Project Connect http://kut.org en Cap Metro Mulls Airport Route for Phase Two of Urban Rail http://kut.org/post/cap-metro-mulls-airport-route-phase-two-urban-rail <p>Capital Metro voted Monday to move forward with recommendations from&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/project-connects-14-billion-proposal-austin-urban-rail" target="_blank">Project Connect</a>. The next steps are deciding who will govern its potential&nbsp;urban &nbsp;rail operations and where some of the funding will come from. The City of Austin and Capital Metro are both major players.</p><p>But while Project Connect moved a step forward, there was a push from the Cap Metro board to take a step back.</p><p>After dozens of public meetings and <a href="http://kut.org/post/urban-rail-supporter-wants-you-reject-austins-current-proposal" target="_blank">no shortage of criticism</a>, Project Connect arrived at a proposed route for its urban rail that would go from Riverside to Highland Mall. On Monday, Capital Metro Board Chair Mike Martinez asked for analysis on a whole new route, from Austin-Bergstrom International to UT.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/155793692&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 13:21:00 +0000 Joy Diaz 10663 at http://kut.org Cap Metro Mulls Airport Route for Phase Two of Urban Rail Searching for More Specifics on Austin's Urban Rail Proposal http://kut.org/post/searching-more-specifics-austins-urban-rail-proposal <p><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Disclosure: Project Connect is a sponsor of&nbsp;KUT.</em></p><p>When was the last time you were at Highland Mall? For many&nbsp;Austinites, the retail ghost town isn’t on their hot list of places to hang out. But city planners are counting on that to change, and they’re willing to place a bet on it, to the tune of $1.4 billion.</p><p>That’s the estimated price tag for the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.projectconnect.com/sites/default/files/Central%20Corridor%20Urban%20Rail%20Recommendation%20050214.pdf">urban rail line</a>&nbsp;recommended by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.projectconnect.com/">Project Connect</a>, a group of regional transit agencies working on mass transportation. To justify it, Project Connect has&nbsp;<a href="http://keepaustinwonky.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/letter-to-council-on-project-connects-transparency/">projected explosive growth around Highland Mall</a>, at a rate much faster than the city of Austin as a whole is projected to grow over the coming decades.</p><p>How did Project Connect come up with these numbers?&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/154123230&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 16:30:20 +0000 Terrence Henry 10590 at http://kut.org Searching for More Specifics on Austin's Urban Rail Proposal This Urban Rail Supporter Wants You to Reject Austin's Current Proposal http://kut.org/post/urban-rail-supporter-wants-you-reject-austins-current-proposal <p>Some die-hard public transit supporters say Austin’s 9.5 mile,<a href="http://kut.org/post/project-connects-14-billion-proposal-austin-urban-rail"> $1.38 billion urban rail proposal</a> is misguided, too expensive, and follows a poorly traveled <a href="http://www.projectconnect.com/connect/sites/default/files/Central%20Corridor%20Urban%20Rail%20Recommendation%20050214.pdf">route</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>"Why would a city our size put in something that is so pricey on a very weak route?" former Capital Metro board vice president <a href="https://twitter.com/LHenry_rch">Lyndon Henry </a>says. "This is insane."</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/151752482&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Thu, 29 May 2014 00:12:52 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10511 at http://kut.org This Urban Rail Supporter Wants You to Reject Austin's Current Proposal This is Project Connect's $1.4 Billion Proposal for Austin Urban Rail http://kut.org/post/project-connects-14-billion-proposal-austin-urban-rail <p>Austin officials unveiled plans today for the city's first urban rail line.</p><p>The 9.5 mile long line would run along East Riverside Drive and turn north near the Austin-American Statesman building, cross Lady Bird Lake via bridge, continue through downtown and the University of Texas and end at Highland Mall. The plan also calls for four park &amp; ride areas, two each toward opposite ends of the line. &nbsp;</p><p>The project cost is estimated at $1.38 billion. Officials with <a href="http://projectconnect.com/">Project Connect</a>, the working group of city, Capital Metro, and other regional transportation officials that made today's recommendation, say they believe the federal government would pay for half of that estimated cost.