“To be stuck in traffic or stuck at home?”
April Fools! That is NOT the question.
It does kind of feel like the question, if you think about the Austin metro region the last few years and where we all sit today.
And if you enter the topsy-turvy world of Austin metro transportation planning, it sure sends like the question.
You have to wonder, “is there no exit?” Can’t Google find us a different way forward?
Right now, as we sit here stuck at home, our elected officials, sitting on our Austin metro region’s transportation planning board, known as “CAMPO,” are asking us to pony up over $40 billion in tax dollars over the next 25 years, mostly to build new highways and expand existing ones.
At the same time, the CAMPO transportation staff are telling their (our) CAMPO elected official bosses if we will only find that $40 billion for transportation projects over the next 25 years, then traffic will still get worse than it has been. It just won’t get as bad as if we do nothing.
It’s right there in the draft Austin metro long-range transportation plan, known as the CAMPO 2045 draft plan.
But wait. We know you can do that right now. 😊 😊 Keep reading.
It’s really much worse than that. But it doesn’t have to be. The draft plan is just that.: a draft. It’s out for public comment right now through April 20th. With your help, providing your own comments from the comfort of your own home, each of us, as taxpayers, commuters, and voters can weigh in and get this draft plan fixed like the flat tire that it is.
We are making it easy for you to comment on the CAMPO 2045 draft plan, which includes a suggested set of initial comments. Feel free to erase the suggested comments and write your own, modify the suggested initial comments, or adopt them as your own. Hit the “take action” and your comments will go directly to each of the CAMPO Policy Board members, listed here, and to CAMPO staff.
Before commenting, take a few minutes to look at this map of the CAMPO 2045 draft plan projects proposed for the Edwards Aquifer watershed, in southwest Travis and western Hays counties. The map includes a chart listing the $4.2 billion in proposed new and expanded highway projects listed in the draft plan. Most, if not all, of these projects should be scrapped or downsized, saving taxpayers literally billions of dollars while protecting the life source of water for our region.
There’s a whole lot more that is wrong with the draft plan. It’s hard to know where to start. The suggested comments in the form are our suggested start. We’re asking you to make some comments today, and then join us in commenting a few more times over the next 20 days. You’ll be an expert on Austin transportation at the end of the process. And, if enough of us weigh in, we can win a transportation plan that protects our water, preserves our scenic Hill Country, saves many billions of dollars, and actually reduces traffic congestion.
Thank you for caring and taking the time to comment. Stay engaged with us over the next 20 days (and beyond).