University of Texas to Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon
"...On Friday, May 2, the Project Connect team presented its “Locally Preferred Alternative” recommendation for urban rail to Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s Central Corridor Advisory Group. It runs from Highland on the north to Riverside/Grove on the south, features a new bridge over Lady Bird Lake, and possibly a tunnel at Hancock..."
"...Earlier today, Project Connect made its official recommendation to Mayor Lee Leffingwell’s Central Corridor Advisory Group (CCAG), regarding the next high-capacity transit investment...."
"...On Friday, June 13, the Central Corridor Advisory Group, a 16-member city advisory group on transportation, is expected to confirm its long-anticipated recommendation of an urban rail proposal, familiarly known as the initial phase of "Project Connect." The recommendation will move to the City Council, the Capital Metro board of directors, and the Lone Star Rail District board of directors. Cap Metro is expected to vote on a plan June 23, with Council likely to follow on June 26..."
"...On Friday, May 2, the Project Connect team presented its Locally Preferred Alternative recommendation for urban rail to Mayor Lee Leffingwell's Central Corridor Advisory Group (CCAG). It would run from Highland on the north to Riverside/Grove on the south, features a new bridge over Lady Bird Lake, and possibly a tunnel at Hancock..."
"...On Saturday, April 12, at Midway Field House on East Riverside, the Project Connect Central Corridor study team hosted the last public workshop before they present the "Locally Preferred Alternative" to the Central Corridor Advisory Group on May 2. The workshop/open house provided more information about Austin's potential high-capacity transit service, modes, and routes...."
"...This Friday, Nov. 15, Project Connect, the regional planning initiative under the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), will present its first formal recommendation for which Austin sub-corridor to prioritize to receive light rail..."
"...While a final mass transit recommendation isn't expected until May – to be brought to Austin voters in November – the Project Connect team is getting closer to an official recommendation to City Council. On March 21, the Central Corridor Advisory Group discussed the latest work-in-progress, followed up with a briefing at last week's Council meeting..."
"...On Friday, Nov. 15, Project Connect – the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization's regional planning initiative – made its official recommendation to Mayor Lee Leffingwell's Central Corridor Advisory Group regarding the proposed next high-capacity transit investment, recommending the East Riverside (south and east on East Riverside Drive) and Highland (north along Red River Street) sub-corridors as the top prospects for initial urban rail development..."
"...At the May 16 meeting of the Central Corridor Advisory Group, the Project Connect team was expected to offer its recommendation for phasing options for the initial route it had proposed on May 2 (from Highland Mall south to East Riverside). That didn't happen, but instead, the team presented three different options for the core plan, all starting at Grove & Riverside on the south end, and including a new bridge over Lady Bird Lake...."
"...On Friday, Dec. 6, the Central Corridor Advisory Group, appointed by Mayor Lee Leffingwell to advise city officials on the development of urban rail, approved Project Connect's sub-corridor recommendations of East Riverside and Highland by a vote of 14-1..."
"...The "Project Connect" rail proposal is currently making its official rounds and its public outreach tour (more details in "Project Connect Accelerates"), although final decisions about the size and cost of the project are yet to be made. The appointed Central Corridor Advisory Group will make a recommendation Friday that goes to the City Council and the Capital Metro board, at a joint meeting that will take place Tuesday, June 17, and both bodies will respond with decisions by late June..."
"...At the May 16 meeting of the Central Corridor Advisory Group (a committee of elected officials and local leaders appointed by Mayor Lee Leffingwell), the Project Connect team presented three different options for a route running from East Riverside up to north of UT ("Project Connect: Three Rail Plans Mulled for CCAG," May 23.)..."
"...On Monday, June 23, the Capital Metro Board of Directors voted to endorse the proposed urban rail line connecting the Highland redevelopment to East Riverside, adding language in support of future expansion to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Today, (Thursday, June 26), City Council is expected to vote on the proposed rail line as well as area road projects, recommended to be in a 60/40 proportion, rail spending to road spending..."
