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Panel urges CAMPO to move on downtown transit system

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 by Austin Monitor

Jumping on the rail election bandwagon, the Planning Commission has passed a resolution urging the CAMPO Transit Working Group to promptly review options for a downtown, multi-modal transit system so that the possibility of a November election on the matter may also be evaluated “in a timely fashion.”


The resolution is similar to a letter drafted by the Design Commission (See In Fact Daily, July 9, 2008), but is not as forceful. “One of the things I debated was what our function was in terms of endorsing any particular alignment or even appearing to make any judgment call about, say, (connecting to) Manor or Elgin,” said Commissioner Chris Ewen, who served on the subcommittee that drafted the resolution. “But that’s what comes out in a referendum. The primary thing we’re doing here is saying ‘let’s move forward with proposals in a timely fashion’.”


Earlier this month, outgoing State Rep. Mike Krusee (R-Round Rock) took Capital Metro and CAMPO leaders to task in a published editorial, criticizing them for acting too slowly to come up with proposed ballot language and a cost estimate to present to the Transit Working Group.


The Planning Commission’s resolution is not nearly as pointed as Rep. Krusee’s editorial. It reads, in part, “the Planning Commission wishes that this proposal be considered by the CAMPO Transit Working Group promptly in order that a transit election in 2008 may be evaluated.” Mayor Will Wynn proposed the idea of an election this November in the fall of 2007.


The Planning Commission’s resolution, Ewen said, “puts a lot of things out there on the table. We need to have a voice that puts forward our opinion on the great importance of evaluating the merits of those proposals …in a timely fashion. I think it’s important that we make a statement on this.”

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