Austin to seek public input on mobility goals, potential bond

On Feb. 11, Austin City Council passed a resolution to seek community input on transportation priorities and funding options for transportation projects—including a possible mobility bond.

City Council directed the city manager to initiate a public conversation and input process regarding mobility goals. Council also passed two amendments that widened the scope of that public input to include neighborhood groups and previous input gathered through past initiatives, such as Project Connect.

During a Feb. 3 Mobility Committee meeting, Assistant City Manager Robert Goode presented a list of the city’s mobility needs that could be included in a bond totaling $4.5 billion, although he said the list was not comprehensive and did not incorporate regional projects.

Included in that list is $2 billion to $2.5 billion of projects on I-35 in the Texas Department of Transportation’s Mobility 35 program. Goode said TxDOT would fund the majority of that work, but the city could be a partner.

Goode said council members have three options on moving forward with a bond election. The traditional process would take between 15 and 18 months, but he said staffers identified shorter processes that could take either up to 12 months or as short as  eight months.

“It would be really difficult to go to every neighborhood and ask for the universe of needs in the shortest path,” Goode said, adding if council chooses that option it would be limited to projects that have already been vetted and had public involvement.