Written By Brian Thompto
West Austin – Four Points Chamber of Commerce – Director of Community Relations & Mobility
Steiner Ranch Neighborhood Association – Chairman
The City of Austin Council met Thursday June 23, 2016 to discuss a proposed $720 million dollar transportation bond. The bond includes $101 million for “regional mobility improvements” including RM620/FM2222, Anderson Mill, Loop 360, Oak Hill”. Prior to this meeting there were various levels of funding for regional mobility being proposed by various council members, with some members proposing to remove funding for the “regional mobility improvements” all together as part of bond packages of lesser amounts such as $300M and $500M.
The Thursday evening vote was the last scheduled chance to get the measure on the November ballot, because the City is off for the summer until the meeting in August and the ballot language must be approved by August to make it on the ballot in November. Getting this measure on the ballot is a critical step to getting the RM620/FM2222 improvements (learn why these were identified as critical for RM620 corridor here) done anytime soon. The project was pulled from the CAMPO 2017-2020 TIP plan due to lack of funding (TAKE ACTION: you can email CAMPO by June 29th to let them know how urgently we need this improvement back in the 2020 TIP).
After hours of discussion, the council approved moving forward to the next step of pursuing the bond at the full $720M amount at about 1:30am supported by the Mayor and the majority of Council including District 6 Council Member Zimmerman and District 10 Council Member Gallo. The vote Thursday now takes the measure to the next step in August.
At the August meeting, the Mayor and Council will decide on final funding allotments and which improvements are included. This is now a critical time for the West Austin – Four Points community to make sure our needs are heard and that the council takes very seriously the funding of improvements along RM620. Please consider reaching out to the Mayor and the council members to express your support for funding RM620, Anderson Mill and Loop 360 corridor improvements (TAKE ACTION: email the entire council, or consider reaching out individually to each one). Please use a constructive tone to communicate the needs and requests of our community and the importance of Austin stepping up to make these improvements happen. We are asking for their help (attacking them does not encourage them to help us). It is suggested to use your communication to tell them why it is important to have the improvements – how does it impact growth in our area, businesses and quality of life.
Brian Thompto, a Director for the West Austin (Four Points) Chamber of Commerce and Chairman for SRNA spoke at the council meeting Thursday to emphasis the importance of including funding for fixing roadway bottlenecks such as RM620/FM2222.
You can hear Brian’s commentary at offset 33:45 in the following video.
If you want to watch more of the Council discussion on the transportation bond click HERE to access all “Item 83” video from the June 23, 2016.