Rail Reactions

Mayor Pro Tem chimes in on rail delay

Mike Martinez:
Mike Martinez: "Mayor hits the 'rail' on the head" (Photo by John Anderson)

Should we be surprised at the news of a rail delay?

The announcement on the mayor's blog today reflects Lee Leffingwell's statement at a recent City Council meeting regarding the funding and logistical challenges facing a rail vote: "We're not going to put forth a proposal that that is not completely cooked."

It sounds like he has the full-throated support of at least one council member, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, who writes the following on his Facebook page.

I strongly support Mayor Leffingwell’s position on delaying consideration of the City’s urban rail proposal until more planning has been done and more details have been finalized. As the newly-elected Chair of the Board of Capital Metro, I’m particularly sensitive to the need to ensure that promises made are promises kept. Like the mayor, I’m convinced that urban rail will ultimately be vital to the success of our overall transportation system in Austin and Central Texas, especially as commuter rail now begins to become a central component of that system. I believe this delay will also allow Capital Metro to demonstrate the utility of rail transit in Austin vis-à-vis the Red Line, which I am confident will be a success after it begins operations on March 22.

I also strongly support the mayor’s proposal to proceed with a $100 million transportation bond referendum this November focused on roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails. We know that solving our traffic problems will require a generations-long, multi-modal approach, and I see no reason to wait to pursue investments we know we need to make.

Mike Martinez

Of course, there's some decidedly-less-sunnier reaction in the Twittersphere from former transportation commissioner Mike "M1EK" Dahmus. He tweets:

This is the worst possible news for urban rail - because it means the Red Line will have more time to show it's a failure.

Any other thoughts?

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More City Council
Council Recap: Meet the New Chief, Not the Same as the Old Chief
Council Recap: Meet the New Chief, Not the Same as the Old Chief
Chacon commits to change as academy moves toward reopening

Austin Sanders, March 26, 2021

Council Recap: Melting Snow Everywhere, And Not A Drop to Drink
Council Recap: Melting Snow Everywhere, And Not A Drop to Drink
As water crisis continues, City Hall tries to expedite storm recovery

Austin Sanders, Feb. 26, 2021

More Urban Rail
CCAG Recommends Rail Plan
CCAG Recommends Rail Plan
Task force forwards 'Central Corridor' project to Council, Cap Metro

Michael King, June 13, 2014

Bedfellows Getting Strange
Bedfellows Getting Strange
Urban rail project slammed from opposite wings

Michael King, June 9, 2014

More by Wells Dunbar
Top 10 City Council Stories
Top 10 City Council Stories
Dais and months

Jan. 6, 2012

City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
To the beating hearts of a great city

Dec. 30, 2011

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

City Council, Urban Rail, Mike Martinez, Mike Dahmus, cap metro

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle