KUT and our city hall reporting partner the Austin Monitor are looking at needs that have typically been paid for by the state, but have become local responsibilities. Some call them unfunded mandates. KUT News and the Austin Monitor will look at key examples of that interaction in our series, “The Buck Starts Here.” Today, we take on Austin’s highways. You can read Tyler Whitson's companion piece over at the Austin Monitor.
We hear it all the time: Austin’s growing too fast, and we don’t have enough housing or roads for the people already here, not to mention the million more people that will be in the region in a little over a decade. To better accommodate an influx of people and cars, new additions are being planned for several of the region’s major highways.
But there’s no such thing as a free ride on most of these new lanes, and to understand why, it helps to do a little time traveling.