Let me start with one of the top challenges facing Austin, traffic.
Thanks to this Council, our staff, and the 2016 Mobility Bond that you passed, we’re doing more actual work than ever before.
We made our four (4) top-crash intersections safer, reducing crashes by as much as 67%, and started work on the next two. Even though there’s much more to do, city-wide traffic deaths are at a three-year low.
By the end of 2020, we’re scheduled to build 30 new miles of sidewalks to make your neighborhoods safer and for your children to more safely get to their schools.
The city is joining with the State on Loop 360, 2222 & 620, Parmer Lane and, with Council Member Flannigan’s leadership, Anderson Mill. We’re putting in more than $110 million from the bond, and TxDOT is more than matching us with an additional almost $230 million. Within a few years you’ll be able to drive down Loop 360 and never hit a single stoplight.
We’re executing the 2016 Mobility Bond on our most trafficked corridors (North and South Lamar, Burnet, MLK, William Cannon, Slaughter, Airport, Guadalupe and Riverside.)
It’s proposed that all the corridors get major work. We’re talking 50 new turn lanes at 30 intersections, 120 smart signals that time themselves automatically, and 30 miles of repaved streets…
…We’re talking about safety improvements that include upgrades at 13 of our next-most crash prone intersections and 40 new mid-block pedestrian crosswalk signals. And we’re talking about 75 miles of connected sidewalks and paths and 40 miles of bike lanes along the corridors and 100 miles of bicycle route connections.
You know what this means?
The engineers tell us that all this work will reduce traffic delays by 25% and collisions by 15%. This is the work you are expecting us to do, and these are the results you are expecting us to get.
Even with executing the bond on time and on budget, our work is just beginning. We must continue planning for the future.
This Spring, our city staff will propose our city’s first, comprehensive, locally focused Strategic Mobility Plan. This is the plan that will set out a long-term mobility vision and one that coordinates our city’s long-term planning with that of Capital Metro, the Regional Mobility Authority, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (or CAMPO).
We will see three data-driven mobility scenarios that show a new way of thinking about mobility: one focused on travel time, reliability, and access to opportunity; another on affordability; and another on forecasted growth. With a rigorous, public engagement process beginning this year, Austin will adopt a north star for future mobility investments.
Capital Metro will bring forward this year a mass transit vision for the entire region. The losing urban rail proposition of 2014 focused on one segment of what needed to be an entire system. This year, we’ll see, with different modes, what an entire system might look like.
There might be nothing more important to the future of this city than these new visions for a better transportation future for our city and our region. We look to CM Kitchen and our Council Mobility committee to begin the process to secure that future. We count on the leadership of CMs Garza, Renteria and Kitchen, who sit on the CapMetro board, and on CMs Alter, Flannigan and Kitchen, who serve with me on CAMPO, where I was just elected Vice Chair.