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TipSheet: This week’s Council committee

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

As the Austin Monitor does weekly, we invite you to join our ongoing effort to keep readers up to date with all that is going on at City Hall, by reading our tip sheet for Austin City Council committees. As usual, we will be offering highlights of meetings, with links to entire agendas. This week, City Council has scheduled only one meeting, and we’ve done our level best to break it down for you.

Mobility Committee

Wednesday, March 2, 3 p.m.

3. Staff briefing and update on the Sidewalk Master Plan which will outline sidewalk priorities, maintenance issues, new sidewalks, shared streets and accessibility.

Monitor’s take: Getting people interested in talking about sidewalks is plainly an uphill battle. But, in Austin, it’s also a worthwhile topic of conversation. For one thing, Bike Austin is advocating that funds for completion of the master plan be included in any upcoming transportation bond, in order to address the city’s “$1 billion backlog.” For background on the issue, and the consequences of having a spotty grid of sidewalks, we recommend this report from KUT, or this earlier feature from The Austin Chronicle.

4. Staff briefing on the Strategic Mobility Plan which will identify ways to improve efficiencies in our existing system, manage demand and strategically add capacity in all modes.

Monitor’s take: Here, for the curious/obsessive, is the 2014 Austin Strategic Mobility Plan. For the few normal people reading this TipSheet, we also have a more brief rundown of the plan from when it passed, without funding, in 2014. The $1 billion plan, which included funding for rail, ultimately led to a failed transportation bond. We assume that it is being dusted off for information about a new transportation bond (see next item).

6. Staff briefing on an update regarding City Council Resolution No. 20160211-017 directing the City Manager to initiate a public conversation and input process to identify and prioritize transportation projects for potential funding and to identify recommended funding options.

Monitor’s take: Though Mayor Steve Adler has made it pretty clear for some time now that he’d like to see a November transportation bond, official City Council discussion started only in mid-February. At that time, Council Member Ann Kitchen, who chairs the Mobility Committee, said the committee would begin working toward a June public hearing, so here we go with the work.

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Key Players & Topics In This Article

Austin City Council Mobility Committee: A City Council committee that reviews matters related to all modes of transportation.

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