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;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN:
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.