The facility changes in the Zilker Metropolitan Park vision plan will include building a land bridge over Barton Springs Road. Additionally, the plan would relocate the Hillside Theater to the Great Lawn and build a welcome centre facility near Barton Springs. New bike and pedestrian bridges would also be built across Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake. Other facility changes include building a welcome centre facility near Barton Spring and adding new playgrounds throughout the park.