The Right Kind of Traffic Jam

Two of Movability Austin’s founding partners, The City of Austin and Capital Metro, recently hosted an event to educate and engage the community on Project Connect and the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP). That event, called Traffic Jam, drew 230 attendees! Here are some of the key comments and takeaways Traffic Jam organizers heard from those who took part in the event:

  • Affordability, travel choice (a balanced transportation network), and safety were ranked as top priorities.
  • Economic prosperity – defined as promoting future growth through strategic investments in transportation networks that meet the needs of the 21st century – was the least-reported priority.
  • At the street-builder activity participants got to design their own street segments, and the features that showed up most often were multi-story buildings, wide sidewalks, and transit facilities.

“This confirms that participants are in line with what the City generally hears from the community the most: we have limited choices to efficiently get around our community, and the cost of living and cost of commuting are of grave concern,” the Austin Transportation Department said in a summary of the event. “Additionally, it was not surprising to hear that residents feel less concerned about our region’s economic prosperity, as Austin has been rapidly growing for decades. However, from staff’s perspective, helping the community understand that our region’s limited travel choices and growing cost of living could impact our economic success in the future is critical; all these considerations are connect and impact one another.”

Both the ASMP team and Capital Metro are going to continue to seek feedback from the community, so even if you missed Traffic Jam, there will be opportunities to make your voice heard in how to shape Austin’s mobility future!

The City’s ATD says: “The ASMP team is going out to the community to get feedback on priorities and mobility considerations through the end of May 2017. The ASMP Public Engagement Plan includes focus groups, employer-based engagement and other opportunities to ensure we hear from historically underserved communities. Additionally, if you represent a group or organization that would like to receive more information about the ASMP or facilitate a small-group feedback session, please email ASMP@AustinTexas.gov with the request. We’re happy to make “house calls”.”

Capital Metro is in the process of developing the Project Connect regional high-capacity transit plan, and is asking for riders to take a two-part survey. The survey lets you weigh in on where you’d like to see high-capacity transit and what enhancements you’d like to see on Capital Metro’s existing high-capacity services like MetroRail, MetroExpress, and MetroRapid.

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