Moving Forward with Project Connect

At our January 8, 2020 meeting, the ABoR Board of Directors joined over 50 community organizations in supporting Capital Metro’s Project Connect vision. With Central Texas facing exponential population growth and ever-increasing traffic, Project Connect is the regional transportation vision that would include high-capacity transit options to move people around our region efficiently. ABoR’s support of any potential election on this plan would be conditional on several outstanding questions, which I’ll cover below.

As REALTORS®, we do much of our business in—and from—our cars. It is imperative that our transportation network functions efficiently so that those of us who rely on our vehicles daily can do so productively and without endless traffic. A well-planned transportation network would include transit hubs, express lanes and toll roads, park and rides, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, local service buses, rapid and express buses, as well as high-capacity options in dedicated lanes such as light rail and/or bus rapid transit.

As we drive our hopeful, home-buying clients around our region every day, we feel the significant imbalance between housing supply and demand, which in turn has created an affordability crisis and pushed our workforce farther out. This has resulted in more commuters, longer commute times and higher transportation costs. In order to help sustain the region’s growth and maintain a healthy real estate market, our board feels that addressing mobility challenges boldly is critical.

The resolution we passed outlines our reasons for supporting the plan as well as our concerns. ABoR joins the Austin Chamber and Real Estate Council of Austin in needing further data and explanations on the following: financing plans, modes of transit, roadway lane expansion or loss, operation and maintenance funding, how the vision interacts with the to-be-adopted land development code, regional connectivity, and the boldness of the vision.

With the involvement of our volunteers and staff, ABoR believes this plan can further our advocacy for the healthy and sustainable development of Austin in a manner that protects the rights of property owners and enables people of all backgrounds, lifestyles, and incomes to choose where and how to live.

Approval of this resolution comes in advance of today’s Joint Work Session between the Austin City Council and Capital Metro Board of Directors to discuss Project Connect. The ABoR team will update you on the outcome of that meeting and will keep you in the loop as this important work continues throughout the year.

If you'd like to get more actively involved with this issue and others that directly impact our industry, you can join one of ABoR’s Policy Teams, give feedback on our Public Policy Agenda, or attend an ABoR Advocacy event. Feel free to email advocacy@abor.com for more information or visit ABoR.com/advocacy.

 

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