Thursday, August 11, 2016

Can the #ATXCouncil Transportation Bond be salvaged?!?

“For My people are foolish,
They have not known Me.
They are silly children,
And they have no understanding.
They are wise to do evil,
But to do good they have no knowledge.”
Jeremiah 4:22

Let's start by stating the obvious: This bond package took several steps backwards over the summer.

This is disappointing, though it's not surprising.

We've been torn since this discussion began.  We don't hate the underlying concept behind 'smart corridors.'  Doing things like getting buses out of traffic when they're making stops and improving signal timing make a certain amount of sense (at a certain cost).  In general, we like using technology to create new efficiencies.

The problem is that the city's transportation department can't implement this proposal in anything resembling a competent or timely manner.  That's why we testified (twice) back in June that we wanted to see the city present a "credible plan for execution" when they came back in August.  In other words, we wanted to see how they would get from point A to point B.

Six weeks later...they won't even commit to a firm location for point B.  There literally isn't even a specific list of project to which they're committing.  There's a phase for that: BLANK CHECK (and a $720 million one at that).

According to certain scuttlebutt, there's going to be an effort tonight to use amendments on the dais to reign in the proposal; consider us skeptical.

Bottom Line: We cannot support this bond in its current form; while we'd love to be pleasantly surprised, for Council to improve it sufficiently enough at tonight's meeting to merit support seems like a tall order.

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