I’ve always rooted for AMD over Intel, but they’re now moving to a spot on top of the most critical land in Austin for the health of Barton Springs.
AMD’s PR people have claimed that this will reduce employee driving by 10,000 miles a day (I doubt it), but even if true, it doesn’t make things better, since employees will now have to drive further for lunch, and the incentive for additional development around their new site will overwhelm any small gains from slightly shorter commutes. I wrote a note reminding them that if they were truly serious about reducing their impact on the environment, they’d move downtown (like Intel almost did) so that their employees had more options than the single-occupant-vehicle (carpooling, transit, and bicycling all work far better when your office is downtown, even without the HOV lanes that we all know are coming soon). Plus, their employees could walk to lunch.
This also is another piece of supporting evidence that company moves are almost always due to a desire to move the office closer to the boss’s house, with disastrous results. Note from the page above that the boss’s address is in the Barton Creek Country Club. Hmmm. What a coincidence.
Because the state legislature is so hostile to Austin, even (especially?) when the will of the citizenry is written into law, public pressure ends up being the only weapon committed citizens can bring to bear on companies that are thinking about a move like this. Please go to the site and ask AMD to reconsider.