"We call on policymakers to listen to what businesses in our community want and to consider the position of Guadalupe-N Lamar businesses on this issue before trying to represent them.
"Recent statements made by policymakers opposing rail on Guadalupe-North Lamar have maintained that business would never support rail there. This claim is not accurate."
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Urban Rail: Guadalupe St. Merchants Association UAP Says "Bring It On!"
According to 2010 and 2011 census data, a Guadalupe-North Lamar urban rail alignment would serve 178,000 jobs and 54,000 residents within a half mile of 14 proposed stations. A Federal Transit Administration (FTA) study done in 1999 showed that an alignment that includes The Drag would have 37,400 weekday riders by 2025.
As Project Connect's East Riverside to Highland Mall urban rail plan nears council approval, inaccurate information about public support for a different and much stronger corridor persists. Recent statements made by policymakers opposing rail on Guadalupe-North Lamar have maintained that business would never support rail there. This claim is not accurate.
There is strong informed consent for building urban rail in the Guadalupe-North Lamar corridor by organizations whose purpose is to represent businesses and residents there:University Area Partners (UAP), a decades-old association representing merchants, landowners, and residents in the campus area, has fought for years to bring urban rail to Guadalupe St.
UAP is the lead organization that created University Neighborhood Overlay and is signatory of Central Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan.
UAP is a founding member organization of the Central Austin Neighborhoods Planning Advisory Committee (CANPAC).
UAP's service area includes the University of Texas campus, Red River, and San Jacinto Streets.
UAP unanimously endorsed a resolution supporting urban rail on Guadalupe and opposed the San Jacinto alignment.
UAP is the association representing merchants on Guadalupe and The Drag. It is an important stakeholder whose official position is inconsistent with concerns raised by policymakers on their constituents' behalf.
We call on policymakers to listen to what businesses in our community want and to consider the position of Guadalupe-N Lamar businesses on this issue before trying to represent them.
In addition to UAP, several other organizations representing communities from MLK to HWY 183 have deliberated and issued formal resolutions of support for Guadalupe-North Lamar:
• Central Austin Neighborhoods Planning Advisory Committee (CANPAC) Resolution
• Crestview Neighborhood Association Resolution
• University of Texas Student Government, AR-5 and AR-15 Resolutions
• Highland Neighborhood Association Resolution
• Northfield Neighborhood Association Resolution
• Hyde Park Neighborhood Association Resolution
Historical support is consistent with recent endorsements. In the past 14 years, 5 large neighborhood plans on the Guadalupe-North Lamar corridor have been adopted by City Council. Those plans have sections dedicated to urban rail planning and were developed jointly by the people and business operators of Guadalupe-North Lamar.
Brentwood Highland Combined Neighborhood Plan City of Austin Ordinance 040513-30 excerpted. Neighborhoods: Brentwood, Highland, Skyview. 2010 Population: 11,738
Central Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan City of Austin Ordinance 040826-56 excerpted. Neighborhoods: West University, University Area Partners, Shoal Crest, Heritage, North University, Hancock, Eastwoods. 2010 Population: 25,861
Crestview Wooten Combined Neighborhood Plan City of Austin Ordinance 20040401-Z002 excerpted. Neighborhoods: Crestview, Wooten. 2010 Population: 9,266
Hyde Park Neighborhood Plan City of Austin Ordinance 000413-63 excerpted. Neighborhoods: Hyde Park, Hyde Park North Annex, 2010 Population: 5,894
North Loop Neighborhood Plan City of Austin Ordinance 020523-30 excerpted. Neighborhoods: Northfield, Ridgetop 2010 Population: 5,072
Even though those ordinances have detailed and specific station area planning for Guadalupe-North Lamar urban rail, they were set aside by the Project Connect process. The Lamar sub-corridor was excluded from further study by city Council on December 13, 2013. Had it been advanced, engineers could have developed alignment solutions to preserve car lanes on Guadalupe-North Lamar such as these:
Between 3rd St and MLK run urban rail on the current dedicated transit lanes along the couplet Guadalupe and Lavaca now provided to MetroRapid buses.
Between MLK and 29th run the alignment not on Guadalupe, but on Nueces/San Antonio one block to the west. This will congestion-proof the line and preserve automobile and bus capacity on The Drag.
Plan no stations between 29th and 38th, and run that segment with shared guideway. There may be no other way to serve this segment. It would involve signalization. This is less than a mile and shared guideway is implemented in other systems.Run the segment between 38th and 45th as 3 pair of track, eliminating the chicken lane with one dedicated center track, and installing two pair of track to either side. Those outside tracks would alternate from closed and open to car traffic so the system would always have 2 lanes for cars during peak for the prevailing direction of commuter traffic.
A rail couplet through Austin State Hospital (ASH) could take one or both track pairs off Guadalupe St. if it were timed for that 80-acre site's redevelopment and the leadership was in place to pull it off.
Run one pair of track dedicated between 45th and Koenig in the center of Lamar and run one on Guadalupe, splitting off at 45th to run beside the intramural fields. Thus could tee into Lamar at Koenig through a 16 acre redeveloped retail and warehouse property or further up through DPS.
The Central Austin CDC
The mission of the Central Austin Community Development Corporation is to enhance the livability, safety, and diversity of our community by building bridges of communication and respect among people. It is focuses on issues that cross traditional neighborhood lines such as public safety and transit with emphasis on supporting underserved groups in our area.
We have been privileged to serve as community organizers at a most unique time in our city's history. Over the last two years, we have engaged the public to work on an issue of utmost importance: planning for Austin's first phase investment of urban rail. This work has empowered a diverse coalition of communities, non-profit groups, and light rail advocates.
nteractive Map of Community Support for a Guadalupe-North Lamar Urban Rail Alignment https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zRhTOovU2FdY.kWZ3DRvY6R8w
Sign the Petition "I want to ride LIGHT RAIL on Guadalupe/North Lamar!" https://www.change.org/petitions/i-want-to-ride-light-rail-on-guadalupe-north-lamar
Central Austin Community Development Corporation