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Austin Voters Handed $1 Billion Rail & Roads Package

Updated: Friday, August 8 2014, 04:42 AM CDT

Austin voters get the final say on a $1 billion rail and roads package. $400 million would go for roads and $600 million for urban rail. The nine and a half mile rail line would run from East Riverside through downtown and the University of Texas campus and up to ACC's Highland Mall campus. 


Thursday afternoon the Austin City Council voted unanimously to put the $1 billion urban rail and road plan on the November ballot.  


"It's taken four years to get here. It'll take a decade to being something back here for reconsideration if this proposal does not go through the council and get approved by the voters," said Mayor Lee Leffingwell. 


If voters, like Matthew Leeder, give the go-ahead the urban rail line will cross Lady Bird Lake at Trinity Street.


"The Austin skyline keeps changing and the waterline can change with it," said Leeder. 


Austin commuters now spend forty hours a year stuck in traffic. Austin also has the fourth worst traffic of any city in North America. 


"People in general have reached the point of frustration with our traffic problems that you can sell that to voters. I'll vote for it," said Leeder. 


But, for other voters adding $400 million in roads to the $600 million rail package is the only way they might buy in. 


"I'm not quite sure at this point that urban rail is the ultimate answer," said Kevin Sellers. 


Voters now have three months to decide what is the ultimate answer to Austin's traffic troubles. If voters approve the $1 billion rail and roads package, taxes on a $200,000 home will likely go up by more than $200 a year.


 


 

Austin Voters Handed $1 Billion Rail & Roads Package


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