Monday, July 28, 2014

Laundering "road" money into rail

"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight."
Proverbs 11:1

[Standard Statesman Disclosure: This article is behind the paywall, text is transcribed by hand from a paper copy.]

Obviously, they think we're stupid:
As I truly hope you've heard, the Austin City Council on Aug. 7 probably will vote to call a $1 billion transportation bond election, to be held November 4, asing us simultaneously (which is an issue all by itself) for $600 million for a light rail line and $400 million for "roads."

Why put roads in quotation marks?!?

Because at least $50 million of the so-called road money would be spend to benefit light rail. [Emphasis added]


Start with what the city, in its "2014 Austin Strategic Mobility Plan," calls the "U.S. 183/Riverside interchange." Wait, some of you might be saying, Riverside Drive intersects with U.S. 183?!?

Yes, it does. Riverside continues east from its major confluence with Texas 71, cutting a gentle curve through the smallish MetroCenter development of hotels and restaurants. It empties out onto U.S. 183 at a decidedly quite spont on the road not far south of where Texas 71 passes over U.S. 183....

Nonetheless, the city proposes spending $34 million...on a "grade separated overpass and interchange" at this pastoral little place. Why? The overpass, the city plan says, "would remove turn conflicts at the existing intersection...and provide structure for a future Urban Rail expansion to ABIA.

Summing up: a wider-than-normal overpass to solve a nonexistent traffic problem while providing a way to get a notional light rail line up and over U.S. 183.
The remainder of the article details other road projects that will do nothing to relieve congestion while laying the foundation for future rail expansion.

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