Homework Assignment

We sent the following draft resolution to the district-based Council aides earlier today.

There’s substantial grassroots excitement at the prospect of a bold mode shift-focused bond referendum this November. But there’s a lot of details that need attention. This is why we are asking City Council to start doing the technical and legislative “homework” of designing the non-high-capacity transit components of a bold mode shift plan.


WHEREAS, Mobility was identified as one of six priority Strategic Outcomes of Austin Strategic Direction 2023, with indicators including transportation cost and system efficiency; and

WHEREAS, transportation is currently the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in Austin; and

WHEREAS, on April 11, 2019 the City Council adopted the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan which set a 2039 goal of a 50% commute mode share through transit, bicycling, carpooling, walking and other sustainable modes; and

WHEREAS, building a transportation system that reduces car dependence will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of residents, will support affordability, and will reduce Austin’s contribution to climate change;


The Council directs the City Manager to develop a ranking of transportation and transportation-related capital projects that:

  • would support the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan’s mode shift goal;

  • are not high-capacity transit projects;

  • and are compatible and/or complementary with the latest Project Connect System Vision

The City Manager shall develop capital project rankings for the following five investment categories:

  • conventional capacity transit (e.g. right-of-way conversions for bus lanes, such as the Guadalupe contraflow lane)

  • bicycle infrastructure (e.g. on-street and urban trail)

  • pedestrian infrastructure (e.g. new sidewalk construction, pedestrian beacons)

  • safety projects aligned with the City’s Vision Zero strategy

  • shade-enhancing capital projects that benefit transit and/or active transportation. Alternately, the City Manager may opt to recommend a process for the development of a master shade plan based on the strategies created by the City of Los Angeles and the City of Phoenix

In addition, the City Manager will develop a proposed fund focus, funding level, and implementation plan for a transportation-oriented development fund. The City Manager’s proposal must:

  • Compare the proposal to Denver’s Regional Transportation Oriented Development fund

  • Explain how the fund complements existing affordable housing development efforts and the recommendations in the “Uprooted” housing displacement assessment

  • Explain how the fund supports equity and anti-displacement housing projects that are enhanced by the transit services identified within the Project Connect System Vision

Finally, the City Manager will provide City Council with a report examining the feasibility of adopting land acquisition near transit as a City approach to value capture that complements existing Public Improvement District and Tax Increment Finance policies and implementations.

The City Manager will provide the capital project rankings, transit-oriented development fund recommendations, and land acquisition value capture research report within 90 days of the adoption of this resolution.