Austin Proposition 12: Aiming to Move People
It’s just six weeks till the November elections. Along with federal, state and county offices, Austinites will vote on 18 city propositions, including seven bond propositions to fund improvement projects throughout the city. KUT News will be profiling these propositions in upcoming weeks. Proposition 12 focuses on transportation and mobility projects.
The $143.3 million proposed bond would fund the improvement, construction and design of sidewalks, bridges and roads to help ease traffic. That would include improvements on Interstate 35, MoPac and North Lamar Boulevard. The bond would also fund new traffic signals and pedestrian beacons to improve safety, and help pay for a portion of the Violet Crown Trail, a 30-mile path hike-and-bike trail from Zilker Park to Hays County.
Love Austin is a grassroots campaign that hopes to educate voters about this year’s bond package. At Monday’s kickoff party at Nuevo Leon in East Austin, field director and native Austinite Ian Davis said that he’s excited about the new trail.
“I grew up hiking and biking in the greenbelt, and now that I have this young son I’m just looking forward to taking him on this very new trail,” Davis said. “I think it’s going to be an environmental treasure.”
But in a fast-growing city it can be hard to see any progress in shortening the daily commute. And opponents of the proposition say that the city’s previous transportation and mobility bonds, including a $90 million bond passed in 2010, have not improved traffic.
“With another $144 million or however much it’s going to take, we don’t think that they should be trusted with more money until we get better leadership that shows they’re willing to use the money wisely,” said Don Zimmerman of the Travis County Taxpayer Union Political Action Committee.
The city does not expect an increase in this year’s property tax rate as a result of the passage of Proposition 12.