"There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it."
We spoke at last night's Texans for Accountable Government meeting about the current Travis County Courthouse bond proposal; it's a good summary of the absurdity of the current proposal and why it wouldn't be difficult to devise a better alternative:
- Election Day: Nov. 3. Early voting begins: October 19th. On the same ballot as the State of Texas constitutional amendments.
- At a BARE MINIMUM, they're telling us this proposal will cost $287 MILLION
- The Austonian, by contrast, only cost $250 million.
- For those keeping score at home, that means a 56 story luxury condo development cost less than this proposed 14 story building.
- Between interest and the inevitable cost overruns that ALWAYS accompany government construction projects such as this one, a final price tag between $400 and $600 million seems unfortunately plausible.
- The new Austin library, for example, has exceeded it's estimated cost by approximately 50%
- Being built on prime-real estate downtown, which would be a logistical nightmare that would put more cars on an already overburdened downtown road system.
- Making matters worse, because this is a government building, it means that people will be coming and going at 9AM and 5PM.
- Not only more cars, but more cars during the worst part of the rush hour bottleneck.
- Houston/Zimmerman alternative: Put the Courthouse on the East Side.
- Less expensive to build out than up.
- More parking, fewer cars downtown.
- Easier to reach for anyone in Travis County who isn't already downtown.
- Possible economic development value in the area.
- A lot of the solution to Austin's traffic problem could be to boot all the governmental facilities (state, county, city) over to the Eastern part of the county