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Paying for Austin's Roads

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:13 PM CDT
How to pay for roads in an ever expanding and changing area: it’s been a hot topic for months here in Texas.

Now this week, it’s taking on a whole new urgency for city leaders in Austin. Their goal: cut the time you spend stuck behind the wheel by five percent.

In a recent poll, nearly 1 out of 3 Austinites told city leaders Lamar Blvd was their biggest concern, followed closely behind by the usual suspects: Mopac, I-35, Congress Avenue, and Highway 183, in that order.

They’re looking at spending more than $5 million in 2014 to tackle those roads alone. They’re also looking at improvements like bus rapid transit and better real time alert signs for drivers.

Around 25,000 new people moved to Austin in 2012 alone, and while the new crowds may bring more money into the city, it’s also more costly. Not just in services like fire and police, but also when it comes to keeping up the roads.

This week, city staff will lay out what they see as their top needs for the upcoming year. Public Works officials have said that includes around $54 for things like street repair and maintenance.

The push for funding also includes efforts to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. They also aim to fix potholes within 72 hours 95% of the time.

Staff from nineteen departments will make their case for money in FY 2014 to City Council at a special meeting on Thursday.

Paying for Austin's Roads

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