In November Austin voters approved a $720 million mobility bond, the largest in the city’s history. And Austin isn’t wasting any time – City Council has approved $28 million from that funding for preliminary work.
That work will include:
- $4 million for the Corridor Mobility Program
- $10 million for sidewalks
- $3 million for the Safe Routes to School Program
- $2 million for safety/Vision Zero
- $2 million for bikeways
- $1 million for urban trails
- $6 million for capital renewal projects
Council approval means the City can put contracts into place, which will allow work to move forward once specific projects are identified. City staff will come back to Council in February 2017 with an implementation process and a list of priority projects to be funded with this initial allocation, the City says.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler has said that he hopes the Mobility Bond will help more Central Texans have access to mobility options. Citing recent news that while according to the U.S. Census Bureau there is a national trend toward car-free homes, Austin car ownership is growing, Adler said people need to have more options to get around.
Many Central Texas employers are beginning to adopt mobility policies to help employees connect with options like carpooling, transit, or teleworking. But the vast majority of commuters coming in and out of Central Austin are still driving alone during peak hours.
One of the goals of the Mobility Bond is to help transit move more efficiently and add protected bike lanes. Updating signals on major corridors to improve traffic flow is another goal.