Celia Israel unveils plan for Austin transportation

TxDOT’s I-35 plan is to widen the roadway by 28 miles for the section beginning in Round Rock and ending in Buda.

AUSTIN, Texas – Mayoral candidate and State Representative Celia Israel announced her transportation plan to support Austin’s continued growth while connecting communities.

Israel’s plan mainly focuses on the concept of mobility and freedom of movement within the city. With this topic she has four main points:

  • Demand a better deal and vision from the Texas Department of Transportation for I-35 expansion
  • Getting the message across from Project Connect
  • Reduce accidents, fatalities and promote safety
  • Innovate and embrace the future of the city

The I-35 plan out TxDOT includes 28 miles of roadway expansion for the section beginning at Round Rock and ending in Buda. It also increases the number of lanes in both directions.

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Israel’s first point in their plan is to call for a better plan that “embraces”.[s] a vision that will bury lanes, cap the freeway with a city park, and create meaningful connections between east and west Austin and for multimodal transit,” reads the Israeli campaign website.

Alternatively, candidate Phil Campero Brual explains that the public transport system “has struggled to keep up with the rapidly growing population” while “poorly planned infrastructure” has meant departments are “thinned out”. Further details about Campero Brual’s plans have not yet been released.

Israel says her second point, implementing Project Connect, can be achieved by voting for funding to make Austin’s light rail a reality. Their website goes on to explain that Austin must “create bus lanes and build protected bike lanes and sidewalks so that everyone has a safe, affordable, and environmentally friendly way to get around Austin.”

Another opponent of Israel, Kirk Watson, wants to ensure that the money poured into massive projects like Project Connect is executed efficiently. One of its main pillars in relation to transportation is the “creation of the Transport Construction Command Center” which would allow for an “integrated management approach”. [Austin’s] major mobility projects,” says Watson’s website.

The third pillar of Israel’s transportation plan is to reduce the number of injuries and deaths on Austin’s roads while keeping residents safe. One of the focal points is the hug vision zero while also investing in “local multimodal infrastructure improvements targeted by the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan” to reduce accident and fatality rates in the city and state.

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All of Israel’s opposing candidates – including the previously unmentioned Gary S. Spellman, Jennifer Virden and Anthony Bradshaw – all agree on increasing security in the city while reducing the death toll seen on the streets.

Israel’s final point concerns the future of transportation in Austin, as well as partnering with local resources like CapMetro to provide “discounted and free rides for seniors, teachers, first responders, or those living below 150% of the poverty line,” the final points summarized.

For a comprehensive list of all candidates running for office in Austin before November 8, visit the City Council website here.

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https://www.kvue.com/article/news/politics/vote-texas/celia-israel-transportation-plan-target-i35/269-15c1d1ec-fcb9-4091-bbfc-9fffb368744e Celia Israel unveils plan for Austin transportation

Laura Coffey

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