If you support urban rail for Guadalupe-Lamar, attend these community meetings!17 September 2013
Project Connect, the consortium of the City of Austin, Capital Metro, and other public entities to pursue coordinated transit planning for Central Texas and the Austin metro region, has ostensibly pulled back somewhat from the previous emphasis on urban rail in the downtown-East Campus-Mueller corridor, and has a project under way to vigorously study (at least nominally) alternative corridors for a Phase 1 urban rail starter line — and one of those corridors is Guadalupe-Lamar (G-L).
There’s some debate over just how serious local officials and planners are about breaking from their fixation on the previous Mueller route (which would install urban rail in a very weak non-corridor), but in any case, Project Connect has scheduled some upcoming meetings (and a “webinar”) between Sep. 4th and Oct. 2nd (details below) that seem to offer a bona fide opportunity for the public to meet in a community fashion, both discussing the issues and interacting with one another.
So Austin Rail Now strongly encourages supporters of an urban rail Phase 1 starter line in the G-L corridor to attend these meetings (and participate in the “webinar”) — and voice their support for the G-L corridor.
The current project is specifically focused on a so-called “Central Corridor” — actually, a huge square study area extending as far west as Loop 1 (MoPac Expressway), east to roughly Springdale Rd., north to Crestview and the Highland/ACC area, and south to roughly Oltorf St. (see map above).
Since it’s not really a “corridor”, but an entire city sector with potential routes running in all directions, Project Connect planners have had to rename the actual travel corridors under study as “sub-corridors”. While the downtown-East Campus-Mueller route is designated as one of these “sub-corridors”, so is Guadalupe-Lamar, as well as a route out Riverside to the ABIA Airport, a route south on South Congress, and routes out Lake Austin Blvd. and West 38th St. to the Seton-Medical Center area.
While just about all these routes might make sense for urban rail at some point, obviously there must be a prioritization process that can select one for the first line to start with. Austin Rail Now believes a line in the G-L corridor makes by far the most sense in every way, and has the best chance of attracting community-wide voter support for bonds to help fund installation.
Here’s a screen capture from the City’s Austin Mobility website giving details — dates, times, locations — of the upcoming community meetings and the “webinar”:
If you want urban rail to go where it makes the most sense, and will have the best chance to win voter support — i.e., the Guadalupe-Lamar corridor — you have a major stake in this. Please plan to attend at least one of these meetings (or participate in the “webinar”)!