City Council setting goals for 2017 with homelessness, mobility on agenda

Austin skyline (KXAN Photo/ Frank Martinez)
Austin skyline (KXAN Photo/ Frank Martinez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Wednesday, the Austin City Council will set their goals for the new year.  Mayor Steve Adler is holding a council workshop to discuss priorities for the city of Austin.

Adler says his biggest focus is mobility and affordability. He will also address homelessness looking into the economic and safety aspects of the ARCH, a homeless resource center downtown. Also on tap, the Waller Creek linear park and the innovative zone, with a focus on the new medical school.

Homelessness

The Mayor says there is a need in Austin for the ARCH to continue to be a homeless shelter, but safety issues in the surrounding area still need to be addressed. He says support to fund the shelter could come from nearby businesses, property owners, or the Waller Creek constituency.

Adler’s vision includes transforming 6th Street into “a historic entertainment area,” while integrating the resources to help homeless people in the area. He wants to move away from the heavy drinking that is associated with 6th Street and allow for more restaurants and entertainment venues.

Mobility

Before going on break for the holidays, Mayor Adler laid out his vision for the East Austin Core on the city council forum. Adler hopes to enhance the transit system in Austin.

“My personal focus will continue to prioritize mobility and affordability, which I see as inextricably linked. I’m proud of the work we did on mobility this year and next year we can continue to move forward and to make even more progress on affordability so we can preserve the spirit and soul of Austin,” Adler wrote in the post.

Waller Creek linear park

Adler says he supports expanding the time period for a $100 million bond to construct a Waller Creek Park and facilities. He hopes the philanthropic community will contribute the funds needed with another $50 million.

“The philanthropic participation that would help enable the linear park would also help to ensure a better future for a larger part of downtown through the realization of other elements, discussed below, and for this the Austin community would be thankful,” said Adler.

Innovative Zone

Austin’s blueprint for an innovation zone is years in the making, but now one step closer to reality. The project is a residential and business zone that combines science, education and art.

Imagine a state-of-the-art hospital and medical school surrounded by apartments, office buildings, interesting shops, restaurants and cultural events. The innovation zone will sit within Martin Luther King Boulevard to Interstate 35 on the east side. The zone would stop at Cesar Chavez and Trinity to the west.

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