Street Smarts

New Guadalupe Street traffic pattern may signal confusion for downtown drivers

New Guadalupe Street traffic pattern may signal confusion for drivers

Capital Metro bus CapMetro Austin transportation
Buses on Guadalupe will appear to be going the wrong way. They're not. Capital Metro/Facebook

KVUE — Heads up, drivers: Guadalupe Street is going to look different the next time you're driving near the University of Texas campus.

The City of Austin and Capital Metro have completed a set of multi-modal improvements, including a new bus-only lane that goes northbound on Guadalupe Street between 18th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It opened August 18.

It's called a "contraflow" lane. That means the buses will be driving toward drivers on Guadalupe, and, yes, they will be going the right way.

This is how the "contraflow" lane works: Buses have their own lane starting at Lavaca Street. They will have their own traffic signal to turn left onto 18th Street from Lavaca.

On 18th, they will turn right on Guadalupe, going against car traffic for a quarter mile until getting to MLK.

To prevent people from driving in the bus-only lane, there are yellow barriers separating the lane. It is painted red and says "bus only."

Jen Golech, the director of operations for Capital Metro, said, "Lavaca and Guadalupe streets are the heaviest in terms of transit. We have about 14 bus routes that go through here every day."

With these changes, it's important for drivers to pay attention to signals and not run red lights because buses will be turning in front of them on Lavaca and 18th Street.

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