Austin leaders have plans for various projects, and upgrades among the propositions that were passed during the midterm elections. The city will put $160 million towards improving transportation and infrastructure since Proposition G is one that received a green light. Many residents hope their money is going towards safer roads, as others wonder how the budget is being spent.
Written & video by Melina Madrigal
It is very clear that Austin, like all major cities, could always use renovation and this proposition is dealing with some improvements that have been long put off, especially Emmett Shelton Bridge. This is the bridge built over Lady Bird Lake near Red Bud Trail, known for being the site of a copious amount of motor vehicle accidents. It’s expected that $50 million will go towards the reconstruction of this and other bridges and structures that experience heavy, daily traffic.
Construction to improve streets near local schools and businesses, as well as curb ramps and drainage areas, will receive $66.5 million.
Previous ACC student and Austinite, Kristen Gallegos says her walk to UT in the mornings can be dangerous. “There are some areas where there are no sidewalks, so I have to cross really busy roads.”
Sidewalk construction and improvements have been allotted $20 million. The city has emphasized that the first to be renovated are those marked as a top priority of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Transition Plan.
The city also has plans to enhance the lives of residents who use means of transportation other than motor vehicles. There will be $15 million going to pedestrian safety improvements at certain city intersections; $4.5 million spent on signals, technology and communication systems; and $3 million towards urban trails.
Allowing the city to have a say, $1 million will be used for the Neighborhood Partnering Program. This program gives local residents the opportunity to propose projects on property owned by the city.
Gallegos says she understands the need of her money going to this proposition. “There is a lot of wear and tear on [the roads] and with more people moving to Austin I think that construction is the best thing to do.”
It is apparent that while voters are being asked for a somewhat large amount of money, most understand the increasing need for renovation.