HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     
Welcome to the SkyscraperPage Forum

Since 1999, the SkyscraperPage Forum has been one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the web. The global membership discusses development news and construction activity on projects from around the world, alongside discussions on urban design, architecture, transportation and many other topics. Welcome!

You are currently browsing as a guest. Register with the SkyscraperPage Forum and join this growing community of skyscraper enthusiasts. Registering has benefits such as fewer ads, the ability to post messages, private messaging and more.

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Texas & Southcentral > Austin

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #4001  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2014, 5:24 AM
DoubleC's Avatar
DoubleC DoubleC is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by airwx View Post
Here's the slides from a presentation in August for the downtown transit gateway. I'm curious about the green line shown in these.

In the renderings towards the end, I think I prefer the "ufo" plan.
I would love the greenline getting built. I won't be living at the same place by the time it gets built though. It'll really empty out 290 to the point that the 290 toll was a waste of money...WHICH, is why they aren't going to build it of course. There really hasn't been much traffic anymore on the 290 corridor from 130 to 35.

They could have spent those 290 tollway funds on a 183 tollway (I know), then build the greenrail to alleviate 290 traffic.

Just curious, I wonder if I may change anyone's perspective, but does anybody suppose that toll roads aren't that bad? The new roads we've been getting are expensive (and thus tolled, I think), but large and can easily be expanded in the future. On the other hand, they could have spent less money to build a smaller highway that couldn't easily be expanded in the future (for example, they could have built a 290 freeway on the grassy median that once existed, leaving everything else intact). Thoughts? I'm honestly still against tolls since it appears it's all we're getting promised, and there are /always/ means of getting funds. How else can Houston be getting a 3rd "loop" around the city? (see link below). Other states manage just fine without making new freeways toll roads (this statement is on thin ice lol).

http://www.utahburden.com/Blog/Grand-Parkway-Info
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4002  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2014, 3:13 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleC View Post
There really hasn't been much traffic anymore on the 290 corridor from 130 to 35.
Just wait. It'll come soon enough. The population of Manor quadrupled in the last 10 years.
<personal anecdotes> I've got friends building off of Harris Branch, friends who moved to Elgin and commute in. They do it because it's still affordable out there. </personal anecdotes>
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4003  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2014, 5:46 PM
hereinaustin hereinaustin is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleC View Post
I would love the greenline getting built. I won't be living at the same place by the time it gets built though. It'll really empty out 290 to the point that the 290 toll was a waste of money...WHICH, is why they aren't going to build it of course. There really hasn't been much traffic anymore on the 290 corridor from 130 to 35.

They could have spent those 290 tollway funds on a 183 tollway (I know), then build the greenrail to alleviate 290 traffic.

Just curious, I wonder if I may change anyone's perspective, but does anybody suppose that toll roads aren't that bad? The new roads we've been getting are expensive (and thus tolled, I think), but large and can easily be expanded in the future. On the other hand, they could have spent less money to build a smaller highway that couldn't easily be expanded in the future (for example, they could have built a 290 freeway on the grassy median that once existed, leaving everything else intact). Thoughts? I'm honestly still against tolls since it appears it's all we're getting promised, and there are /always/ means of getting funds. How else can Houston be getting a 3rd "loop" around the city? (see link below). Other states manage just fine without making new freeways toll roads (this statement is on thin ice lol).

http://www.utahburden.com/Blog/Grand-Parkway-Info
I think managed toll roads are a great way to ensure that only those who need to be driving and not using an alternate mode of transportation are using the roadways. Our current system subsidizes roads at the expense of other modes of transportation since there's only so much money to go around. If you make all major road expansion projects tolls, while also redirecting funds towards rail lines, buses, bike lanes, etc you start to address the bigger transportation issues.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4004  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2014, 5:25 PM
ivanwolf's Avatar
ivanwolf ivanwolf is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleC View Post
I would love the greenline getting built. I won't be living at the same place by the time it gets built though. It'll really empty out 290 to the point that the 290 toll was a waste of money...WHICH, is why they aren't going to build it of course. There really hasn't been much traffic anymore on the 290 corridor from 130 to 35.

They could have spent those 290 tollway funds on a 183 tollway (I know), then build the greenrail to alleviate 290 traffic.

