"May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
And the tongue that speaks proud things,"
This is NOT a joke:
Austin officials unveiled plans today for the city's first urban rail line.In other words, Austin's transportation "superiors" want to spend a $1.4 Billion we don't have on a rail line nobody wants through a part of town where nobody travels. But at least Obama's paying for half! Keep Austin Weird!!!
The 9.5 mile long line would run along East Riverside Drive and turn north near the Austin-American Statesman building, cross Lady Bird Lake via bridge, continue through downtown and the University of Texas and end at Highland Mall. The plan also calls for four park & ride areas, two each toward opposite ends of the line.
The project cost is estimated at $1.38 billion. Officials with Project Connect, the working group of city, Capital Metro, and other regional transportation officials that made today's recommendation, say they believe the federal government would pay for half of that estimated cost.
For a lake crossing, Project Connect proposes a bridge option instead of a tunnel; at $175 million, the bridge was the cheaper of the two options. However, a tunnel is required in the Hancock corridor to avoid conflict with MetroRail, and Project Connect organizers proposed a $220 million tunnel from 41st to 47th street.
"A line that bypasses the heart of the city and slowly meanders nine miles from the East Riverside apartment city area, through the backwater east campus up to Hancock, then through a tunnel and into the old Highland site. How many Austinites are traveling such a route?" he asked.
Voters would have to approve rail spending in a bond election expected this November. The Austin City Council is expected to formally call for a rail bond proposition this summer.