"...She feels like Austinites connect to the simplicity the image the Empty Bowl Project presents – a visual reminder that we all have friends and neighbors who suffer the effects of hunger. Attendees are invited to pick out their favorite bowls, a medium that Asthalter suspects was probably originally chosen by Hartom and his students because, she imagines, “Bowls were a relatively easy form to throw on the wheel and/or hand build,” and fill them with soup – “an inexpensive way to feed a large group.”..."
"...2) Connect with street workers in Austin. (Most of SWOP met online because they were working in online spaces.)..."
"...DJ: We tried to find themes that were universally about daily life – something that each culture would experience. I think it's important when we pick music that we pick things that are going to connect with people and things that people will find inspirational or emotionally conductive so that 21st century audiences can bring something into their lives from medieval music..."
"...James Burke is a pretty happening guy for a historian. On his seminal Connections TV series, the Oxford-educated scholar zigzagged his way around the globe, demonstrating how, for instance, Napoleon was important to the development of the computer..."
"...The campaign in support of Project Connect, and its proposed initial rail line now entering the final decision phase, hasn’t really gotten rolling yet. Nevertheless, supporters and detractors of mass transit unhappy with the plan aren't waiting – they're taking aim and blasting away...."
"...Newsdesk was righteously Tweeted this morning by members of Austinites for Urban Rail Action, after we posted a summation of reactions to the latest urban rail proposal by the Project Connect Study Team. AURA wants it known they are ‘not now and have never been’ advocates of ‘Lamar/Guadalupe’ only for Austin’s initial urban rail route...."
"...As November’s expected vote on a transportation bond nears, Austinites are beginning to form groups and taking positions on mass transit. Two groups have formed in expectation of support for the fall bond; a third, unhappy with the initial Project Connect plans, expects to oppose the bond...."
"...Friday afternoon, the Central Corridor Advisory Group, a 14-member committee appointed to review local mass transit options, voted 13-1 to recommend the Project Connect planning team's Central Corridor – Riverside/Grove to Highland – to the City Council and the Capital Metro board, which will hear the recommendations next week...."
"...This week's (March 27), at a mere 56 items, fits the pattern, though there is undoubtedly sufficient grist for the public mill. One subject that jumps out on the list is a morning briefing: the Project Connect "Central Corridor Update" on urban rail plans, mainly because of its ongoing importance and the likelihood of continuing controversy over precisely where the north-south route (river to uptown) should run..."
"...7) to approve the municipal election scheduled for Nov. 4, and to include on that ballot a transportation bond, estimated at a total of $1 billion – $600 million for the rail project known as Project Connect and $400 million for road projects, a few of which could also serve (down the line) for multimodal connections to the rail project..."
"...The bond package, based on the SMP, would (over its term) cost an estimated $1 billion, with $400 million for road improvements and $600 million for urban rail. The $600 million would cover a little less than half of Project Connect's $1.38 billion Central Corridor Urban Rail project (aka the "Locally Preferred Alternative")..."
"...If all goes according to plan, the future course of mass transit in Central Texas will be decided within the next two weeks. After a series of public planning workshops (see below), the intergovernmental Project Connect: Central Corridor planning team will recommend to City Council which corridor to target for Austin's next big transit investment – presumably, the long awaited first link in an urban rail system, to be made ballot-ready for next November...."
"...Even as the Project Connect proposal moves closer to official approval and enabling votes, opposition to the urban rail project continues to simmer. Last week, two groups otherwise unlikely to find common ground – mass transit supporters Central Austin Community Development Corporation and highway enthusiasts Coalition on Sustainable Transportation – both issued salvos strongly opposing the current Project Connect proposals...."
"...The folks supporting transit rail for Austin are tiptoeing back onto the stump, hoping to put together some kind of a rail plan to succeed the voter-rejected Project Connect plan of November 2014. I applaud their chutzpah – the Chronicle editorial board went down in flames on that one, along with last year's City Council that had placed the rail plan on the ballot..."
