How would Austin City Council District 6 candidates address traffic congestion?

The general election is Nov. 8.

The general election is Nov. 8.

James "Jimmy" Flannigan James "Jimmy" Flannigan[/caption]

James “Jimmy” Flannigan

Experience: co-founder/organizer of the Northwest Austin Coalition, member of the Austin Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee, past president of the Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

512-917-8428 •

What are your top priorities?

Addressing traffic congestion and pedestrian safety on Anderson Mill Road, Duval Road, McNeil Road, and Lakeline Boulevard/Neenah Avenue. Helping curtail the rising cost of utility bills, including exploring a new business model for Austin Water. Expanding Austin Police Department’s civilian staff to address property crime via education and supporting neighborhood watch as well as enabling APD to move toward community policing with increased neighborhood patrols.

How would you address traffic congestion in District 6?

Citizen-led efforts like my Northwest Austin Coalition’s successful corridor study of Anderson Mill Road engage residents and prioritize safe and connected infrastructure. This effort can be expanded to other congested city roads like Duval, McNeil/Spicewood Springs Road and Lakeline/Neenah, as well as partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation to address state roads, including RM 620, RM 2222, Parmer Lane and US 183. I also oppose my opponent’s destructive and nonsensical road through the Balcones Canyonlands.

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I understand the challenges of fixing our problems and know how to work across the city to ensure our voices are heard. I reject failed policies of governance by lawsuit and constant abstentions that alienate potential supporters and keep District 6’s voice silenced. We can fix our traffic, property crime and affordability problems together.

Don Zimmerman Don Zimmerman[/caption]

Don Zimmerman (incumbent)

Experience: president of the Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1, founder of the Travis County Taxpayers Union Special Political Action Committee

512-577-8842 •

What are your top priorities?

A. Traffic congestion relief by cooperating with the Texas Department of Transportation, Williamson County and acquiring right of way for traffic congestion relief with new west Austin expressway from Lakeline Mall to I-35 south. B. Privatize trash collection for better service and millions in savings. C. Abolish the city’s economic development department. D. Stop city bureaucracy from illegal taxation and regulation through lawsuits, including for violating open meeting rules and the illegal plastic bag ban.

How would you address traffic congestion in District 6?

The city currently has 11 master plans, including bicycle and sidewalk and climate plans, but no traffic congestion relief plan. I will stop battling the passive-aggressive city bureaucrats who use traffic congestion for social engineering and directly engage TxDOT and the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization by working on new right of way for new roads. Austin taxpayers, not reptiles and insects, own our green spaces, and we must use new easements for new roads.

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

In 21 months, I’ve accomplished what no other council member has in Austin’s history, such as the first local district office with full-time constituent service and first defeat of annexation [in Northwest Austin]. I’ve done remarkable inquiry and investigation, and I’m the leading voice for fiscal accountability.

Some answers were edited for length.

By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels. She enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two cats.