The White Horse
"...In his press release, Riley puts out a platform of "protecting Austin's environmental resources, improving public transportation, and increasing citizen engagement in city decision-making." He'll be launching his campaign website, chrisforaustin.com, later this week...."
"...The CAMPO nominations committee today recommended that community activist Frank Fernandez, transportation and land use consultant John H. Langmore, and Austin Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez fill the three slots that organization gets on the Capital Metro Board of Directors...."
"...2 commissioner, former Pct. 2 Commissioner Karen Sonleitner, former Council Member Brigid Shea, who has also filed initial paperwork to run for the seat; former City Council candidate Margot Clarke, attorney and city Water and Wastewater Commissioner Sarah Faust, accountability watchdog Richard Viktorin, and attorney Jeb Boyt, who serves on the board of Alliance for Public Transportation...."
"...• $30 million: The Regional Transportation Management and I-35 Integrated Corridor Management, including, among other things, "a new regional transportation management center, with improved and expanded technologies" aimed at improving the city's ability to manage the entire regional transportation system and improve traffic flow...."
"...Johnson said the break between legislative sessions offered an opportune moment to go into private practice. He's now exploring opportunities in partnership with John Trube, a development consultant and former Buda mayor who's on the board of directors of the Alliance for Public Transportation..."
"...But the remarkable thing about how Uber and Lyft chose to go was that after storming out and slamming the door behind them, they have continued to insist that their hands are tied, that they've been forced to leave by a city council – and now presumably an entire electorate – that won't let them do business here. (But others will, and already do, and we'll see how quickly any of them can scale up to become a truly useful transportation option; see "Filling the Gap," May 13.)..."
"...28, the Austin Steam Train Association and the Travis County Historical Commission will celebrate the installation of a new historical marker at the southwest corner of Third and Congress, site of the International & Great Northern Railroad depot built in 1888. With the Houston & Texas Central Railroad depot on the opposite corner, this intersection became the center of transportation in and out of Austin for decades...."
"...Eight separate events will allow the candidates in each of the 10 new districts, as well as the candidates for mayor, to address issues of concern to the music, film, and digital industries; the nonprofit arts communities; and other areas of creative activity (fashion, design, culinary arts, books and literature, et al.) in Austin. Many of the hot topics in that sector align with those in the larger community – affordability, particularly in regard to health and housing; transportation; support for and regulation of small businesses; community infrastructure – but because the contributions of creatives have historically been tied to the city's affordability, rising rents and and other costs, along with shrinking numbers of properties in the central city that can be used for creative purposes, threaten to have a disproportionate impact on local artists, designers, musicians, filmmakers, and their fellow creatives..."
"...Like other City Council candidates, Kitchen is shaping her campaign theme around the city’s growing number of challenges like affordability and transportation, along with the other growing pains that come with being the 11th largest city in the nation...."
"...Three environmental groups and the conservation district sue the Texas Department of Transportation to halt construction of the southern extension of MoPac Boulevard in the recharge zone. The settlement between the conservation district and the highway department includes an agreement for additional environmental safeguards..."
"...Mobility Talks (and does show-and-tell). The city of Austin is hosting an informational get-together of local transportation agencies to provide information about the various agencies' services and projects in the Austin region, 1-4pm Tuesday, June 14, in the City Hall atrium..."
"...The western end of SH 45 South, which some environmentalists feared would increase demand to build in the Barton Springs Watershed, isn't completely disappearing from the state Department of Transportation's map -- it just won't be built as soon as everyone thought...."
"...The ugliness of that particular element caught a lot of folks' attention, there was a lot of negative feedback to CTRMA and the Texas Dept. of Transportation, and, well, the plan remains pretty much the same..."
"...The Guadalupe Street Corridor Improvement Program is an Austin Transportation Department initiative to identify and recommend transportation improvements along the Guadalupe Street Corridor, from MLK up to 29th Street, between Rio Grande Street to the west and a block into the UT-Austin campus to the east. They're holding a two-part meeting on Wed., May 11 – Business Open House, 3:30-5:30pm; Public Meeting, 6-8pm – at University Presbyterian Church, 2203 San Antonio St..."
"...6, in order to accommodate college students who are still away on winter break. This Austin Transportation Department project is intended to "identify and recommend short- to long-term transportation improvements to enhance mobility, safety, and quality of life along the Guadalupe Street Corridor," between MLK and 29th..."
"...Most Austinites recognize the city's traffic crisis, said Leffingwell, and that if nothing is done, it will only get worse. For only $10 or $15 more a month in taxes, voters could get a system that could offer additional transportation options and alleviate some of the city's congestion even for those that won't use the system..."
