Wheel Deal

Matt Novacek



Vision Zero

Shade Fund


Bike Network

While I wholeheartedly support this amount of money being directed to the bike program in aggregate, I worry about the capacity of the bike/urban trails program to efficiently make use of this large a chunk of money at once. I might be inclined to lower this number for now, with the expectation that full funding of the full network is still expected, and should continue to be included in follow on bonds (perhaps a follow on bond finishing the bike network and continuing to chip away at the remaining sidewalk deficit).

Orange Line:

The Orange line should reintroduce the spur serving the North Burnet Gateway/Domain/Broadmoor area. This spur alignment was present on prior Project Connect materials (I believe the North Lamar Long-Term Investments Briefing Book that was the source of your cost estimates ?), with alternatives for reaching Burnet along either Anderson or 183. The whole “Domain is the second Downtown” thing may be overdone, but it’s undeniable that the NBG area is the 3rd greatest job/housing density center in the city (2nd if you count Downtown/Campus as one agglomeration) and is most likely to continue to be with continued additional development. Downtown has a multitude of lines (including both high capacity lines, Orange and Blue), so surely the NBG area could support more than the single yellow line.

Blue Line: I support continuing the line to ACC Highland. Potentially even further. If you continue the Blue Line NW along Airport past Crestview, it potentially could re-intersect with the Orange Line (improving network connectivity) and itself become the spur line to NBG I mention above.


Rather than entirely focusing on new miles, attention should also be directed to inadequate segments or those grossly in need of repair. This isn’t as sexy, but can be just as critical in enabling mobility. Especially since some of those existing but disrepaired segments are in higher priority parts of the network than medium.


a. You don’t mention any attempt to get federal matching for these routes. Using the recent Indianapolis system as a model, the local cost could be even less than $280M.

b. The “cherry line” should run to intersect with the blue line, wherever it ends. If your plan terminates the blue line before ACC highland, then cherry should run past highland to take up the slack.

c. There’s no mention of power source. All lines should be electric.

Land Acquisition:


It’s a little concerning you treat the Travis County court site as anything other than an extreme outlier unlikely to ever reoccur.

"To produce $100 million in new revenue would require 23 properties of similar square footage and economic value, which if similarly priced, would cost at total of $594.55 million. "

Yeah, if there were 23 more downtown blocks unencumbered by CVCs, that could be acquired, then kept off the tax rolls for a decade…

“In 2017, the County agreed to lease the property to private corporations in exchange for $430 million over 99 years, or $4.34 million annually.”

I would be flabbergasted if the lease payment is $4.34 million in 2100 (in 2100 dollars).

Is the lease providing $4.3M /year now, and then escalating with inflation? Or is the lease way less now, and then escalating, to provide a sum total of $430M in year-of dollars?

Do you have the details of the lease available? last I heard TC was refusing to release it.


another land deal to look at would be CM’s own for Plaza Saltillo. ~ $2.2M for 6(?) downtown-adjacent blocks.


IMO, the figures presented in this plan just don’t add up. Especially when you consider the debt financing involved. The city would have to use up a significant chunk of its bond capacity, and pay way more than $600M cumulatively in financing costs, in an attempt to turn around and capture enough rents to offset those costs.

Value capture works best with greenfield development. And (for ridership reasons) these lines are for the most part not running to green fields.

And of course, by the time any bond could be passed to fund this acquisition, the lines would also be approved, so the improved value would most likely already be “priced in” by the time the city attempted to acquire the land.


I am definitely willing to lobby council to support this proposal and/or whatever PC’s resulting proposal is. My feedback above is attempted to improve this proposal, but I will support and vote for any large transit proposal I’m presented with.