AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin voters will have to decide whether to check yes or no for what the city is calling its largest mobility bond ever.
Proposition 1 will use $720 million to pay for several road projects in the city. However, when it comes to transportation some argue it won’t solve Austin’s mounting traffic congestion problems potentially making it worse.
The proposition specifically looks at adding “Smart Corridors” for traffic improvements on several of the city’s busiest roads; including Airport Boulevard, Riverside Drive, Guadalupe street, Burnet Road, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, South and North Lamar Boulevard. The goal is to increase travel options, add more sidewalks and crosswalks.
The total price tag for the corridor improvement projects would be more than the bond at $1.5 billion. To help pay for the projects, the city would raise property taxes by $60 a year for those who own a $250,000 home. City leaders will also look beyond taxpayer funding for the rest of the money needed.
“I live one block away from North Lamar and I can’t go anywhere on North Lamar. It’s a major barrier for me and I would like to be able to use that corridor, right now,” said Lynn Haas, Bike Texas Transportation Engineer. “This is complete overkill. Sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of these corridors we are going to lose so many driveways, so many small businesses. So even the amenities that are being touted as some of the benefits could be done at a much lower price.”
The price tag of $720 million is split into three large categories:
Corridor Plans ($477,500,000)
- North Lamar Blvd
- South Lamar Blvd
- Burnet Road
- Riverside Drive
- Airport Boulevard
- Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/FM 969
- Guadalupe Street
- Slaughter or William Cannon Drive
Future Corridor Plans ($4,500,000)
- North Lamar/Guadalupe
- East and West Rundberg
- E. Colony Loop Road
- South Congress
- S. Pleasant Valley Road
Regional Mobility Projects ($101,000,000)
- Loop 360 (Westlake Drive intersection): $46,000,000
- Spicewood Springs Road: $17,000,000
- Old Bee Caves Road Bridge: $8,000,000
- Anderson Mill Road: $5,500,500
- 620/2222 Intersection: $7,500,000
- Parmer Lane: $17,000,000