Lomax’ comments about Austin not building any roads during the 1980s and 1990s are, in fact, a load of crap. That didn’t stop the media from playing them without even bothering to check up on the details, of course. Austin, in fact, built a ton of freeway miles in the 1980s and 1990s – they were overwhelmed by a growth in average miles driven per capita, which was the predictable result of opening up miles and miles of farmland to low-density suburban sprawl.
Although a few ill-advised city-destroying freeways were rejected by Austin in the 1960s and 1970s, it’s doubtful TXDOT would have had the money or the will to build any more than what eventually got built anyways. Most of the cancellations occurred long before the 1980s; Koenig Lane was the only one to survive even on plans in the modern era which isn’t now essentially built or getting built.
The 183 corridor, from I-35 west to Spicewood Springs, was upgraded to freeway in the 1980s and 1990s. So was Ben White Boulevard (290/71) from Congress to past Mopac. Mopac was extended several times during this period as well.
Full coverage at Jeb Boyt’s site, and I agree with Keath that the TTI’s motivation is to spin things to support big transportation projects like the Trans-Texas Corridor.
One thought on “In case anybody was wondering…”
I like this bit:
The numbers show traffic congestion in Houston eased in the late 1980s and early 1990s after a spate of road building, but the trend has been upward again since then.
Congestion didn’t ease during that era because of road building. It eased because Houston was a fucking ghost town then. Newcomers probably can’t imagine long stretches of boarded up buildings along Montrose, Richmond, Alabama, or the Rice Village, but that’s what Houston was like then. You could walk through the Rice Village on a weekday afternoon and see almost no cars. The area around Montrose & Richmond where 59 used to go through looked like a bombed out part of Detroit.
It was a great place to be a punk rocker, though. 😉
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