By Tom Wald, Walk Austin board member
The Walk Austin Board endorses all City of Austin 2018 Bond Election items, Propositions A through G. We especially support the transportation bond item, Proposition G, which includes funding for sidewalk maintenance, Vision Zero safety projects, and urban trails, among other transportation needs. We also oppose land-use policy Proposition J. Read more further below.
Early voting has started and continues through Friday, November 2nd. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6th. The local propositions will appear far down on the ballot, and you must select them individually, regardless of voting straight ticket. Further voting information is at the bottom of this page. We encourage all eligible Austin voters to vote for all 2018 Bond Propositions A-G, and to vote against Proposition J.
Walk Austin advocated for pedestrian funding throughout the 2018 Bond development process, helping to ensure funding was included in the final ballot going to voters. We worked with the Austin Pedestrian Advisory Council, Farm&City, other advocacy organizations, other pedestrian community leaders, and city staff to understand community needs and goals. The need for pedestrian infrastructure funding is huge, and seizing each opportunity toward meeting that goal is critical.
Proposition G would fund transportation infrastructure projects, including the following key pedestrian funding needs:
Sidewalk Funding: The City of Austin Sidewalk Master Plan identifies $1.6 billion in needs for completing our sidewalk network and repairing existing sidewalks. Over the next eight years, the plan calls for $25 million/year for new sidewalks and $15 million/year for sidewalk maintenance and ADA-accessibility upgrades. Proposition G would provide funding toward the latter, $15MM/year needs.
Vision Zero Funding: The City of Austin Vision Zero Master Plan lays out the city’s goal of zero transportation fatalities and serious injury crashes by 2025. The plan includes transportation infrastructure improvements, enforcement, education, evaluation, and other methods for meeting that goal. Proposition G would provide funding for transportation infrastructure improvements for all travel modes, including pedestrian safety improvements such as pedestrian hybrid beacons (signalized midblock crossings), crossing median refuge islands, low-speed shared streets, and more.
Urban Trails: The City of Austin Urban Trails Master Plan describes a network of hundreds of miles of paved pedestrian and bicycle trails connecting far across the city. These trails are designed to meet both transportation and recreation needs. Proposition G would include funding for multiple trail segments, including a section of the Red Line Trail that would connect between multifamily housing, office towers near The Domain, Capital Metro MetroRail stations, the Shoal Creek Trail, the Northern Walnut Creek Trail, and the North MoPac Trail.
Oppose Proposition J: We oppose Proposition J, since it presents time delays and barriers to changing our auto-centric land development code. Our current land-use policy favors car mobility over walking and transit in myriad ways. Walkable neighborhoods provide access to amenities for everyone, including the young, old, and other non-drivers. Our city needs to increase walkability in our neighborhoods to build community, provide equitable access to daily needs and community spaces, and respond to our traffic problems and climate change.
We encourage all eligible Austin voters to vote for all 2018 Bond Propositions A-G, and to vote against Proposition J.
Walk Austin belongs to Austin Together, a coalition of local nonprofits and community leaders that support the bond propositions, Propositions A-G. More information.