Thank you to everyone who filed a public comment on the CAMPO 2045 long-range transportation plan for the Austin metro region! You are free to comment again—and we hope those of you who have not yet commented will join in.
Please take a few minutes to send in your comments. We have written suggested comments, but please modify these with your own personal comments as you see fit.
For now, the public comment period is set to close this Monday, April 20. However, Travis County, SOS Alliance, and many others have asked that the comment period be extended for at least another couple of months. We have also asked that the May 4 vote on the draft plan be postponed accordingly.
The CAMPO 2045 draft plan that is posted for public comment period remains incomplete. Also, with only one week left in the official public comment period, the most fundamental piece of public information on the draft 25-year plan—an accurate map of the projects in the plan—is still missing.
If you go to the CAMPO2045.org website on the draft plan, and then click on the View Projects in the Plan link you get this map. The map does not show several of the new roads proposed in the draft plan. These missing proposed new roads include some of the worst projects in the plan: a proposed extension of Escarpment Boulevard from Circle C down to FM 150 in Hays County (crossing City of Austin watershed protection lands); a proposed loop around Dripping Springs in the Barton Creek and Onion Creek watersheds; and a proposed new alignment of Jacob’s Well Road next to the Jacob’s Well Natural Area; but these road projects, all within the Edwards Aquifer watershed, remain buried in the 49-page long CAMPO 2045 draft plan projects list.
(View this excellent map and chart that we prepared showing the more than $4 billion in road projects the 2045 draft plan proposes for construction in the Edwards Aquifer watershed in southwest Travis and western Hays counties.)
The 21-member CAMPO Policy Board, mostly consisting of elected officials from cities and counties in the six-county CAMPO planning area, tell their constituents they value public input into their decisions. Federal law requires the public be given a “reasonable opportunity” to comment on the draft 25-year transportation plan. Yet the draft plan remains incomplete and the most key part of it—the map—is wrong.
As proposed, the CAMPO 2045 plan is loaded with tens of billions of dollars of road projects—the vast majority of them designed to serve endless, 360-degree sprawl across the six county region. The draft plan admits that if we build these roads with our local, state, and federal tax dollars, congestion will only get worse—just not as bad as if we did nothing.
It’s time to rethink our most basic approach to transportation planning. This new report by Transportation for America, The Congestion Con, spells out how the twin ideas that building roads will reduce congestion and that reducing congestion should drive our transportation policies are both wrong. (If you want to understand the truth about traffic in growing urban areas, please read this report.)
Locally, tens of billions of dollars and the future of Barton Springs and the land, water, air, wildlife and quality of life of our region is shaped by how we spend our transportation dollars, perhaps more than anything else we do.
The CAMPO 2045 draft plan speaks volumes about who we are, what we value, and what we want for the future of our region. The plan—and the public process for adopting the plan—also speaks volumes about our local, elected leadership, from Georgetown to San Marcos, and from Marble Falls to Lockhart (but especially from Travis and Williamson County).
So, please join us in telling our local, elected transportation deciders that we want an honest, public engagement process and a plan that builds an affordable, sustainable, healthy and beautiful future for the Austin metro region.