This weekend, I was asked about the Mayor's defense of his pet rail plan. He continues to say that East Austin Rail is the only route because we cannot reduce lanes on Lamar and Guadalupe. This is a lie.
Project Connect's East Austin rail plan has two parts. The first part is to build East Austin rail - and the second part is to pour concrete on Lamar/Guadaulupe for dedicated bus lanes. This will not only reduce lanes on Lamar/Guadalupe, but it will make any future rail expansion along the spine of the city prohibitively expensive.
A vote for East Austin rail is also a vote for dedicated bus lanes on Lamar/Guadalupe.
Here's the Mayor being caught red-handed lying to Austinites:
"Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, who has been pushing for urban rail through his five years leading the city, said a Guadalupe-Lamar alignment will not work because it would require eliminating half of the five-lane artery's four through lanes, and refunding a $38 million federal grant for rapid bus service that began in that corridor in January.
"Nobody, least of all me, is going to be willing to turn Lamar Boulevard into a two-lane route for rail," Leffingwell said. "We basically haven't started a campaign yet. It's going to be well organized and, I assume, well funded. If there are misunderstandings out there, we're going to do our best to correct them."
"Here are the facts: 1. When evaluating the option for rail, the Highland and Riverside routes scored highest in the evaluation matrix which included both current ridership, future ridership potential, and economic development along the route. 2. We have already received 38 million in Federal Transportation Agency grant money for bus rapid transit on the Lamar/Guad route which could be in jeopardy if we switched it to rail. 3. We could not dedicate lanes to rail and reduce the capacity of Lamar because it already is near capacity."
Want to hear the truth? Austin Rail Now has covered this issue twice:
Please remember - its your choice! Do you want East Austin rail? Do you want dedicated bus lanes on Lamar/Guadalupe? Its your decision, but we need you to vote this November - and we need you to tell friends and neighbors to vote.
editor, North Austin Community Newsletter