Central Austin Combined Neighborhoods Planning Team endorses Guadalupe-Lamar for urban rail3 November 2013
On October 21st, the effort to designate the Guadalupe-Lamar (G-L) corridor as the preferred route for urban rail (light rail transit, LRT) received a powerful boost with the endorsement of the Central Austin Combined Neighborhoods Planning Team (known as CANPAC), designated by the City of Austin to serve as the official neighborhood plan contact team for the Central Austin Combined Planning Area, involving seven major neighborhood associations:
- West University Neighborhood Association
- Hancock Neighborhood Association
- Eastwoods Neighborhood Association
- North University Neighborhood Association
- Shoal Crest Neighborhood Association
- Heritage Neighborhood Association
- University Area Partners
These neighborhood associations are among the longest-established and most influential in the city.
The endorsement also emphasized that, unlike the G-L corridor, Red River St. — a link in the proposed semi-official route between downtown and the Mueller redevelopment site — lacks the projected future density necessary to adequately support light rail service. In contrast, density is considerably higher along the Guadalupe-Lamar corridor, especially in the West Campus neighborhood, which ranks variously as either the third or fourth-highest density residential area of major Texas cities.
CANPAC also notes that it is commissioned both by City ordinance and its own bylaws to implement Ordinance No. 040826-56, the Central Austin Combined Plan.
As CANPAC reported in an October 29th memo to Austin Mayor Lee Leffinwell, on October 21st the Central Austin Neighborhood Plan Advisory Committee passed the following resolution:
The Plan Team for the Central Austin Combined Neighborhoods Planning Area (CANPAC) has reviewed the two routes under consideration for the proposed light rail system through Central Austin, both of which pass through our combined planning area. We urge that placement of the routes be made where density already exists, along the Guadalupe-Lamar Corridor, as stated in our 2004 Central Austin Combined Neighborhoods Plan, and not along Red River, which is a residential area not projected for future density adequate to support light rail.
This is an extremely important endorsement of central Austin’s most important potential corridor for urban rail, and G-L supporters are strongly urged to convey news of this and other major endorsements to the Austin City Council and other important political and civic leaders.