</p><p> Fri, 02 May 2014 21:08:26 +0000 Nathan Bernier 10349 at http://kut.org This is Project Connect's $1.4 Billion Proposal for Austin Urban Rail As Austin Nears Urban Rail Decision, Proof Traffic's Always Been Awful http://kut.org/post/austin-nears-urban-rail-decision-proof-traffics-always-been-awful <p>Austin is inching its way towards the creation of a possible new rail line.</p><p>Later today<a href="http://projectconnect.com/" style="line-height: 1.5;">, Project Connect</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, a group of regional transportation officials including the City of Austin and Capital Metro, is widely expected to unveil a proposed route for urban rail. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The announcement is a further refinement of preliminary findings tapping </span><a href="http://kut.org/post/highland-and-east-riverside-austins-best-spots-urban-rail" style="line-height: 1.5;">the East Riverside and Highland Mall regions</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> as prime corridors for investment – a finding many </span><a href="http://kut.org/post/why-highland-urban-rail-advocates-question-project-connect-process" style="line-height: 1.5;">Austin transit advocates found fault with.</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Once set for the ballot by the Austin City Council, citizens will vote on whether to approve rail funding in an election this November.&nbsp;</span></p><iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/147575061&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true"></iframe> Fri, 02 May 2014 16:53:50 +0000 Joy Diaz & Wells Dunbar 10348 at http://kut.org As Austin Nears Urban Rail Decision, Proof Traffic's Always Been Awful City Council Update: Dogs Banned From Auditorium Shores ‘Event Lawn’ http://kut.org/post/city-council-update-dogs-banned-auditorium-shores-event-lawn <p>In its final meeting of the year, the Austin City Council approved a full slate of items.</p><p>Among the measures passed was a decision restricting where dogs are permitted at Auditorium Shores. More than a dozen speakers took to the council floor to argue against the change, which would prohibit&nbsp;dogs from<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;lingering on the so-called "Event Lawn" on the east end of Auditorium Shores.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Parks and Recreation Director Sara Hensely said the department took community suggestions under advisement when revising the $3.5 million plan for the parkland. But under a new amendment, dogs are only allowed on the event lawn when traveling from a parking lot to the neighboring areas where dogs are allowed. (No one on Parks staff or the City Council bothered to explain just how that would be enforced.)</span></p><p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 17:28:44 +0000 Wells Dunbar & Roy Varney 9365 at http://kut.org City Council Update: Dogs Banned From Auditorium Shores ‘Event Lawn’ Why Highland? Urban Rail Advocates Question Project Connect Process http://kut.org/post/why-highland-urban-rail-advocates-question-project-connect-process <p><em>Disclaimer: Project Connect is a KUT sponsor.</em></p><p><strong>Update</strong>: The Austin City Council unanimously endorsed two locations for urban rail last night: the&nbsp;<a href="http://kut.org/post/highland-and-east-riverside-austins-best-spots-urban-rail">Highland Mall region and East Riverside</a>. You can <a href="http://austintx.swagit.com/play/12122013-683/#27">watch citizen testimony and council action</a> on the recommendation.</p><p>As KUT reported, investment in those corridors was proposed by&nbsp;<a href="http://projectconnect.com/">Project Connect</a>&nbsp;– a working group of City of Austin, Capital Metro, and other regional transportation officials.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Project Connect named Highland and East Riverside after what it said was a robust, data-driven public input process – but many rail advocates present at the vote last night questioned the process and the decision.</span></p><p><strong>Original story</strong> (Dec. 12): To hear Project Connect tell it, they’re practically drowning in data. Project lead Kyle Keahey cited some 45 different measures of information and 11 indices when the group announced its recommendation. (You can <a href="http://www.projectconnect.com/connect/resources">look at lots of that data here</a>.)</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/124494381&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 16:12:41 +0000 Wells Dunbar 9353 at http://kut.org Why Highland? Urban Rail Advocates Question Project Connect Process