Let your council member know that biking and walking in Austin matter to you
A balanced bond proposal can transform Austin's roadways
This is a rare opportunity to meet critical needs for biking and walking
The Austin City Council will make a key decision this week whether to move toward a bond election in 2016
BikeTexas is working with allied organizations and city council members on a bond proposal that will greatly benefit active transportation in Austin. Please contact your council memberTODAY and ask him or her to support this balanced transportation bond.
If a consensus can be reached by this Thursday, June 23, for a November bond election, it has the potential to be the biggest transportation bond in Austin's history. With Austin’s soaring population growth, the time is now! Since it could be five years or longer until this opportunity arises again, it is vital to maximize active transportation funding in this bond election. Future bonds are likely to be directed toward other city needs, while the 2014 Bike Plan and 2016 Sidewalk Plan will collect dust.
Austin citizens have repeatedly indicated support for active transportation choices like biking, walking, and transit. Having real alternatives to private car use will allow folks to save on gas and parking, enable seniors to age in place, encourage talented young people to remain in Austin, and improve the quality of life for all. Too much reliance on automobiles alone has never provided the answers Austin is looking for.
The Austin Bicycle Master Plan calls for $150 million over five years to build critical infrastructure which is projected to replace 20,000 car trips per day with bike trips, thus providing safety for people who ride bikes as well as easing congestion in the city. The $150 million for the Bicycle Master Plan includes $60 million for protected bike lanes and $90 million for urban trails.
Austin's Sidewalk Master Plan calls for $250 million to fund high-priority sidewalks that connect to schools and transit. These vital connections will reduce congestion at schools and leverage Austin's existing transit investment by providing easier, more efficient transit access to more Austinites.
The bond proposal BikeTexas seeks is a balanced step in the right direction toward addressing these needs that have been left underfunded for far too long. A balanced bond package can provide $150 million each for the Bike and Sidewalk plans, plus an additional $200 million dedicated to local road corridors that serve transit.
We've found the following format to be useful when speaking to elected officials:
My name is _____ and my occupation is _____. I live and bike/walk in District __.
I ask Council Member _______ to support a balanced transportation bond proposal. A $500 million bond package that includes $150 million for the Sidewalk Master Plan, $150 million for the Bicycle Master Plan, and $200 million for transportation corridors will be transformational for Austin.
Safety, mobility, equity, and affordability are served by a balanced, $500 million bond package. Should the council instead move on a bond proposal at $720 million, then the bond should fully fund the $250 million for the Sidewalk Plan, $150 million for the Bike Plan, and $320 million for roads that serve transit.
This bond matters to me and my family because... (take a couple of sentences to tell your story. Do you bike or walk to work? Would you like to use transit more? Do your kids want to ride to school? Let the council member know why this is important to you.)
Thank you for your time and consideration. I respectfully urge Council Member _____ to support a balanced bond package for $500 million.
Thank you for helping to make Austin a great place to ride a bike!