Just curious, I wonder if I may change anyone's perspective, but does anybody suppose that toll roads aren't that bad? The new roads we've been getting are expensive (and thus tolled, I think), but large and can easily be expanded in the future. On the other hand, they could have spent less money to build a smaller highway that couldn't easily be expanded in the future (for example, they could have built a 290 freeway on the grassy median that once existed, leaving everything else intact). Thoughts? I'm honestly still against tolls since it appears it's all we're getting promised, and there are /always/ means of getting funds. How else can Houston be getting a 3rd "loop" around the city? (see link below). Other states manage just fine without making new freeways toll roads (this statement is on thin ice lol).

http://www.utahburden.com/Blog/Grand-Parkway-Info
I used 290 toll twice and I live in Leander. Waze app told me to go 183A > 45 Toll > 130 Toll > 290 Toll. So what would have taken an hour down 183A/183/Mopac took 40min by taking the tolls into town. Yes it cost like $5+ in tolls but for time it was 80mph the whole way. It will get used more, 130 has increased use it seems and 290 will too i think.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4005  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2014, 2:53 AM
DoubleC's Avatar
DoubleC DoubleC is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanwolf View Post
I used 290 toll twice and I live in Leander. Waze app told me to go 183A > 45 Toll > 130 Toll > 290 Toll. So what would have taken an hour down 183A/183/Mopac took 40min by taking the tolls into town. Yes it cost like $5+ in tolls but for time it was 80mph the whole way. It will get used more, 130 has increased use it seems and 290 will too i think.
If by $5+ you mean the gas money you indirectly spent by driving 80mph .

I take the 290 toll 1 out of 3 times that I pass through 290. I really wish they didn't toll the bridges as well. I wonder what else they'll come up with in the future.. heck, at the Eastbound terminus, people are charged again (same for the 183A toll at the Southern end). The connectors really do save a lot of time, so I always take them.

I wonder if I'm the only one who's frustrated that there's no 290W-35N connector, yet there's a connector going 290E-35S....seems like Austin is the only town I've been to that lacks connectors at major interchanges.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4006  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2014, 3:02 AM
cvalkan's Avatar
cvalkan cvalkan is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 51
No. You're definitely not the only one.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4007  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:57 AM
ohhey ohhey is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 14
So early voting is going on now. Any thoughts on how the light rail proposal will fare this time?

Despite really wanting better transportation options in Austin, I ended up having to vote 'no' on this plan. I'm really disappointed, but the plan just sucks.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4008  
Old Posted Yesterday, 8:21 AM
lzppjb's Avatar
lzppjb lzppjb is online now
7th Gen Central Texan
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 1,146
It wasn't on my ballot, but I would have voted No.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4009  
Old Posted Yesterday, 12:59 PM
LoneStarMike's Avatar
LoneStarMike LoneStarMike is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,605
I voted no as well.

KUT.org had an interesting piece on all this.

Behind the Numbers: Austin's Billion-Dollar Rail and Roads Bond

Two interesting points:

Quote:
How does the price tag of this bond stack up to previous bond elections?

It's the biggest ever. While only $600 million of the bond election is technically voter-approved for a starter light rail line, the other $400 million in improvements for state-managed roads is still debt that will be taken on by the city.

[SNIP]

So, $600 million for a starter light rail line and $400 million for state roads. If Prop 1 passes, does that mean that the billion dollars definitely gets spent?

There's two important caveats: one is that the $600 million for the first light rail line cannot be spent unless the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) comes forward with matching money. Austin would be one of dozens of projects in line seeking matching funds, and wouldn't be expected to apply for the funds for a few years.

The other caveat is that the $600 million for rail is tied to the $400 million for state road improvements. Unless the next city council issues that $400 million in debt for the road projects, the $600 million can't be spent on rail, according to the ballot language. If the incoming city council doesn't like that idea, or purposefully slows down the process for taking on that $400 million in debt, it could stall the proposed first light rail line. Many of the candidates for city council (61 of 70 for district seats) have said they are against the rail and roads bond proposition on the ballot this fall.
Considering most of the candidates for City Council are against Proposition 1, I could see them delaying or outright refusing to issue the $400 million debt for road improvements.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4010  
Old Posted Yesterday, 1:35 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
I voted no as well.

KUT.org had an interesting piece on all this.

Behind the Numbers: Austin's Billion-Dollar Rail and Roads Bond

Two interesting points:



Considering most of the candidates for City Council are against Proposition 1, I could see them delaying or outright refusing to issue the $400 million debt for road improvements.
Inflation-adjusted, the 2006 bond was $670 million.

