By CLARKE HEIDRICK and CARL RICHIE When transportation works, our lives work. We can get to work on time, get our kids to school safely and enjoy all this region has to offer. We can cheer the Longhorns on to victory; squeeze in a few laps at Barton Spring pool on the way to work; eat some of the best barbecue in Texas; and get to class on time at Texas State with less stress in our lives. When congestion strikes, when our kids can’t get to school safely, and when bikes and cars compete for right of way, we all lose and we start our days under stress and in a bad mood. Austin’s $720-million transportation bond proposal is a solid step toward addressing the mobility needs of the city and contains a good balance of regional mobility projects, corridor mobility projects and local projects like sidewalk, bicycle and urban trail improvements. The proposed improvements are designed to relieve congestion and increase flow on major corridors, build pedestrian infrastructure and create safe routes to school, and improve some of the worst intersections and roadways in western Austin. If we do nothing, delays will triple. The bond proposition includes critically needed bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure investments. These will enable more people to live closer to where they work and to walk or ride bikes safely. Voter approval will authorize a tax increase of $5/month for the average Austin home. That sounds pretty good to us. AARO also supports the $131-million Hays County transportation bond package. As the fastest-growing county in Texas and the fifth-fastest growing county in the nation, investments in transportation infrastructure are essential. The proposed projects on the Hays bond include improvements that [...]
On Tuesday, September 20TH, AARO’s 2016 McBee Fellows hosted a gathering of former McBees at the Google Fiber Space. The event served as this year’s Fellows’ project and provided an opportunity for past Fellows to connect with current AARO members and each other. Approximately 60 guests enjoyed opening comments from President Carl Richie, lively round table discussions led by committee chairs and closing comments from Incoming President Elizabeth Christian. Guests left with a better sense of AARO’s current efforts in the region and many committees gained new perspectives on current projects.
AARO Members Ms. Linda Watson, Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, Mr. Ali Khataw and Mr. Bobby Jenkins have been recognized for their contributions to the region.
Ms. Stacy Armijo, Ms. Michelle Earley, Mr. Gerardo Interiano, Ms. Camille Jobe, Ms. Lindsey Leaverton, Mr. Mark Madrid, Ms. Kristin Marcum, Mr. Mike Odom, Ms. Tracy LaQuey Parker, and Ms. Sarah Richards.
New Members: Colette Pierce Burnette, Don Christian, Benoit Cloutier, Paul Cruz, David Hays, Fred Heldenfels, Pete Inman, Ed Kargbo, Donna Klaeger, Tim Timmerman, Jay Watson...
A strong transportation system is fundamental to Texas’ quality of life and economic vitality, attracting new businesses and generating new jobs. If passed, Proposition 7 would result in an estimated $3 B per year for the state highway fund. Click here to see AARO’s signed statement in support of the Proposition 7. For a detailed analysis of the proposal prepared by the Texas Legislative Council, click here.
Four-hundred notable regional leaders convened for AARO’s 35th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon on Monday, September 21st. Evan Smith, CEO of the Texas Tribune, engaged Steve Murdock, Juan Tornoe, Alan Graham and Joe Cantalupo in conversation about how to create a vibrant equitable and healthy region for the 7.8 M who will call Central Texas “home” in 2050. Tom Meredith, Community Visionary, explored surprising changes in our future. Slam Poet Champion Christopher-Michael wrote and performed a poem inspired by AARO and Central Texas. "...Acknowledgement is a bridge to solutions. Empathy is a bridge to respect. Education is a bridge to equality. The sum total is a bridge to our future..." (Christopher-Michael, Austin Area Research Organization) Austin Area Research Organization - poem Christopher-Michael performs at AARO's 35TH Anniversary Celebration
On June 12th, AARO hosted a luncheon to to spread the word about free public school Pre-K for eligible students--featuring remarks by Austin Mayor Steve Adler and a special performance by Texas State Musician Sara Hickman.
Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) believes that investment in mobility infrastructure is critical to the economic and social well-being of the citizens of Central Texas and supports decisions that will increase the capacity of our mobility systems using approaches that are effective, cost-efficient, protect the environment, and maximize mobility throughout the region. It is noteworthy that: Traffic congestion and affordability are the top concerns for Austin residents. Efficient mobility is essential to the movement of goods, delivery of public safety and other services, and the ability of residents to go to work. Austin’s travel time index outpaces peer communities and constitutes one of the worst traffic congestion situations in the U.S. Congestion costs commuters lost time, wasted fuel, and increased maintenance and adversely affects air quality and the environment. The population of Central Texas is growing and is expected to continue to grow, meaning congestion will only worsen, unless we do something now. Today, our community stands on the threshold of major transportation decisions. We invite local and regional elected leaders to embrace the following values in their decision-making: Sustainable environment: AARO considers a sustainable environment to be a fundamental element of the quality of life we all enjoy. We are grateful the Environmental Impact Statement process is integral to all major construction projects and trust the process to protect the natural environment Central Texans treasure. Roads are not “my” roads; they are “our” roads: Central Texas roadways belong to everyone - not just those who live in close proximity. It is unreasonable to force most north-south traffic onto I-35 when connectivity to MoPac via SH-45 SW would disperse the congestion and permit better mobility for everyone, especially those who cannot afford to live inside [...]
AARO Members Ms. Martha E. Smiley and Mr. Pete Winstead along with 2015 AARO McBee Fellow Ms. Sara Hickman have been recognized for their contributions to the region.