Austin Rail

project connect
(Community Matters)
 I’ve spent a lot of time with rail advocates (& some with opponents) the last two weeks. I’ve learned: 1) the planning and decision making process (which was severely broken prior to this year) was extensive and closely followed required federal guidelines and included unprecedented public input, 2) the proposed rail line is a first step in a city wide system, probably the most feasible one (financially & operationally) which looks to population and congestion projections in 5 & 10 years, not today (ie., where the hockey puck will be), 3) the line doesn’t go to Mueller, 4) while in DC last week meeting with senators, congressmen and administration officials, they painted an optimistic picture of federal matching funds (cautiously optimistic). We haven’t seen the ballot proposal(s). It’s got to also include a serious investment in roads – that seriously impacts congestion. I’m looking forward to seeing the proposal. Advocates have a high hurdle effectively selling it to voters.

If they can’t with some reliability of passage, should they defer to next year?

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