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Transportation Planning for an Unattainable Fantasy

Wednesday, November 20, 2019  

Are you aware of the goals of the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan? How about the expected 2020 Transit Bond for Project Connect with an initial high estimate of $9.8 billion (that’s 13.32 x the estimated 2019-2020 Property Tax Revenue for the City of Austin & we all know how good ‘initial estimates’ are)? Before you ‘jump on board’, take a few minutes to read Policy Brief Number 27 written by Randal O’Toole, the Antiplanner. Here’s a quick snippet – “Planners have developed two main approaches to transportation. One is to estimate how people will travel and then provide and maintain the infrastructure to allow them to do so as efficiently and safely as possible. The other is to imagine how you wish people would travel and then provide the infrastructure assuming that to happen. The latter method is likely to lead to misallocation of capital resources, increased congestion, and increased costs to travelers. Austin’s plan is firmly based on this second approach. The city’s targets of reducing driving alone by a third, maintaining carpooling at an already too-high number, and increasing transit by 394 percent are completely unrealistic. No American city has achieved similar results in the past two decades and none are likely to come close in the next two decades.”


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