Reading the Road (and Rail) Map
By Mike Clark-Madison, Fri., Sept. 10, 2004
Capital Metro's proposed "commuter rail urban service" the "Red Line" from Leander to the Convention Center "is a first step toward a long-term transit system for Central Texas," says former Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, leading the pro-rail election effort.
Future steps include "regional" commuter rail service (on the Union Pacific/MoPac and abandoned MoKan rights of way) as well as expanded and enhanced bus services, some of which would use the toll roads to be built and operated by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, if indeed that happens.
The CTRMA plan approved with such controversy back in July which might be amended or even rescinded as early as next week adds new lane-miles to a number of existing Central Texas highways, and in doing so incorporates projects most controversially, the William Cannon bridge on South MoPac that are already under construction and "paid for," in opponents' view.
Brewster McCracken, who voted for the CTRMA plan, wants to amend it to take out the bridge and other segments on U.S. 183 East and Texas 71 East, and perhaps along U.S. 290 West through the Y in Oak Hill.
Daryl Slusher, who voted against the plan in July, wants to go even further and reverse that vote entirely, while leaving in place the toll road projects that had already been approved in past years including SH 130, SH 45 North and Southeast, the northern extension of MoPac, and the U.S. 183-A bypass in the Northwest Corridor, the road the CTRMA was originally formed to build.
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