AUSTIN, Texas – The second lane of the Interstate 35 at 51st Street roundabout opened Thursday at 9 a.m.

Police officers were at the roundabout to help direct drivers through the new traffic pattern.

The roundabout is a part of the East 51st Street mobility project, which is aimed at improving mobility and safety features.

The Vision Plan states that roundabouts are proven to calm traffic while enhancing the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.

The changes were approved by the City Council in 2012 and sponsored by the Austin Transportation Department.

Other changes coming to the area include:

  • Controlled pedestrian crossings
  • New tree-lined sidewalks
  • Protected bicycle lane
  • New street-parallel parking spots
  • Curb and gutter improvements