Project Connect Media Release (2020-07-20)

AURA members identify priorities for November transportation

AURA members overwhelmingly approved a set of policy preferences aimed at shaping Austin City Council’s crafting of a new transportation ballot measure for this November’s election. The specific policy planks approved by AURA members are:

  1. AURA supports the 11 cent property tax increase to pay to fund the full Project Connect plan.
  2. AURA urges City Council to require Republic Square to North Lamar Transit Center as a segment of the initial light rail project.
  3. AURA urges City Council and CapMetro to expand light rail service to Tech Ridge as soon as possible, including in the initial rail project if it is legally and financially feasible.
  4. AURA supports a historic investment in improving bus service that matches the scale of what is proposed by the Project Connect System Vision.
  5. AURA supports the construction of the “downtown tunnel” featured in the Project Connect System Vision.
  6. AURA urges City Council place a $750 million active transportation and Vision Zero bond on the November ballot.
  7. AURA urges City Council to develop a comprehensive anti-residential displacement policy approach for areas impacted by transit investment; the policy may include innovative land use, PIDs, TIFs, and new TOD below-market-housing funds.
  8. AURA supports the exclusion of new funds for roadway expansion in the package.
  9. AURA urges City Council to provide a new operations and maintenance funding stream proportional to the needs of the November package’s proposed transit capital investments.
  10. AURA urges City Council, the Austin Transportation Department and CapMetro to accelerate shovel-ready improvements in the project sequencing.

“We have an opportunity to build the infrastructure that will profoundly change how we move around our city and to do it in a way that will benefit all of us for generations to come,” said Cesar Acosta, AURA Board President. “AURA will continue to fight for transportation investments that reflect our mission of creating an Austin for Everyone. We encourage all that support our policy vision to share our positions publicly, to reach out to the Mayor and Council, and to engage our Board to find ways to work together,” concluded Acosta.

AURA is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization that advocates for an Austin that is inclusive, open to change, and welcoming to everyone.

Cesar Acosta, AURA Board President

Oppose the Burnet Road proposal

The 2016 Mobility Bond provided the City of Austin with funding “to address implementation of Corridor Mobility Reports, which identify short-, medium-, and long-term transportation improvements.”

The Corridor Mobility Report for Burnet Road proposes for the long term the addition of center-running transit lanes north of U.S. 183. It assuredly does not propose having six car-priority lanes and zero transit lanes there.

The “proposed Burnet Road project” aired by the City in recent months frames itself as carrying forward the 2016 Mobility Bond—yet it proposes having six car-priority lanes and zero transit lanes!

The document outlining this Burnet Road “project” does correctly state that its proposal for six car-priority lanes and zero transit lanes is for the moment “unfunded.” But that proposal is not merely “unfunded”—it is in direct conflict with the Corridor Mobility Report that was upheld and furthered by the Mobility Bond. Despite that, the City is already performing environmental studies related to the unfunded proposal.

If the City would like to see further improvement to Burnet Road beyond what the Mobility Bond has funded, it should further fund the implementation of the Corridor Mobility Report plans. Such funding and implementation will move Austin forward. Cavalierly discarding community-vetted, long-standing plans and returning us to square one will not.

The City is accepting comments on the “proposed Burnet Road project” until Friday, June 5, at 5 p.m., through this web form or by email to Let them know what you think.