City gets to work after massive mobility bond passes

Mayor Steve Adler making a Prop 1 victory speech (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)
Mayor Steve Adler making a Prop 1 victory speech (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Immediately after voters gave the green light to a $720 million mobility bond, the largest transportation bond the city has ever approved, city staff knew it was time to get to work. Capital Planning Officer Mike Trimble is one of the top people responsible for turning the plan into action, coordinating with other city departments like the transportation department and public works.

“For a single proposition, like mobility, this is the largest proposition like this we’ve seen. So obviously there’s going to be a lot of work involved, a lot of coordination, both internally with departments, but then also externally,” Trimble said, also mentioning Capital Metro.

A city memo to the mayor and council members Wednesday answered the question, “What now?” The 90-day timeline indicates before the end of the year, it’s likely council will consider a budget amendment to support Prop 1 staffing resources. In January, council will discuss the funding needed to get work started on all the bond projects. Come February, council members will review a contract to designate a consultant to help prioritize projects along the identified corridors.

“We do not have where we’re going to start work first. We need to do that analysis, council was very deliberate in the resolution they passed they wanted us to do that analysis, see what the most appropriate, the best mix of projects to be done should be,” he said. “So we’ll be doing that analysis over the next several months.”

When asked what his biggest concern is, Trimble told KXAN, “That’s a good question. I guess it’s the fear of the unknown in what may happen. So in other words, we only know certain things about getting these projects done. Like I said, there’s a lot we need to figure out as we’re doing our engineering and our preliminary work about what’s on the ground.”

Following the passage of Prop 1, those opposing the bond package criticized the city for prioritizing sidewalk and bike lane work. Trimble said it’s not that addressing the corridor improvements isn’t important, it has to do with planning and analysis that has to be done on the front end for those projects.

“We can move quicker a little bit in our ongoing programs and some of those smaller scale improvements as opposed to larger corridor segments, multi-modal improvements,” he said.

The city says communication and public outreach is high on the priority list, to make sure the implementation process is transparent.

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