"...As currently proposed, $600 million of the bonds, if endorsed by the voters, would fund urban rail (aka "Project Connect"), and cover a little less than half the rail project, estimated at $1.38 billion in total. If the voters approve, the city would apply for matching funds from the Federal Transportation Administration – the planners believe the project should succeed, but the local bond issuance would finally be dependent on FTA support – which could take several years for approval..."
"...That's not surprising, since the event was organized by people opposed to the project, including District 4 City Council candidate Laura Pressley, Mary Rudig of the "Love North Austin" newsletter, and Clint Smith of the local Gray Panthers. The initially announced panel included speakers adamantly opposed to all rail, speakers adamantly opposed to this rail plan – and a Project Connect punching-bag-to-be-named-later...."
"...While opponents of the urban rail plan have relentlessly voiced that opposition for months, official agencies such as Capital Metro and Project Connect "are in a strict 'education only, no advocacy' position," says Cap Metro's John Julitz – as is required by Texas state law regulating the use of public funds for political advertising (Texas Election Code § 255.003). Nevertheless, not everyone agrees on what constitutes "political advocacy."..."
"...(See for yourselves!) On Monday, Dec. 17, Capital Metro's board approved a new Project Connect vision – in the works for two years and leaked and dissected by stakeholders months ago – that includes all your favorite north-south and east-west corridors but remains agnostic as to what technology to use for high-capacity transit – rail, bus rapid transit (the real thing, not MetroRapid), or "autonomous rapid transit," i.e., robots...."
"...Cap Metro CEO Randy Clarke chose an interesting setting to unveil the latest iteration of his agency's long-range plan on Monday presenting "the Project Connect vision" in a speech at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce's annual Regional Mobility Summit, where he might rightly have expected a warm reception to a plan calling for a large and sustained public infrastructure investment, with little mention (yet) of how the bills are to be paid. The vision is built on a number of core assumptions: the need for "dedicated pathways that allow transit vehicles to operate free from other traffic"; the inevitability of "autonomous rapid transit (ART)," or self-driving, networked vehicles; the concurrent switch to all-electric power; and the use of large new park-and-ride facilities, presumably to bridge the gap with the Luddites who still own cars...."
"...Dear Editor, Suppose that you have $800 million to spend on urban rail. Since the federal government will not contribute more than half, Austin taxpayers would have to provide at least $400 million [“Project Connect: Central Corridor Options,” News, April 18]..."
"...› On May 2, the Project Connect Study Team presented its "locally preferred alternative" initial urban rail route to the Central Corridor Advisory Group. And surprise: It's the route everyone knew would be selected all along – from Grove Blvd./Riverside on the south, across a bridge to be built over Lady Bird Lake, and north to Highland Mall – at an estimated price tag of $1.38 billion..."
"...7 meeting was truncated to let city staff devote more time to recovery work, and several matters on that agenda were postponed to this one. A few are already contentious: Project Connect (a CAMPO initiative) was scheduled to brief Council on its recommendation of the Riverside and Highland sub-corridors for the initial urban rail lines – that's been postponed to Dec..."
"...The other heavily watched item for the evening was “Project Connect,” both a briefing and tentatively a Council endorsement of the “sub-corridors” recommended by the Central Corridor Advisory Group (although in keeping with bureaucratic boilerplate, the agenda listed the proposal as nominally the city manager’s recommendation). Without rehearsing the ins-and-outs of the whole debate – recounted in some detail in this week’s Chronicle cover story, “Urban Rail: Which Way to Connect?” – let it be said that few of the arguments have not been heard before..."
"...(Foolproof cure for insomnia: Channel 6 after 10pm.) Nevertheless, Council will soldier on, and they've got plenty to attack, based on the listed agenda as well as some hot-button items that struck sparks at Tuesday's work session. The morning briefing (Item 87), for example, is on the Project Connect urban rail plan, paired with a nominal "consent" Item 67 approving the proposed Phase 1 recommendations that came out of the PC working group and the Central Corridor Advisory Group, although here appearing with the bureaucratic boilerplate of being officially a City Manager's recommendation (see "Urban Rail: Which Way to Connect?")..."
