In the November election voters to will decide whether to make a historic investment in bike lanes, urban trails, sidewalks, and safe streets across Austin.
On November 2nd, Vote YES on Proposition B
The Safe Mobility Bond would pay for critically needed sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, and other infrastructure that would empower all Austinites to get around safely without a car. The allocation of these funds will be up to the City Council, with input from staff and the public. Here’s an overview of the identified needs:
Sidewalks: The City’s Sidewalk Master Plan identifies over 2,500 miles of absent sidewalks across the city. Of those, 252 miles are considered very high priority, and another 328 miles are considered high priority. Based on cost estimates in the plan, building out the very high priority sidewalks would cost about $160 million, and the high priority sidewalks would cost another $208 million.
Bike lanes: The City’s 2014 Bicycle Master Plan envisions a core network of safe facilities suitable for people of all ages and abilities. By the end of 2020, about half of this network should be implemented. Building out the remainder of the network – as the plan calls for doing by 2025 – will cost about $170 million. Of that amount, $47 million would go toward on-street facilities (mainly protected bike lanes). The other $123 million is needed for the Tier 1 urban trails described in the Urban Trails Master Plan.
Vision Zero: The City’s Vision Zero Plan calls for intersection improvements, raised crosswalks, signal upgrades, design modifications to major streets and other measures aimed at ending the needless deaths and injuries occurring on Austin roads every year.
Safe Routes to School: The 2016 Mobility Bond included $27.5 million for this vital program, divided evenly among the 10 Council Districts, but that amount will soon be depleted. The program has identified needs for improvements across the city.
Based on the cost of general obligation bonds passed by Austin voters in the last 20 years, our estimate is that the cost of the Safe Mobility Bond to the owner of a median value home in Austin would be less than $4-$5/month or $48-$60/year starting no sooner than 2022 when these bonds would begin to be sold. These estimates would be clarified once City of Austin staff determines Austin’s bonding capacity.