The city only has to provide $400M for roads. Any state or federal money they get reduces that number.
http://austin.twcnews.com/content/ne...llot-language/
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4011  
Old Posted Yesterday, 5:03 PM
LoneStarMike's Avatar
LoneStarMike LoneStarMike is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Austin
Posts: 1,605
^^Thanks. I have another concern about funding and it was alluded to in the Urban Rail Town Hall Meeting on KVUE.

It had to do with an article Ben Wear wrote (that was mostly behind the paywall) but I found it in it's entirety on another site

Austin, Texas To Seek Fed. Funding for Light Rail Project
10/20/2014
Austin American-Statesman


Quote:
Match funding, according to public statements when the City Council set the ballot in early August, was understood to mean 50 percent of the project's overall cost.
So in other words, if the voters agree to kick in $600 million, then the feds have to kick in $600 million.

Quote:
But based on a review of New Starts grants and projects waiting in line for approval, the federal transit agency has often offered grants well short of a one-for-one match. And the funding picture has been even darker for more expensive projects such as what Austin is contemplating, a federal transportation official told a congressional committee in late 2013.

"For the very largest projects, with total costs of $1 billion or more, the federal share has fallen even further, to an average of about 33 percent per project," testified Peter Rogoff , who was then the head of the Federal Transit Administration and is now the undersecretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation .

Looking only at the 12 New Starts projects listed by the agency as having final deals with the transit administration, the cities or transit agencies building them received on average just over 40 percent of the total project costs.

So Austin , which would be hoping for $600 million or more of federal money to match the local contribution, might find itself several years from now looking to fill a financial void left by an insufficiently generous federal offer. Texas state government has so far mostly shied away from funding urban transit projects.

"We haven't gotten there," Keahey said. "But I would guess that if the funding level remains constrained, we would be encouraged (by the federal agency) to provide more than 50 percent."

If so, that could mean trouble for the project down the road. Business leaders who demanded that matching funds caveat in return for their public support of the proposition have made it very clear that they consider that a legally enforceable covenant with the voters. A shortfall in federal dollars and a resultant call for significantly more local funds could put the project in the courthouse.

"Anything less than 50 percent would not meet that condition," said Brian Cassidy , an Austin transportation lawyer and the Real Estate Council of Austin's vice president for regional infrastructure.
Of course if Prop 1 passes, we won't find out for another few years whether or not we'll get any federal matching funds and if so, how much. In the meantime, we'll be spending $50 - 70 million in environmental studies, detailed engineering and design, and other work just so we can apply for the federal funds.

To be fair, the article also noted

Quote:
On the other hand, that requirement could work to Austin's advantage. Federal transit officials, the argument goes, might choose to give Austin the full 50 percent to avoid a legal tangle.

"It's possible that the requirement on the ballot could help the city secure a greater match from the feds, but that was not the intent," Cassidy said. "The intent was to solidify the commitment."
I guess that could be possible, assuming the FTA still exists, and with Congress one never knows.

I would hate to see us spend $50 to $70 million on initial studies and wait 3-4 years only to have the project derailed in the end.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4012  
Old Posted Yesterday, 5:50 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneStarMike View Post
^^Thanks. I have another concern about funding and it was alluded to in the Urban Rail Town Hall Meeting on KVUE.

It had to do with an article Ben Wear wrote (that was mostly behind the paywall) but I found it in it's entirety on another site

Austin, Texas To Seek Fed. Funding for Light Rail Project
10/20/2014
Austin American-Statesman




So in other words, if the voters agree to kick in $600 million, then the feds have to kick in $600 million.



Of course if Prop 1 passes, we won't find out for another few years whether or not we'll get any federal matching funds and if so, how much. In the meantime, we'll be spending $50 - 70 million in environmental studies, detailed engineering and design, and other work just so we can apply for the federal funds.

To be fair, the article also noted



I guess that could be possible, assuming the FTA still exists, and with Congress one never knows.

I would hate to see us spend $50 to $70 million on initial studies and wait 3-4 years only to have the project derailed in the end.
Without knowing which 12 projects he was averaging, I can't comment in detail. I did find
http://www.fta.dot.gov/12304_14366.html

On that list, I found two around the same size as the proposed Austin system.
http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/NC_...file__2015.pdf
1.16 B
and
http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/OR_...ofile_FY15.pdf
1.49B

each seems to have received the full 50% match commitment.

The larger projects that didn't get 50% seem to be in the range of
3B - 7B.

http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/NY_...ofile_FY15.pdf
http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/VA_...ofile_FY15.pdf
Reply With Quote
     
     
End
   
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Texas & Southcentral > Austin
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 9:31 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.