Environment Texas Gets Behind Austin Transpo Bond

It’s no secret that Austin has some of the worst traffic in the nation. But a fix might be at hand with Proposition 1, a new $720 million bond initiative to improve the city’s transportation infrastructure. The initiative, which will lead to a $5 per month increase in taxes for residents who own a $250,000 home (more, if your house is worth more) that will help the city build roads, expand bike lanes, install smart traffic lights and construct sidewalks.

The plan already has the approval of the city’s major local newspapers and biking and public transportation proponents, but this week one more group endorsed the bond: Environment Texas.

It’s not difficult to see why environmental groups might support a transportation bond that provides more opportunities for Austinites to use public transportation, bike or walk. Nationally, vehicles are the top source of carbon dioxide emissions and in Texas transportation is responsible for 31 percent of the the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Diversifying transportation modes and reducing our reliance on gas-guzzling cars are a key strategy to cut down on carbon pollution and keep the planet from warming further.

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Environment Texas director Luke Metzger applauded the mobility bond’s holistic approach to solving Austin’s congestion woes, calling it a “historic investment in enabling people to walk and bike safely and get our buses moving more quickly.”

“Bad decisions we make today about our transportation infrastructure could lock in pollution for decades,” he said in a press statement. “That’s why we must quickly pivot to new priorities. We need a clean transportation revolution, with clean and accessible mobility options for every resident of Texas.”

You can read Environment Texas’ support for Prop 1 in full here. The group also has a new report out detailing policy recommendations for shifting to a carbon-free (including cars) transportation system.

By: Naveena Sadasivam