I had hoped the pro-rail guys wouldn’t sink to the depths of the ROAD wingnuts from the ’00 election, but am rapidly being disabused of that notion.
From the news page of New Ways To Connect, the pro-commuter-rail PAC:
Q. What does the Urban Commuter Rail Line do for the Central City?
Transit supports pedestrian-friendly communities. Eight of the nine stops are in the City of Austin ; five of these are in the Central City. It provides the backbone of a system that includes nine stations where commuters can connect to fast shuttle service to get to popular destinations around Austin . In addition, Capital Metro’s All System’s Go proposal calls for more bus and express bus routes, as well as the introduction of 133 miles of new rapid bus technology to help get people to popular destinations quickly. There are advantages for the entire community.
NONE of the stops are near high-density residential areas commonly referred to as the central city (NO, AIRPORT BOULEVARD IS NOT CENTER-CITY AUSTIN). NONE of the stops are in pedestrian-oriented areas. NONE of the stops are in areas which have indicated through neighborhood planning that they are willing to accept additional infill (in fact, the stations in what passes for dense areas in this plan are in neighborhoods which are vigorously fighting infill). NONE of the stops are within walking distance of the biggest pockets of transit-oriented development in this city both present and future (Mueller, West Campus, Triangle, Hyde Park, 38th corridor).
Rapid Bus is nothing more than modest improvements to existing Limited service on the true urban corridor (Guadalupe/Congress). It’s not what ANYBODY asked for. Shuttles aren’t “quick”; they’re stuck in traffic just like existing buses. And requiring people to transfer in order to get anywhere useful (which this system does) does not attract people who can choose whether or not to drive.
This is almost, but not quite, as bad as the ’00 ads run by Skaggs and Company which misled voters into thinking that Capital Metro was still under a cloud with the Feds (by putting up old Statesman articles while not making it clear how old they were).