Response to Nueces Bicycle Boulevard Plan

Now that the plan has been released we are in the process of reviewing the tools put forth and will reserve opinion until we are confident that what is being published is actually what will happen.

Response to Nueces Bicycle Boulevard Plan Response to Nueces Bicycle Boulevard Plan

City Vetted Bicycle Boulevard Plan With Cyclists First

"We’ve been negotiating with them all along and saying this is not acceptable,” D’Amico said. “They vetted it with us and the reaction was not positive. I haven’t met anyone in my circle that likes the idea."

City Vetted Bicycle Boulevard Plan With Cyclists First City Vetted Bicycle Boulevard Plan With Cyclists First

Update from KeepAustinMoving.org

Thank you to everyone for your increased interest in the Nueces Bicycle Boulevard issue. As you all know, the businesses along Nueces were not notified of the plans to 'calm' traffic until late last year so we are certainly playing catch-up.

Update from KeepAustinMoving.org Update from KeepAustinMoving.org

‘Bicycle boulevard’ will lead to wasteful spending and hinder mobility

The concept of a bicycle boulevard is to severely limit vehicular traffic capacity to create a calm streetscape where cyclists have priority on and unrestricted use of the road. That type of conversion project is termed a road diet. In the case of Nueces, city staff members have proposed a 70 percent to 90 percent reduction in vehicular traffic capacity.

‘Bicycle boulevard’ will lead to wasteful spending and hinder mobility ‘Bicycle boulevard’ will lead to wasteful spending and hinder mobility

Citizen Groups Unite to Oppose Austin Bond Vote

For more information, contact: Carole Keeton Strayhorn AustinitesForAction (512) 415-3939 Bond package… [more]

Citizen Groups Unite to Oppose Austin Bond Vote Citizen Groups Unite to Oppose Austin Bond Vote

The City of Austin’s Plan to Change Your Habits

This recently received memo written in 1994 by City planner Katie Larsen has raised extreme concerns about the City of Austin's plans to social engineer us out of our cars.  In fact it is clear that, for over a decade, the City's plan has been to make it more difficult and more frustrating to drive downtown instead of fixing the problems we encounter on a daily basis.

The City of Austin’s Plan to Change Your Habits The City of Austin’s Plan to Change Your Habits

For more information, contact:
Carole Keeton Strayhorn
AustinitesForAction
(512) 415-3939

Bond package fundamentally fails to address critical community needs

AUSTIN, Texas–Today, three citizen organizations joined forces to urge Austinites to Vote No on Proposition 1, the City of Austin bond package to be voted on during the November 2 election. The West Austin Downtown Alliance, Austinites for Downtown Mobility and Austinites for Action announced that they will work aggressively to educate Austin voters about Proposition 1, which they unanimously described as a failed attempt to address traffic congestion in Austin.

“To suggest this bond package will get Austin moving is the kind of empty, disingenuous political rhetoric that is fueling distrust in city leadership,” said Dominic Chavez, member of Austinites for Action. “Commuters stuck on MoPac or IH 35 during rush hour are not clamoring for more trails or landscaping subsidies for downtown development–they want congestion relief and want it now.”

“Every recent survey of Austin citizens identifies vehicular traffic congestion relief as the number one priority,” explains Susan Harris, spokesperson for Austinites for Downtown Mobility. “At a time the city is cutting services and raising taxes, we need to focus our limited resources on projects that will immediately reduce congestion–Prop.1 fails on all accounts and should be defeated.”

Scott Sayers, President of the West Austin Downtown Alliance, says that Austin voters have not been given a fair shake by allowing them to choose which projects they want to fund. “Unfortunately, our City Council has said, ‘take it or leave it’ and intentionally lumped all of the projects from roads to bike lanes to jogging and hiking trails into one bond proposal, so that the public doesn’t have the choice to vote yes on the most important ways to spend our dollars and to vote no on frivolous non-critical items,” explained Sayers.

The coalition points to the proposed Lady Bird Lake trail project, which will cost the city at least $14 million of the proposed $90 million Prop. 1 package, as the most outlandish example of city leaders missing the mark on addressing critical community needs. The coalition is urging a NO vote on Prop. 1 and asking that the city council instead develop a comprehensive congestion relief bond program that includes both short and long term projects targeting traffic on major highways and arterials in Austin. The coalition is also asking the city to end the practice of project bundling for bond elections-the strategy of combining dissimilar projects into a single bond proposition forcing an all or nothing vote by citizens.

The coalition believes this practice compromises the integrity of the bond process and is the cynical attempt by special interests to ensure unpopular projects are not scrutinized by voters.

“The message this bond package sends is simple and clear: the city council’s number one priority is to relieve congestion for joggers rather than commuters,” said Chavez. “By any objective measure, this package is completely out of touch with the community’s real needs and we encourage a NO vote on November 2.”

SEVEN REASONS to VOTE NO/PROPOSITION 1

#7: Prop. 1 intentionally hides controversial projects from voter scrutiny.
Prop.1 bundles everything from roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, hiking trails, and the completion of the Town Lake jogging trail, into a single bond package. Most of the projects won’t relieve congestion, but voters must accept all of them or none of them–“Take it or leave it!”

#6 Prop. 1 costs $1 million per word, but not a penny’s worth of transparency.
Voters will need decoder rings to translate the 99-word ballot language written by city lawyers. The ballot language for Prop. 1 does not explain how much or where taxpayer dollars will be spent. Prop. 1 not only flunks middle school grammar standards, but gets an “F” for transparency.

#5 Prop. 1 is a blank check with no accountability.
Because the bond language is intentionally vague, the city council can effectively spend the money on any project they want. Think it impossible? Earlier this year local leaders tried to eliminate a major highway project-SH 45 Southwest-approved by voters via a bond election more than a decade ago.

