Two Proposals That Will Devastate Traffic

RECEIVED Sat., Feb. 8, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Austin is divided into four parts. Two features cut completely through the city and must be crossed to get from one part to the other, and the points at which they can be crossed are limited in number. These features are the Colorado River, which cleaves the city from east to west, and I-35, which slices it from north to south. Crossing points of these features create traffic choke-points every day, and if anything happens to any of these roadways during the morning or afternoon rush hour, gridlock ensues.
    If you live or spend a lot of time in the southeast quadrant of the city, there are a couple of things you should be paying attention to. There are two proposals presently under consideration which will, if enacted, negatively impact your access to the rest of Austin. One is the closing of Woodland Avenue where it crosses under I-35, and the other is the closing of two of the four lanes of Pleasant Valley Road where it crosses the Colorado River on Longhorn Dam. Neither of these proposals is being widely publicized, but if you live in southeast Austin and routinely travel to other parts of the city, you can easily see the potential for chaos if either of these proposals were to go through. If they both are approved, the whole is worse than the sum of the parts.
    These proposals are being made by different parties for independent reasons, but our City Council is aware of both of them. I urge you to contact your council members and let your feelings be known if you are, as I am, concerned by the worsening of the already horrific traffic problems on the surface streets of southeast Austin that would be brought about by these changes.
Gordon Gunn
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