All members of City Council were on hand Wednesday evening at the regular meeting of the Mobility Committee to hear a presentation on options for a 2016 delivered by Assistant City Manager Robert Goode and to discuss next steps for a possible 2016 referendum.
As reported by the Austin Monitor this week, Goode presented a series of example items for such a bond–underscoring the dramatic financial needs of the City to meet a number of aspirational mobility and access improvements. But the highlight of his presentation was to outline a series of timeframes for action on a bond. Of these options, only an “aggressive” 7-8 month timeframe would be able to bring a bond referendum forward in 2016.
Such an expedited schedule would circumvent a full stakeholder process, to the likely concern of Council, in that a citizen’s commission for the bond would not be formed and the bond would be subject instead to approval by the Planning Commission and the existing Bond Oversight Commission. After brief discussion, Mobility Committee Chair CM Kitchen and Council agreed to include the item on the agenda for the full Council meeting on February 11th, 2016.
NCINC2 Chair Brendan Wittstruck was on hand to speak in favor of Council including NCINC2’s request for a Long-Range Vision for I-35 without Upper Decks as part of any bond package. He was joined by representatives from Reconnect Austin, Bike Austin and Vision Zero ATX in advocating for transit improvements for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and local traffic instead of the City investing money in expensive, capacity-increasing road projects.
For more information, video of the meeting is available via ATXN (Items 7 & 8).