Austin has a nearly perfect record of projects being sold as “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” when they are actually making things worse, and this bond is no exception. The amount of money dedicated to speeding suburban commutes for the mayor’s donor class (as well as “getting buses out of your way”) vastly dwarfs what little good will result from the crumbs thrown to bike and pedestrian projects. It makes things worse for transit by promoting bus pull-outs (which even when paired with queue jump signals can only make things worse for transit, not better). And it quite likely prevents rail transit from ever being built on our best transit corridor.
I recommend people vote no.
(and then, in response to a “so what would YOU do, M1EK” reply):
1. No suburban spending at all (no 360, no North Lamar, no 969). Spending general funds on state highways makes the gas tax subsidy to the suburbs even worse.
2. No beautification spending at all. While I like medians more than chicken lanes, the COC should pay for it.
3. No reserved transit lanes on the route the voters just rejected.
4. No transit-and-turn lanes on Guadalupe, which will preclude rail and not do much good for buses.
5. At the end of this, float a $200M bond for bike/ped projects only. That saves enough bond capacity for rail later.