Rethink I-35 - get involved!

If you think more lanes is not the solution to transportation or good for Austin as a whole - I encourage you to get involved in Rethink I-35.

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On the other more progressive side of regional transit…

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Do y’all know what ZNA and SOS’s position is on the I35 expansion? They’re super vocal about things like zoning but I don’t hear much at all about I35 (which is odd since it seems like an environmental issue to me).

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I think it’s a given that they’re both against the 35 expansion (along with the large majority of the city). They may not be speaking out simply because there’s no realistic chance TxDOT will change its mind about what to do with 35, though I know there’s still a fair amount of denialism and extremely strong opinions about us being up the creek without a paddle. (The ball’s in TxDOT’s court, and it’s stating the obvious that state-level politicians & bureaucrats have no interest in catering to anyone’s whims aside from those of Abbott, Patrick and the lege.)

Yes, I realize this sucks. But still.

As someone directly involved in Rethink35 and the effort to delay / cancel this project, I would disagree with your statements and share the following:

  1. City of Houston won significant concessions for their I-45 project after their DEIS & ROD were released, so this is by no means a done deal.
  2. We have significant support across a variety of community groups who are very much opposed to this version of the project. Part of the reason TxDOT is rushing this forward is because more than 80% of public comments made in the final public comment period were negative, and TxDOT are concerned that any delay will prevent them from ultimately from moving forward.
  3. There is absolutely no reason to give SOS, Sierra Club Austin, PODER or any of the other “environmental” groups a pass on this - the 20 lane expansion impacts the city from Far South Austin all the way to Round Rock - if they care about long term health of our local air, water, etc, etc they should be publicly speaking out and joining the work of community groups already opposing this effort.
  4. We know that one of the next key projects for TxDOT is Mopac South expansion, and if Austin simply “accepts” this I-35 plan as-is, we are setting a terrible precedent for another freeway project that will literally be in our backyard (another reason SOS should be speaking out now!)
  5. We have numerous elected officials at a variety of levels (State, Local, Federal) who have indicated that they want to support efforts to delay / deny or at the very least, rethink this project. We need to show them that the community will support their leadership in this fight and that we will not simply accept a terrible waste of taxpayer money that benefits Gov. Abbott and his cronies and not our city.

Good thread on the overall impact of the insanity.

If anyone wants to learn more about Rethink35 or its efforts to ensure a better outcome for this project, they are hosting their monthly social tomorrow at Progress Coffee:

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