#4 Prop. 1 is the result of cooked books.
Common sense suggests that a “mobility” bond package would have been graded based on the amount of commuter capacity added. But no one has ever accused the city of common sense. It is then no wonder that the city used a skewed process to identify the Lady Bird Lake jogging trail as the 12th most important transportation project in Austin, or the redesign of 3rd street downtown as the 5th most important transportation project in Austin. Only the city council could make us believe that improving a trail for joggers and eliminating lanes of traffic and parking on downtown streets is an answer to Austin’s traffic problems.

#3 Prop. 1 is the result of the City Council’s frivolous budget priorities.
One-third of the funding in the $90 million bond package is paying for road reconstruction-the result of deferred and unfunded maintenance. For years, the City Council has shortchanged maintenance on infrastructure around the city, to include waterlines, roads, and facilities in favor of frivolous spending on non-critical priorities. Because of their negligence we are now asked to spend 30% of the bond package on maintenance of old roads and less than 3% on new roads.

#2 Prop. 1 was manipulated by special interests
All forms and types of special interests directly influenced what projects were included in this bond package. No interests were more prevalent than the downtown boosters and developers who successfully steered significant resources from this package to enhance investment interests and the lifestyles of a few thousand downtown residents. Even under the rosiest of scenarios, downtown Austin only has 9,500 residents. The short math shows that this package will result in $3,500/downtown resident and only $71/resident for the rest of us.

And the #1 reason to vote NO on Prop. 1….
Prop. 1 ignores the community’s needs and priorities.

In April 2010, the city of Austin commissioned a comprehensive, citywide survey to ask citizens to identify their priorities. No surprises-citizens overwhelmingly identified car traffic as the single most important transportation problem. The findings:

  • Only 33% of respondents were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the “ease of travel by car on freeways”.
  • Conversely, 51% of respondents were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the “walking and hiking” system in Austin.
  • When asked what issues the city should focus on in the next two years, the top five responses require improvements in road capacity, including desired improvements in bus service (priority #3).

Yet, six months later the city council has proposed a package that would spend $24 million on the area the community is most satisfied with (trails) and only $2 million on that which they are least satisfied (new roads). It defies common sense that the city would absolutely ignore the community’s stated priorities.

For more information:

Austinites for Action www.austinitesforaction.org
Austinites for Downtown Mobility www.keepaustinmoving.org
West Austin Downtown Alliance www.westdowntownalliance.com

Response to Nueces Bicycle Boulevard Plan

April 8, 2010
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AUSTIN, TX, April 8, 2010 - By now everyone knows that the city has released its recommendations for the Nueces Bicycle Boulevard, now called the Downtown Bicycle Boulevard.  The Tuesday release was the first chance any opponent to the plan got to review it. In contrast the proponents were briefed on the plan well before there was [...]

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City Vetted Bicycle Boulevard Plan With Cyclists First

April 6, 2010
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The following article is dated Monday April 5, 2010 and, as stated by Rob D’Amico himself, the city vetted the project with his group before releasing it to the public. Mr. D’Amico also states that they have been involved in ‘negotiations’ all along. It is clear from this interview done before the plan [...]

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Update from KeepAustinMoving.org

April 4, 2010
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Thank you to everyone for your increased interest in the Nueces Bicycle Boulevard issue.  As you all know, the businesses along Nueces were not notified of the plans to ‘calm’ traffic until late last year so we are certainly playing catch-up.  Since we first launched the website and petition we have received incredible support vocally and financially, [...]

Read the full article →

The City of Austin’s Plan to Change Your Habits

March 17, 2010
Thumbnail image for The City of Austin’s Plan to Change Your Habits

This recently received memo written in 1994 by City planner Katie Larsen (Ms. Larsen has confirmed validity and accuracy) has raised extreme concerns about the City of Austin’s plans to social engineer us out of our cars.  In fact it is clear that, for over a decade, the City’s plan has been to make it more [...]

Read the full article →

‘Bicycle boulevard’ will lead to wasteful spending and hinder mobility

March 15, 2010
Thumbnail image for ‘Bicycle boulevard’ will lead to wasteful spending and hinder mobility

If you agree with the editorial written by Susan Harris in today’s Austin American-Statesman please let City Council know by visiting our How to Help page.  You can also contact the Statesman with your support by email to letters@statesman.com, by fax to (512) 912-5927 or by mail to Letters to the Editor, PO Box 670, [...]

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‘Austinites for Dowtown Mobility’ Speaks to Austin Downtown Lions Club

March 11, 2010
Richard Runde, V.P. Quick & Company

Richard Runde, a supporter of KeepAustinMoving.org, was given an opportunity to speak to the Austin Downtown Lions Club at their weekly luncheon.  During his presentation Mr. Runde brought to light that “Without our knowledge or consent the city of Austin had determined that it was necessary to make major negative changes to the street network [...]

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KLBJ’s Don Pryor on bike lanes in Austin

March 8, 2010
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On March 8, 2010 Don Pryor, of KLBJ’s Todd and Don Show, gave his opinion of the city’s plan to spend over $250,000,000 on bicycle infrastructure in Austin and how cyclists use existing bike lanes.
Visit Don Pryor’s blog at 590 KLBJ and let him know if you agree.
Audio file: 590 KLBJ AM’s Don Pryor on Bike [...]

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City of Austin Staff has released final staff recommendation for the Nueces Bicycle Boulevard Capital Improvement Project

March 7, 2010

The Downtown Bicycle Boulevard’s Final Staff Recommendation has been made. Although this is the final staff recommendation, the document will remain in draft form until the staff receives input through City Boards and Commissions and City Council.
Recommended layout for Downtown Bicycle Boulevard
Memo to Council to state and explain the final staff recommendation for the [...]

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