City council starts mobility bond conversation

Claire Burrows commutes to work from the east side. Born and raised in Austin, she has seen the city and the traffic change. But that doesn't scare her from riding her bike daily.

“I have really good friends who have not had good experiences here. Somebody I used to lifeguard with, was hit by a car in South Austin, permanent brain damage, so I'm just always very aware,” said Burrows.

She believes the city could do more

“More bike lanes would be nice,” said Burrows.

The $720 million mobility bond voters approved will consist of improvements for major roads, and local mobility projects like sidewalk and bicycle infrastructure.

“Seven-hundred twenty million dollars in mobility is nowhere near the billions of dollars we all know we need to be spending as a community. This is really phase 1,” said Jimmy Flannigan, District 6.

Tuesday, the city council started a conversation about sidewalks. They were supposed to hear a slide by slide presentation,  but because of time constraints further talks were postponed. Flannigan says it's a start.

“We are finally getting to the point after the voters approved the mobility bonds, that we are going to start rolling out the very specific list of projects,” said Flannigan.

Residents can expect the city to break ground on some high priority local projects with a handful being on the eastside.

“We're talking about actual construction at this point, particularly for smaller scale projects like sidewalks and safe routes to schools,” said Mike Trimble, Director of Corridor Implementation Office.

In addition, expect some implementation of urban trail improvements, and the opportunity for more public input. Council still has to discuss more details, but one thing is for sure, voters will see some construction at the start of summer.
          
Austin is no longer the smaller music town it used to be but Burrows is glad the council is trying to keep up with that growth, but putting her dollars to work.

“It's still a great city. A lot is changing, but you take what's coming,” said Burrows.

This is an eight year plan. If all goes well, everything should be done by the end of 2024.

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