Published November 10, 2020
Last week, voters approved two ballot measures that will shape the future of public transit and transportation in Austin. By voting in favor of Proposition A, voters approved a property tax increase that will help partially fund Project Connect, Capital Metro’s comprehensive public transit plan. The plan includes a light rail line from the airport to downtown, a 20-block downtown transit tunnel, and three new MetroRapid routes as well as other improvements.
Voters also overwhelmingly approved Proposition B, a transportation infrastructure bond, which will allocate $460 million to major capital improvements including sidewalks, bikeways, urban trails, Vision Zero transportation safety projects, and safe routes to school. Included in the bond is funding for the Congress Avenue Urban Design Initiative, a project of the City of Austin in partnership with the Downtown Austin Alliance, which will entail full street reconstruction including increased and improved pedestrian space, new trees, lighting, and upgraded utility and stormwater management systems.
It will be several years before the full benefits of these initiatives are realized, but they are both big steps forward for downtown and all of Austin.