Who cares about this bridge?

Who cares about this bridge?
The City Hall lobby during the last City Council meeting of the year today.

Good news at the 911 center

The 911 center has made great strides in filling vacancies. Brianna Hollis of KXAN reports:

Asst. Interim City Manager Bruce Mills said “we’ll be close to 100% staffed in the next two-to-three weeks at 911.”
Staffing issues have plagued the emergency communications center for nearly four years now, with KXAN previously reporting 100 people left Austin 911 between 2019 and 2021.
...After hearing Mills’ comment, we asked the Austin Police Department about current staffing levels. The department provided the following numbers.
Call-takers: 21 vacancies out of 104 total positions (20% vacancy rate)
Dispatchers: 5 vacancies out of 75 positions (7% vacancy rate)
By comparison, in July, there were 47 call-taker vacancies – a roughly 50% vacancy rate.

As a result, in November call-takers answered 93% of calls within 15 seconds, up from 69% in July.

This is really good news. For all the talk about the police shortage, I think the shortage of 911 operators –– who are not officers –– had a much greater impact on the public perception of city services and public safety. There is nothing more demoralizing than calling 911 and getting put on hold.

Who's going to miss the Barton Springs Road Bridge?

Council voted unanimously today to approve a plan to replace the century-old bridge that extends Barton Springs Road over the creek and into Zilker Park.