Imagine Austin priority program 4: Use green infrastructure to protect environmentally sensitive areas and integrate nature into the city

This post is part of a series on Imagine Austin's priority programs, in light of Austin's current CodeNEXT rewrite process. View the entire series here. Imagine Austin discusses the importance of integrating nature into the city as the benefits of open space and nature are well-documented and widespread. Austin has always been a bit more “green” than the rest of Texas and many Austinites treasure the numerous parks and greenspaces throughout the city. As such, Imagine Austin called for a focus to preserve and protect this critical part of who we are.  Green infrastructure throughout the city is one important way we can do that. Continue reading

Imagine Austin priority program 3: Grow and invest in Austin's creative economy

This post is part of a series on Imagine Austin's priority programs, in light of Austin's current CodeNEXT rewrite process. View the entire series here. “The possible disappearance of live music venues, art spaces and other Keep Austin Weird-type businesses in favor of mixed-use condominium developments could undermine the city’s reputation as a creative hub, which helped fuel its growth in the first place.” Austin Business Journal (April 2015)  “Failure to address affordability endangers the economic security of us all. A sizable segment of Austin’s economy and the city’s brand is based on the entertainment industry. Businesses attract new talent based on the city’s reputation, whether their core products are semiconductors or homes.” Austin American-Statesman Editorial Board (June 2015) Continue reading

Imagine Austin priority program 2: Sustainably manage our water resources

This post is part of a series on Imagine Austin's priority programs, in light of Austin's current CodeNEXT rewrite process. View the entire series here. This program is focused on conserving water resources and improving watershed health. This includes issues such as public health, recreation, conservation, and water supply. Austin’s Water Utility is municipally owned, which allows Austin Water to work more closely with all departments that have an impact on water supply and watershed health. Continue reading

Imagine Austin priority program 1: Invest in a compact, connected Austin

This post is part of a series on Imagine Austin's priority programs, in light of Austin's current CodeNEXT rewrite process. View the entire series here. Prior to Imagine Austin, it was clear that this city had a long way to go before it could be considered to be even a little bit "compact and connected." Outside of the few square miles of old Austin, much of this city had been laid out as though it was one massive suburban subdivision—with low-density housing and disconnected streets dominating the landscape. Continue reading

An Imagine Austin Primer

  On the fourth anniversary of the adoption of Austin’s comprehensive plan, Imagine Austin, let’s take a moment to review what the plan is, how it came to be, how it relates to the CodeNEXT effort to revise the land development code, and how we measure success in implementing it. Continue reading

Why does Capital Metro prioritize suburban park and rides over bus shelters in the core?

The most significant transportation news of the last two weeks has been Mayor Steve Adler’s $720 million dollar bond proposal, as well as the June 1st staff presentation on bond possibilities. Both the mayor and the staff are very focused on funding “smart corridors” that will mostly benefit car mobility with limited provisions for bikes, pedestrians, and transit. Possibly overshadowed by this, was, two weeks ago, the dedication of a much smaller amount of money, which also signified a strike in favor of continued car dependence. At the May 23, 2016 Capital Metro Board Meeting, the board gave final approval to the expansion of the parking lot at the Lakeline Park and Ride. The $1.8 million dollar expansion will add an additional 460 spaces at the suburban P&R, which is also the site of one of the red line train stations.  Continue reading

How Bicycles Helped My Family

This is the first in a series of posts showing real life examples of how the proposals in AURA's Transit City report can benefit Austinites. I advocate for better transit and mobility options so that all Austinites have choices to go “car lite” and reap the benefits of a healthier, greener, and more affordable lifestyle. This is my family’s story of how we have saved money, gotten healthier, and had less impact on the environment through our transportation choices. Continue reading

AURA Endorses Re-Election of Austin City Council Member Greg Casar

Members of AURA have voted overwhelmingly to endorse Austin City Council member Gregorio Casar, who represents District 4, for re-election in November. Continue reading

AURA calls on Austin City Council and Capital Metro to Transform Austin for Transit

For Immediate Release AURA calls on Austin City Council and Capital Metro to Transform Austin for Transit May 16, 2016 Austin, Texas AURA today calls on Austin City Council and Capital Metro to enact the critical next steps needed to make Austin a transit-oriented city. If adopted, these steps would move us well toward a key AURA goal: that Austinites will take over half their trips via public transportation, walking, or bicycling by 2040. AURA’s new report “Transit City: A Vision for a Multimodal Austin” argues for implementation of a high-frequency bus network, permitting of abundant housing near existing transit, full funding of the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, construction of missing sidewalks already identified by the city as High Priority needs, liberalization of parking requirements throughout the city, and more. Continue reading

Democratic Candidates for Texas House District 49 respond to AURA's questionnaire

AURA submitted a questionnaire to all Democratic Party candidates running for Texas House District 49. Long time representative Elliott Naishtat has announced he will not seek another term; the Democratic Party primary is expected to serve as a de facto election. Since HD-49 is the only Texas House seat entirely within the city limits of Austin, AURA asked candidates for their views on state issues that affect Austin's land use, transit, and urban living. We received responses from three candidates: Huey Fischer, Gina Hinojosa, and Heather Way. We present their responses below. We have not received answers from Aspen Dunaway, Kenton Johnson, Blake Rocap, and Matthew Shrum. We will publish them if they answer later. UPDATE, 2/9/2016: We have received responses from Aspen Dunaway and have posted them below.   Continue reading