Friday, October 26, 2007

Oh Good, Another Proposal

For the love of God, someone stop him before he proposes again:

Austin Mayor Will Wynn today will call for a November 2008 election to build a Central Austin passenger rail system connecting the airport, downtown and the University of Texas, along with the Triangle and Mueller developments in near North Austin.

Because that's what we need - another dysfunctional transit system to go along with CAMPO, Cap Metro, etc.

Unlike the current commuter rail project, which Capital Metro is building with its own, diminishing resources, Wynn will propose creating a task force of several jurisdictions to work out plans for the city and other governmental entities — and possibly developers and private companies — to pay for the project. This could include, Austin City Council Member Brewster McCracken says, selling bonds to be paid back with general city tax revenue as well as profits from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Remember, if you really want to waste money, you're going to need several jurisdictions working together.

Wynn said he would hope to avoid using general obligation debt, which would require a property tax increase.

You mean, besides the tax and fee increase you've already pushed through as part of your "green building" boondoggle?

"I'm going to try to build the case that now folks, we have to begin the next and obvious phase of our desperately needed comprehensive transportation system," Wynn said. "It should be our goal to do it with no new taxes."

You just got through saying you are going to fund it with Airport money and bonds. Where do you think the money used to replace the funds spent on this thing will come from? This is already a tax increase, you moron.

Wynn said he hopes that the task force could conclude its business within six months, allowing the beginning of a rail election campaign by the summer.

Not to mention the money for this - spending my money to convince me to waste more of my money.

Selling bonds would require permission of City of Austin voters (or Travis County voters, if commissioners decided to throw in some borrowed money as well), and Capital Metro under state law cannot build and operate additional lines without voter approval. This could mean simultaneous elections by the two sets of mostly the same voters, McCracken said, one to borrow the money and the other to allow the project.

So we will probably have the best of all possible worlds - we will vote to have the system, but not to pay for it. Oh, who am I kidding - the people of this town have proven time and again they will vote for any new expenditure put before them.

No one knows what this would cost at this point.

Yeah - no shit.

Capital Metro in 2006 proposed spending about $230 million to build a streetcar line from downtown to Mueller; the agency has revised that cost downward to $210.4 million. But what the mayor is discussing would be much more extensive, including a spur to the Triangle and a several mile run out to the airport that would have to include crossings of Interstate 35, Texas 71 and U.S. 183.

McCracken, in fact, has another extension in mind, this one to Zilker Park.

If there's one bozo on the council I hate more than Wynn, it's McCracken and his half-baked city planning schemes. Oh, and little Jennifer Kim, who just decided she didn't mean to upset the panhandlers, and is willing to pay them more of my money to prove it.

Look, here's a simple idea. You want to move people around from downtown to Meuller or the Triange or wherever, here's a brilliant idea - RUN A BUS LINE THERE. What is more likely is that you already do, and PEOPLE AREN'T USING THEM. You think shiny new streetcars will be more trendy than buses, so people will start using them. What will happen is some people will switch from buses to streetcars, but no additional traffic, and then you will be stuck with a streetcar route that cannot be changed.

Look guys, I know you council folks have a severe case of San Francisco envy - you're still steaming over the fact they thought of banning plastic bags before you did. I'm not particularly interested in living in San Francisco, or Seattle, or Portland or whatever other West Coast shithole city you think we should be turning into. You like it so much, fucking move there yourself.

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