Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The case AGAINST the Travis County Courthouse

"There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it."
Proverbs 21:20

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

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