CAMPO calculates 9,000,000 vehicle trips per day in 2030 - in less than 15 years. We need to implement cost effective solutions now. The same people responsible for the past infrastructure lethargy, continue to hamstring solutions.
1) Capitol Metro is NOT a solution. It has consumed 1% of our taxable sales with little return. Their support of "Project Connect" light rail, an absurd black hole for transit dollars that would serve less than .2% of our transit demand, illustrates their impotence. FACT: Just the operating cost for CapMetro's redline is $19 for every passenger who steps aboard - this train runs at a huge loss that NO realistic amount of ridership can cure.
2) Austin already HAS a multi-modal transit infrastructure. It doesn't take sinking the community billions into debt and raising property taxes/rent to make it so. Can we improve on our existing system? You bet.
3) We can vastly improve our transit system by upgrading our existing roadways. Re-engineering select intersections will improve throughput and eliminate bottlenecks.
4) Burying IH-35 is INSANE! Austin sit's on a limestone fault and excavation costs will BURY our community in debt for decades. While downtown IH35 is a problem, the IH-35 problem stretches from Round Rock to Buda. This absurd idea would effect a tiny part of that corridor and leave the majority untouched. A better and more effective solution is to subsidize through traffic to use 130.
5) We are on the brink of a transit revolution. Smart control systems in vehicles and roadways will soon help reduce driver error - the #1 cause of our congestion. Roads are like pipes, theoretically all traffic can flow at a reasonable rate - except for driver error (lane switching, distraction, accidents, unnecessary braking, etc.). Simple systems like adaptive cruise control will be commonplace and remove much of the 'error' that creates congestion. Self driving cars aren't far behind. Certainly it will take time to integrate the technology, but every new vehicle contributes to the solution.
We must be careful to avoid mistakes like the light rail that would do little for the problem and only serve a small segment of our community. Austin needs road infrastructure improvement that serves ALL our community. Billion dollar 'special interest' schemes sold with slick ad campaigns like light rail are contrary to that mission. Our EXISTING debt equates to $10,000/person and our borrowing capacity is not infinite. It scares me so many people voted for Prop 1 light rail which would have been a disaster for transit - but a huge boon for developers. Follow the money, $700,000 was spent by the special interest PAC (run by the same folks that increased the healthcare district tax 63% and AISD debt/tax) to sell this community on that absurd ripoff. Lone Star rail salivates to implement ANOTHER property tax and neglects to advertise they need $1-2 BILLION to relocate the Union Pacific freight line to operate.
We must be smarter and use our limited funds wisely. We must NOT be distracted by special interest 'shiny objects' that siphon critical transit dollars from REAL solutions.