5 things to know about Austin’s plan to roll out the mobility bond

The city of Austin will begin implementing the $720 million mobility bond in 2017, including adding more safe routes to school

The city of Austin will begin implementing the $720 million mobility bond in 2017, including adding more safe routes to school

Nearly three months after Austin voters approved the $720 million mobility bond, city staffers aim to start construction as early as this summer on the first projects.

The bond allocates funding to three types of transportation projects: $101 million for regional projects; $482 million for corridor projects; and $137 million for local projects, including safe routes to school, sidewalks, urban trails, bikeways, fatality-reduction strategies and substandard streets.

1. Construction could begin as early as this summer.

Mayor Steve Adler already targeted creating safer routes to school as the first priority for funding from the bond. Richard Mendoza, director of the Austin Public Works Department, said city staffers will be meeting with schools and council members to package the first round of funding, $4 million, for safe routes to school.

“We believe this is the highest funded safe routes to school program in the nation, and we are setting the stage for this,” Mendoza said.

2. Council will hire a corridor consultant to oversee implementation of the bond.

Staffers will bring a recommendation for hiring a consultant to the Feb. 9 Austin City Council meeting. The consultant ideally would begin working in March to help create a corridor construction program based on criteria council previously outlined, including reducing congestion, improving streets, reducing delays at intersections and improving connectivity and transit operations.

Mike Trimble, director of the Corridor Program Implementation Office, said the consultant will likely complete the plan and bring it back to council in February 2018.

3. Ensuring businesses, neighborhoods aren’t negatively affected is a key factor.

Trimble said the city will have dedicated resources to update local businesses and residents on projects and construction.

“You don’t want to negatively impact businesses or traffic at the same time across these corridors, so we’re going to look at how we sequence [construction], coordinating with utilities,” Trimble said.

4. The public still has time to weigh in on prioritizing projects.

Public input will be used to rank projects in the seven completed corridor plans as well as in the process of creating an eighth corridor plan in South Austin. Engineering studies will begin in February on Slaughter Lane and William Cannon Drive, and Trimble said the city will have public engagement opportunities in April.

“There will be a lot of opportunities for public engagement [and] public input as we go forward in the implementation phases of the mobility program,” he said.

Because the mobility bond will not fully fund the corridor plans, Trimble said staffers will also use metrics to determine the best way to achieve council’s proprieties for the bond.

District 5 Council Member Ann Kitchen said council will have oversight of the implementation plan and will need constant updates from staffers.

“It’s really all about how to set the priorities, because we can’t do it all at once and it’s also going to be challenging to do it in eight years,” she said. “That’s a key approval point. What’s going to be important is to really understand those metrics because the criteria is really not black and white.”

5. City staffers will have more information at the Feb. 28 council meeting.

Trimble said staffers will discuss the prioritization process for implementing the bond in the next eight years as well as present a clearer idea of what projects would be funded in year 1.

For more information visit www.austintexas.gov/2016bond.
SHARE THIS STORY


MOST RECENT

Byron Smith, left, and Tim Manson are planning to break ground on their new storage business called XSpace in late January. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Australian businessmen betting on success of innovative storage model in western Travis County

A primary difference between their model and more traditional storage models, they say, is the fact that their units are for sale and not for rent. But there are other differences.

The Microtel Inn and Suites is located in Southeast Austin, only a 4.5-mile drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. (COURTESY GOOGLE MAPS)
City Council eyes $6.8 million purchase of 71-room hotel in Southeast Austin for second homeless shelter conversion

The Microtel Inn and Suites is a 4.5 mile drive from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Following allegations that an assistant chief used racist and homophobic language, the Austin Police Department may have to suspend future cadet classes. Austin City Council supported an investigation into the department at a Dec. 5 meeting. (Courtesy Austin Police Department)
Austin City Council supports expansive investigation into police department culture and training, likely suspends one future cadet class

The move follows allegations that a former high-ranking officers regularly used racial slurs throughout his career with no recourse from department leaders.

Residents in District 10 look over proposed zoning map during a meeting in October. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
City Council will hear thoughts from residents on comprehensive revision to land use rules at weekend hearing

City Council will take its first of three votes on the land development code revision Dec. 9.

A photo of the exterior of the Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer facility, taken from the parking lot.
Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer celebrates move to new facility

Moxie Gymnastics and Cheer has moved to a new location in Dripping Springs.

Sarah House, a Wells Fargo Securities senior economist and director, speaks at the Austin Chamber of Commerce's annual economic outlook, held Dec. 5 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Economic analyst: Austin economy still strong, but growth has tapered off heading into 2020

At the Austin Chamber of Commerce's annual economic outlook, Sarah House of Wells Fargo said Austin faces challenges of affordability and a tight labor market.

Courtesy Fotolia
City Council wants to know whether some public drinking prohibitions are equitable

The city of Austin allows the public consumption of alcohol except in six designated areas.

Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty in May addressed constituents in Bee Cave regarding the $23 million Bee Creek Sports Complex. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Longtime Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty will not seek re-election following end of current term

Daugherty has served western Travis County for the last 14 years, with terms from 2002-2008 and 2013 to the present.

The 8,800 square-foot space includes a dining room, bar, outdoor patio and butcher room. (Courtesy Carve American Grille)
Carve American Grille opening in Southwest Austin's Lantana Place later this month

Carve American Grille will open in Southwest Austin in mid December

The city of Austin authorized the purchase of a Rodeway Inn at 2711 S. I-35 on Nov. 14. The city plans to convert the property into a homeless shelter. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
City staff must be more transparent as city moves toward motel shelter strategy, Austin City Council says

Austin City Council is preparing to purchase another motel for conversion into a homeless shelter, but urged staff to be more transparent as motels are chosen.

A photo of a ribbon cutting in front of a tiny home.
Infinity Ranch brings tiny-home rentals to Dripping Springs

Infinity Ranch is offering bed and breakfast-style nightly rentals in the Hill Country.

Following allegations that an assistant chief used racist and homophobic language, the Austin Police Department may have to suspend future cadet classes. Austin City Council will consider the delay, and an investigation into the department, at a Dec. 5 meeting. Courtesy Austin Police Department
Austin City Council authorizes APD investigation after assistant chief accused of racist and homophobic slurs

In a unanimous vote Dec. 5, Austin City Council directed city manager Spencer Cronk to initiate a widespread, independent investigation into the culture and practices of the Austin Police Department following an anonymous whistleblower complaint that an assistant chief had regularly used racist and homophobic language throughout his career at the department.

Back to top