The Austin City Council hopes taxpayers will vote for the $720 million “Smart Corridor” package. The plan, which will be on the November 8th ballot is designed to address high volume roads, improve busy areas, and upgrade sidewalks, trails and bike lanes. And the battle between the plan's supporters and those against it is heating up.
As FOX 7 has reported, those against it think small businesses will suffer because of the proposed changes to traffic patterns. But on Tuesday morning, in Southeast Austin near Blazier Elementary, prominent Latino business leaders joined forces with Austin educators to push prop one.
They say the project will actually make school routes safer by adding much needed sidewalks around them, as well as give drivers relief from the growing traffic congestion.
Austin Independent School District Trustee Gina Hinojosa addressed the crowd, saying in part, “access to affordable, safe, and reliable transportation widens opportunities, and is essential to addressing poverty unemployment, and other equal opportunity goals such as access to good neighborhood schools like Blazier Elementary.”
The President of Education Austin, the city’s teacher’s and employee’s union also spoke, “I know that everyone cares about our kids that are walking to school that are coming to school every day to get an education,” Ken Zafaris said in support of the mobility package, adding, “to break the cycle of poverty, to get a better education for themselves, to overcome adversity to just have a good future.”
There are plenty of adds hitting the airwaves in the run-up to Election Day. One of them, in favor, paid for by Austin Forward PAC , outlines why Prop One will benefit Austin in the long run.
The Honest Transportation Solutions PAC is also running an ad about Prop One, against it. They say passing the largest bond in the city's history wastes money, only benefits a small number of Austinites, and is being pushed by people who stand to benefit financially from it, In the end. They say, it will only make things worse , as they say part of the plan calls for reducing traffic lanes instead of adding them.
Austin City officials say if Prop One passes, Austin homeowners will pay less than five-dollars a month for it.