I've included some information on the possibility of putting light rail on the ballot for this next election in November. Is this something that Friends of Hyde Park would want to weigh in on? If so, what is it we should vote on? If we do want to weigh in, we'd have to do so fairly soon.
The Central Austin CDC is seeking formal resolutions of support from community-based organizations to place a transit option on the November ballot. This is a time-critical. The council will determine what goes on the ballot as early as August 4th, but more likely no earlier than August 11th. The final deadline for ballot markup according to state law is August 22nd, but most assume it will be decided much sooner.
Support is needed to communicate to council:
The need to include a forward-looking transit investment in the November 2016 ballot
That a light rail starter line belongs in the city's densest corridor along North Lamar Blvd. and Guadalupe Street were the highest number of riders will benefit from it and where it will catalyze and accelerate extensions toward the realization of a citywide light rail system.
Support for placing on the November 2016 city ballot a measure authorizing the issuance of $400 million in bonds for the purpose of building a minimum operable segment of light rail on Guadalupe Street within an alignment that was FTA-approved in 2000.
Our proposal for a light rail starter line on Guadalupe and North Lamar Streets would be 5.3 miles long, estimated to cost $400 million, and carry 34,000 riders every weekday. This plan would provide direct service to the jobs and communities around Crestview Station, DPS Headquarters, State Health Department complex, Austin State Hospital, University of Texas, State Capitol Complex, Travis County Courthouse and Central Campus, and downtown’s Republic Square, the city’s busiest bus stop and transfer station. It would also connect to East Austin, North Austin and Northwest Austin by a transfer from the existing 32-mile long Red Line commuter rail line at Crestview Station.
The current $720M corridors proposal adds no new transit capacity an effects very little mode shift away from cars. We have no position on the Mayor's proposal. The presence of both a discrete rail proposition and a corridors proposition on the same ballot does not present an either-or situation. In 2014, council found both the political will and the bonding capacity to propose a $1.0B ballot measure. Two years later, and with debt being retired at a more or less continual rate, there is no reason why two ballot measures totaling $1.12 could not be offered. In this "Year of Mobility" what we're saying to the Mayor and council members is, "Don't go big, go bigger."
Thank you for your group's consideration, and I look forward to any comments or questions you may have regarding the proposal. Let me know if there is anything else we can do to facilitate the discussion.
Scott Morris email@example.com
160727_CACDC-FoHP.ppt_r.pdf (2.0 MB)