For immediate release: March 4, 2021 Contact:Jeff Stensland, (512) 974-8000
Council approves funding release for 2020 mobility bond
Action allows City departments to quickly design projects and engage community
AUSTIN, Texas – Today, Austin City Council approved the release of funds from the 2020 Active Transportation and Safety Bond, which Austin voters approved last November as Proposition B. The action by Council allows Austin Transportation and Austin Public Works to hire the initial staff necessary to begin work on the $460 million in local mobility projects across the City. While significant, today’s action marks the next step in a multi-year process to deliver these projects to the public.
"Over the past three election cycles, Austin voters have said loud and clear that transportation safety and mobility improvements are a major priority for them," said Gina Fiandaca, Assistant City Manager over Mobility. "We know the importance of bringing these enhancements to fruition as quickly as possible, in partnership with our community. Throughout the next six years, we will ensure projects are designed to meet current and future mobility needs, and they are delivered in an equitable manner across the City."
Austin voters approved the funds by a 2:1 margin. Projects funded by this proposition include:
• $102 million: Major Capital Improvements
• $80 million: Sidewalks
• $80 million: Urban Trails
• $65 million: Safety/Vision Zero
• $53 million: Substandard Streets
• $40 million: Bikeways
• $20 million: Safe Routes to School
• $19 million: Local Transit Enhancement
• $1 million: Neighborhood Partnering Program
These projects are in addition to the $160 million in funds approved in November 2018 and $720 million voters approved in November 2016. All three rounds of funding work hand-in-hand to ensure seamless connectivity improvements from Austin’s busiest roads to neighborhood streets and points in-between. Outlined by the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, that includes reducing dependence on vehicle trips, so only half are made alone by car by 2040.
"Council's action allows Austin Transportation and Austin Public Works to move full speed ahead, so engineers and planners can begin designing the projects included in the 2020 bond," said Robert Spillar, Director of Austin Transportation. "That planning is critical to getting the projects to a point where they can break ground. Community engagement will be a critical focus of Austin Transportation, so the community is aware of the work ahead and can help shape their community's improvements."
Austin Public Works Director Richard Mendoza said his department is standing ready to ensure all projects are completed within the six-year timeline promised to voters.
"It's hard to miss the projects underway now across the City from the last three rounds of voter-approved mobility bonds," Mendoza said. "We are excited about building on this momentum and are ready to continue the collaborative effort with our contractors, community partners and stakeholders to deliver these agility enhancements to our residents."
All work related to the 2020 Active Transportation and Safety Bond is anticipated to be completed by 2027. Council approved Items 60-62 today related to bond program staffing. Once hired, City staff will begin engaging the community and continue refining prioritization for the bond programs. 2020 Active Transportation and Safety Bond construction is anticipated to begin in late 2021/early 2022. Learn more about the projects at AustinTexas.gov/2020PropB.
In collaboration with area partners, Austin Transportation Department leads our community’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries on Austin streets, the achievement of a 50/50 commute type split by 2039 as established in the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, and actively seeks innovative solutions and piloting technology that can decrease the use of single-occupancy vehicles and improve safety through Austin Transportation Department's Smart Mobility Office. For details, please visit AustinTexas.gov/Transportation.
Austin Public Works' Street and Bridge Operations manages and maintains public right-of-way infrastructure including streets, bridges, sidewalks, guardrails, trees and vegetation. Professional staff are responsible for patching potholes, resurfacing streets, repairing utility cuts, maintaining medians, and clearing debris from the right-of-way. Learn more about the latest projects at AustinTexas.gov/PublicWorks.