"...Public transportation needs to be looked at, in my opinion, in that perspective: It's a community benefit. It may not necessarily go directly to your neighborhood or in your area, but the vision is, that once Project Connect is finished out, there will be enough modes and enough options to where, folks will be a part of that transit system..."
"...For starters, there’s the faltering marriage between a self-involved architect and his unhappy wife, the repressed grief of an activist who crusades for the destruction of her home, and the seemingly random sexual confusion experienced by three teenagers. While these narrative threads might be compelling if more fully developed, they just seem to dangle here with little logic to connect them..."
"...It's a good thing he's got his bearings, because the upcoming year, which formally began with Monday's swearing-in of both new (Paige Ellis and Natasha Harper-Madison) and returning (Mayor Steve Adler, Ann Kitchen, Pio Renteria, Kathie Tovo) council members, isn't likely to prove any lighter a load. He'll earn the pay raise Council gave him at the end of last year as he reinvents CodeNEXT, spends the money voters approved in the 2018 and 2016 bonds, implements the long-gestating Austin Strategic Mobility Plan in conjunction with Capital Metro's Project Connect, and tackles the homelessness crisis facing every corner of the city..."
"...The more exciting local mobility projects are mostly still in the design phase; construction won't begin for a few years. Shovels should hit the ground in the fall of 2020 on an urban trail connecting the MoPac Bicycle Bridge project to Southwest Parkway..."
"...2) ONLY CONNECT Another seemingly endless project – multi-modal mass transit – took another step with a Council decision to move forward on Project Connect, a still-disputed urban rail plan to place before the voters next November...."
"...The other heavily watched item was "Project Connect," both a briefing and tentatively a Council endorsement of the "sub-corridors" recommended by the Central Corridor Advisory Group. The arguments were recounted in some detail in last week's cover story, "Urban Rail: Which Way to Connect?" The central debate, still simmering, is whether the "Highland" or the "Lamar/Guadalupe" sub-corridor should be part of the initial plan..."
"...4) RAIL AND FAIL Mayor Lee Leffingwell's slogan was "Rail or Fail," and Council supported the Project Connect plan for an initial urban rail line, pairing it on the ballot with road projects that might have sweetened the pot – but not sufficiently for November voters, who roundly defeated the bonds. Can the political will on rail be revived by the new Council? Don't wait for the whistle...."
"...The morning briefings – normally updates of work-in-progress – generally raise few eyebrows, but today's might be an exception, as the Project Connect Team will report on the status of its urban rail proposal, rapidly nearing the end lines of Capital Metro and City Council approval and presumably a bond-ballot design for November. They've gotten to the proposed corridor draft (see "Three Routes Mulled for CCAG"), and are addressing financing and governance, but there's still much debate over the details, and expect at least some of that debate to air during the meeting...."
"...› On Friday the CAMPO Project Connect initiative made its initial urban rail recommendation to the Central Corridor Advisory Group, and advocated – surprise! – the central corridor, more specifically the East Riverside and the Highland sub-corridors. More public input, and plenty of public debate, is ahead..."
"...› This Friday, Project Connect staff will recommend their preferred light rail route for the next city rail initiative, expected to go on the ballot next year. No hint how they'll bridge the Guadalupe vs..."
"...When completed, the line will move up to a million gallons of water a day from an LCRA treatment plant in the Village of Bee Cave to potential customers in northern Hays County. LCRA hopes to recoup the pipeline cost of $24 million by charging $4,000 to $5,000 per customer connection, with monthly billing expected to average $70 to $80 per household...."
"..."The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan and Project Connect are working together to help shape transportation investment and policy in Central Texas for generations to come."..."
"...The moral dilemma at the crux of the story is what makes it interesting, and good choices were made in the casting of Fassbender and Vikander, he so deft at playing men suffering silently from inner turmoil and she so emotively open-faced. Despite this, we fail to connect with the characters in any deep, emotional way..."