"...In addition to the economic, quality-of-life, clean air and other reasons to reduce traffic congestion and auto/oil dependency, said Wynn, the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from cars is a key motivation. According to Growing Cooler: The Evidence on Urban Development and Climate Change, transportation accounts for one-third of CO2 emissions in the United States – the globe's largest emitter of greenhouse gases that cause global warming..."
"...Here in Austin, citizens are caught in the middle of major relationship drama. It's playing out between the city of Austin and transportation network companies (and the political action campaigns they fund)..."
"...• TNCs are not supposed to operate at Bergstrom Airport, until airport administration figures out how to charge them the same sorts of fees all other ground transportation services pay to operate there. But with no such system in the works, and no enforcement mechanism available, expect drivers to ignore this provision, if they're even aware of it...."
"...At its meeting today (Thursday, Aug. 7), City Council is expected to discuss, and likely vote to approve, a transportation bond package, with specific bond language for the Nov..."
"...Is it that time already? Yesterday, Lee Leffingwell and business, development and community leaders kicked off the campaign to “Get Austin Moving,” rallying support for the $90 million transportation bond election coming to voters this November...."
"...They cost too much money and deliver too few positive results, he says. He doesn't necessarily argue against mass transit – indeed, he recognizes its necessity in providing transportation options for those who, for whatever reason, cannot drive themselves..."
"...(According to Planning Commissioner Dave Anderson, little Pflugerville had 300 people show up for its comprehensive plan meetings.) A number of close observers are critical and concerned, including Jeb Boyt and Glenn Gadbois of the Austin Urban Coalition. That group is advancing a New Urbanist, or "town centers," model for sustainable growth; its participants include the Alliance for Public Transportation, Congress for the New Urbanism – Central Texas, the Downtown Austin Alliance, League of Bicycling Voters, and others..."
"...Reconnecting America argues that a household's housing and transportation costs should be weighed as a "budget bundle." Research studies they quoted show that many working-class households could gain discretionary income by living close-in, within walking distance of transit. While housing may cost more, total annual transportation costs can drop more than enough to compensate, if one less car is required..."
"...Among the groups endorsing the proposal were members of pro-bond coalition Get Austin Moving: Austin Technology Council, the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Hill Country Conservancy, Shoal Creek Conservancy, the Trail Foundation, and the Alliance for Public Transportation...."
"...Initial reaction to the proposal by local transit advocates was mixed. Over the weekend, Lonny Stern of the Alliance for Public Transportation posted a lengthy analysis of the Team’s proposal, suggesting that most local media – settling on the total price tag for their headlines – had “buried the lede.” Stern continued: “The real news from CCAG’s May 2 report is that the team selected an alignment from Grove Blvd to Highland Mall that includes: 1) a new bridge over Lady Bird Lake, 2) a tunnel at the Hancock Center, and 3) a price tag of $1.38 billion 4) to be funded 50% by federal funds and 50% by a November bond election..."
"...Leffingwell, $37K for Deep Eddy pool during the Springs' renovation. Kim, $25K for the Alliance for Public Transportation..."
"...The post in question – “Can Project Connect Connect?” (read it here) – summarized the Project Connect “Locally Preferred Option” recommendations to last Friday’s Central Corridor Advisory Group meeting, followed by reactions from the Alliance for Public Transportation (middling supportive) and the Our Rail PAC (adamantly opposed). At issue was a parenthetical reference to AURA as akin to Our Rail in the position that “the only acceptable northern corridor is Lamar/Guadalupe.”..."
"...The moment provided an amusing snapshot of plenty of transportation discussions in Austin. When it comes to considering what to do about Austin's explosive growth and the distressing traffic it has spawned, we're all armed and ready to fight the last war, and we all seem to know more than the professionals we employ to address the problems..."
"... Mayors Will Wynn of Austin and John Cowman of Leander, joined by a variety of local neighborhood and business leaders, kicked off the Alliance for Public Transportation Wednesday morning. While carefully skirting the subject of endorsements like possibly endorsing the upcoming Capital Metro bond issue Wynn says the group's broad purpose is to raise awareness of how public transit can improve the quality of life in the region..."
"...Both are bigger than the streetcar project itself. As Central Texas slouches toward a regional vision to be born for transportation, land-use planning, and the environment big-picture solutions increasingly will demand complex partnering and financial co-investments among multiple entities..."
"...There is a lot more to come, and, if we do it right, we'll have that political capital to do more. We are confident that we are well-positioned to do well." – Scott Gross, Austin Transportation Department..."
"...* Active in Alliance for Public Transportation, Stonewall Democrats, Sustainable Food Center, Capital Area Food Bank, Robert Mueller Redevelopment Committee..."
"...The board currently has seven members: two appointed by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (a body of Central Texas elected officials that drives transportation policy in the region), two Austin City Council members, a Travis County commissioner, a Williamson County elected official, and a city council member of a Travis County city other than Austin (appointed by peers)...."
