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Mobility Committee canceled again

Friday, June 22, 2018 by Caleb Pritchard

To hear tell of it, Austin is facing something of a transportation crisis. Car traffic out there, folks say, is pretty bad at certain times, while the city has also acknowledged that it has a shortfall of 2,580 miles worth of sidewalks (compared to the 2,400 miles it currently, barely maintains). While the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently in a proactive mode of being “on it,” City Council’s formal strategy in 2018 can best be described as existing in a state of retrograde, its relatively swift action to greenlight what, as of last week, accounted for just over 1,500 dockless bikes and e-scooters notwithstanding. As all but two Council members split for West Texas this week to stand against the federal government’s immigration policies, local transportation policy was left again on the back burner as Council’s Mobility Committee canceled its June 21 meeting. The body has only met once so far in 2018, and there are only three more of its confabs on the schedule. For comparison, MobComm, a committee that ostensibly exists to iron out concerns about transportation issues before they reach the full Council, which very often has trouble ironing out concerns about virtually every other issue on its agenda until well past midnight, met just six times in 2017. The next committee meeting is set for August 16.

Update: The Monitor learned on Friday morning that MobComm Chair Ann Kitchen had originally cancelled the meeting to avoid conflict with a special meeting of the full Council on CodeNEXT. That arguably urgent discussion was then scotched by the Council members’ departure to West Texas.

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