Breaking down Austin's $460 million bond for bike lanes, trails, sidewalks and more

Bicycles for public use are docked at a MetroBike station on Lake Austin Boulevard. Austin's $460 million Proposition B will include funding for additional bicycle lanes through the city. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bicycles for public use are docked at a MetroBike station on Lake Austin Boulevard. Austin's $460 million Proposition B will include funding for additional bicycle lanes through the city. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Bicycles for public use are docked at a MetroBike station on Lake Austin Boulevard. Austin's $460 million Proposition B will include funding for additional bicycle lanes through the city. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)

Project Connect, the $7.1 billion plan to revamp public transit in Austin, was not the only transportation decision city voters made Nov. 3.

More than two-thirds of voters—276,137 out of 411,794—elected to approve Proposition B, which provides $460 million in bond funding for transportation projects broken down into nine different categories.

Unlike Project Connect, which takes effect immediately, Proposition B will not affect homeowners' tax bills for 2021. Instead, it will be phased in over years until it is fully levied in 2026. Once it fully takes effect, the owner of a median-valued $361,000 home would pay an extra $72 annually in tax dollars.

The largest category of funding will go toward major capital improvements, which include redesigning Congress Avenue and paying for construction of a bridge over the Longhorn Dam along Pleasant Valley Road that will connect the two sides of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. Additionally, the bond provides a combined $200 million to fund bikeways, sidewalks and urban trails.

While no timelines have been established for individual projects, the goal is to finish all bond-funded projects in six years, according to the office of District 8 Council Member Paige Ellis—one of the leaders of the effort on the dais.


"The overwhelming support for Props A and B shows that Austinites are ready for a greener, mobility-friendly city," Ellis said in a statement. "The significant investment into all our mobility options—including the expanded rail system, buses, sidewalks, and bike paths—will provide more options for residents and visitors to travel around Austin in an inclusive way."


South Austin highlights




  • Cooper Lane and Circle S Road, which the city has deemed "substandard streets," will receive funding for improvements.

  • Two urban trails—one between Southwest Parkway and Hwy. 290 and the other traveling along a railroad spur south of Ben White Boulevard—have been identified by the city as high priority, or Tier 1. Proposition B will provide 30% of funding for all Tier 1 trails throughout the city.



Central Austin highlights




  • Funding will be provided for a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Longhorn Dam along Pleasant Valley Road.

  • Congress Avenue will receive funding for a redesign from the Capitol to Riverside Drive.

  • A preliminary engineering report will be funded for improvements on Barton Springs Road near Zilker Park.



North Austin highlights




  • Parts of the Red Line trail, which would follow Capital Metro's train from Leander to downtown Austin, have been identified as the city as high priority, or Tier 1, including a section near Burnet Road from MoPac to US 183. Proposition B will provide 30% of funding for all Tier 1 trails throughout the city.

By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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