"...Independent groups publicly supporting the city of Austin urban rail proposal include: Alliance for Public Transportation Real Estate Council of Austin Downtown Austin Alliance Austin Sierra Club Austin Gets Around Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association Congress for a New Urbanism (Central Texas) ATX Safer Streets Brazos Tech District Let's Go Austin PAC University of Texas-Austin..."
"...The G.O. portion of the bond ballot would allow voters to decide on five propositions, representing the following categories of projects: Public Safety; Parks and Recreation; Libraries, Museums, and Cultural Centers; Public Works and Transportation; and Flood Erosion and Control (see chart )...."
"...Dear Senator Watson: Thank you for the opportunity and privilege to serve as chairman of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors for more than 10 years. When I became chair in 1997, the authority was in great turmoil, facing indictments, and on the edge of imploding. Many in the community openly questioned Capital Metro's value to Central Texas and its trustworthiness as a public service organization..."
"...And Cap Metro's problems reached full boil when it was announced that the FRA had filed even more allegations against the labor contractor, Veolia Transportation, which was responsible – maybe – for yet another MetroRail launch delay, this time indefinitely. (Cap Metro is now scheduled to give a progress report to the community on May 15 – we'll see.)..."
"...There were a few dissenters at the meeting who spoke in favor of the increase, including Glenn Gadbois of the Alliance for Public Transportation, who said, "We cannot continue to starve the system of money if we expect it to grow."*..."
"...Initial reaction to the proposal by local transit advocates was mixed. Over the weekend, Lonny Stern of the Alliance for Public Transportation posted a lengthy analysis of the team's proposal, suggesting that most local media – settling on the total price tag for their headlines – had "buried the lede." Stern continued: "The real news from CCAG's May 2 report is that the team selected an alignment from Grove Boulevard to Highland Mall that includes:..."
"...Under the current political mandate, via the Transit Working Group of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization: Items 1 and 2 above must be fully vetted before proceeding to: 3) a financing analysis and plan and 4) a voter referendum. Thus, key goals defined in the CAMPO Transportation Investment Decision Tree informed the ROMA recommendations: Connect existing destinations, link jobs and housing, serve low-income and transit-dependent populations, maximize ridership, support and catalyze transit-oriented development, and be cost-effective..."
"...Johnson said he's shopped the basic concept around to multiple local stakeholders and that it's received "overwhelming" positive support. What it hasn't received is a thorough regional vetting for its impact on land-use and transportation planning; Johnson and his staff have been focused on the logistics, fiscal issues, and the politics of simply getting the basic consolidation concept to fly..."
"...That's how Jarrett Walker, a widely read transit evangelist, describes the basis for a sound system of public transportation. "High frequency means transit is coming soon, which means that it approximates the feeling of liberty you have with your private vehicle – that you can go any time."..."
"...KEEP AUSTIN BLUE MEET-UP Hear from a panel of experts on transportation – Capital Metro's Todd Hemingson and Matt Curtis and the Alliance for Public Transportation's Glenn Gadbois. 6:30pm..."
"...Will UT students organize as vocal Austin streetcar advocates? At a campus meeting recently, the UT student group Urban Development Society asked Capital Metro representative Matt Curtis about immediate plans to expand regional public transportation and rail transit options. The meeting generated a front-page story in The Daily Texan and an offer from UT student government leaders to help organize broader pro-transit advocacy on campus...."
"...Soon we'll be asked to go to the well once again for affordable housing, and likely as not, next year we'll consider whether to do the same for public transportation. Yes, these are real financial burdens to be seriously weighed in the public balance; but they are also the prices we pay for a livable and sustainable community..."
"...And $125,000 was transferred to the Austin Technology Incubator to fund McCracken's goal/campaign promise of biotech research and development but only after Lee Leffingwell offered an amendment making further funding contingent on a full report to council – and the gray goo not becoming sentient and enslaving humanity. (Well, maybe not the last part.) Deep Eddy got $37,000 to keep it open year round while Barton Springs is closed for construction (i.e., Phase 1 of the swimming hole's master plan; see Capital Budget below), $26,650 went to bilingual bonuses for Asian-language speakers, and $25,000 to the new Alliance for Public Transportation..."
"...According to an internal study, the percentage of low-income people within a five-minute walk of frequent service will increase from 15% to 27%, and the percentage within a 10-minute walk will rise from 33% to 48%. Both the Alliance for Public Transportation and AURA back Cap Metro's calculation, and say the plan will provide better service to current riders while making transit more appealing to many who currently avoid it due to long waits and inefficient, meandering routes...."
"...• COMPREHENSIVE COMPADRES Revving up for the city's comprehensive planning process is a new group-of-groups, the Austin Urban Coalition. Charter members include the Alliance for Public Transportation, the American Institute of Architects-Austin, Congress for the New Urbanism-Central Texas, and U.S..."