With tonight's passage of the $90 million transportation bond, the city of Austin can expect to see new construction projects around the city. Hill Abell is a cycling enthusiast and owner of Bicycle Sport Shop. He told Gretch Sanders that approving Proposition 1 is a step towards a more sustainable future for Austinites.
Hill Abell: What this means for the City of Austin is new alternative transportation opportunities. We have several sidewalk projects that are in critical transportation and travel corridors for people that don’t have other means of travel. We have new bike lanes. We have enhancements to the Lady Bird Lake Trail, and we have quite a few automobile traffic mitigation options that are built into the bond package as well.
KUT News: How quickly will we see some of this happening in the city? How quickly will we notice some of the changes?
Abell: My understanding is that all of these projects are designed and ready to go to bid immediately and that they will all be in the process of construction within two years.
KUT News: It seemed like at the last minute here some opposition against the passing of Prop. 1 coalesced, and kind of an interesting group of people who were against it. Can you say something about that?
Abell: Interesting group of people is exactly right. It’s the party of “No.” It's a group of people who feel like every dollar that is ever allocated for transportation in the City of Austin should go for automobile speed projects just to get an automobile down the road as quickly as possible, completely ignoring the fact that there need to be other transportation opportunities. Not everyone wants to drive a car the one mile to the grocery store. Not everyone wants to drive a car a mile and a half to take the kids to school. There have to be alternatives for a healthy, sustainable Austin, Texas.
KUT News: Okay. I guess I really don’t need to ask this question. I think we can all assume, but how do you feel about the passing of prop one?
Abell: Well I’m very excited that it’s passed this evening. So we’re ready to celebrate.