COMPILED BY BENTON GRAHAM
Austin Council members join opposition for TxDOT I35 plan Four Austin City Council members and a growing coalition of transportation advocates and neighborhood businesses oppose the Texas Department of Transportation’s plan to expand I-35 to 20 lanes. The group highlighted the implications for 140 businesses that could be displaced at a Sept. 1. press conference “TxDOT’s expansion is the crazy radical proposal,” co-founder of Rethink35 Adam Greeneld said. During the news conference at Stars Cafe, Council Members Natasha Harper-Madison, Paige Ellis, Kathie Tovo and Greg Casar expressed additional concerns, including that it would not address the environmental impact and that it does not do enough to connect East and West Austin. “We want to get a roadway design that minimizes the impact on the surrounding area,” Tovo said. “We want to see one that really focuses and prioritizes pedestrians and cyclists.” Several opposition groups are oering up other plans for I-35, including turning it into a boulevard or putting part of it underground.
TXDOT SETS SIGHTS ON I35 EXPANS ION
Over 140 properties could be displaced by two I-35 plans under consideration, according to TxDOT.
Both sides of the Longhorn Dam shared use path are now open. (Courtesy Austin Transportation Department)
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1 The Austin Chronicle 2 Austin Bail Bonds II 3 Taqueria Los Altos 4 Just Add Chef
5 Hector The Barber 6 Zebra Smoke Shop 7 Stars Cafe 8 Escuelita Del Alma
ANN AND ROY BUTLER HIKE AND BIKE TRAIL
SOURCE: TXDOTCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE WAS UPDATED AS OF SEPT 23. NEWS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE OR OTHER LOCAL TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS? EMAIL US AT SWANEWSCOMMUNITYIMPACT.COM. Department spokesperson. Timeline: completed Aug. 25 Cost: $2 million Funding source : 2016 mobility bond connectivity between the path and the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail has also been completed, according to an Austin Transportation West side of Longhorn Dam path opens to public The Austin Transportation Department opened the 12-foot-wide shared-use path that crosses the west side of the Longhorn Dam to the public Aug. 25. Much of the
The Capital Metro board of directors approved the establishment of a Capital Metro police force Aug. 30. The proposal drew criticism from community groups who say that Capital Metro should conduct additional research before moving forward. Awais Azhar, a member of the Planning Our Communities leadership team, serves on the Capital Metro diversity, equity and inclusion committee. He said he needs to see data to convince him that a transit police force is necessary. “It’s a really big decision, and creating a whole new transit police, Capital Metro to establish police force
MIXEDFEEDBACK ON PUBLIC SAFETY Capital Metro data shows that while the majority of customers are satised with safety, the majority of sta are not.
80% of customers indicated that “security is good”
63% of Capital Metro front- line sta “view security as needing improvement.”
SOURCE: CAPITAL METRO COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
we’ve never had one—we’ve had security but that’s dierent—but this would be a whole other department within Capital Metro,” Azhar said. “And I think there’s a strong need to assess whether there’s an actual need for it.” Capital Metro conducted a survey in the spring that found 80% of riders indicated that “security is good” and
they “do not seem to fault CapMetro for safety issues.” It also found that 63% of Capital Metro front-line sta feel security needs to be improved. “I think we have an imperative as a board to do everything we can as quickly as we can to protect our front- line personnel,” Capital Metro board chair Wade Cooper said.
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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021
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