Mobility Bond Should Help to Make Austin Roads Safer
Although it was a bit controversial, the $720 million mobility bond that Austin voters approved on November 8 should ultimately help to make our roads safer for everyone – motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike – and contribute to the prevention of costly and potentially deadly car accidents.
In fact, as KVUE-TV reports, the Austin City Council gave the green light in early December 2016 to start work on the first projects that will be funded through the bond, including construction of sidewalks, urban trails and safer routes to schools for our community’s children.
At our law firm, we believe that every accident avoided and life saved due to the traffic safety improvements made possible through this bond will be well worth the price.
Why Was the Mobility Bond Controversial?
As Time Warner Cable News (TWCN) reported back in September, the goal of the $720 million mobility bond was to fund a combination of road, sidewalk and other traffic safety projects over the course of the next eight years. (You can see a complete list of the projects, timelines and other details in this City of Austin memo.)
However, before the vote was held on the bond, city officials disclosed that the actual cost of the project could actually end up being closer to $1.5 million, or roughly twice the bond amount.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler spent the weeks leading up to the vote on efforts to persuade voters that the bond would be worthwhile and would “cost the typical homeowner less than $5 a month,” according to TWCN.
By approving the bond, Austin residents apparently saw the benefits as outweighing the costs. Let’s take a closer look at a few of those benefits.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Projects Are in the Works
About one-fifth of the $720 million bond package, or $137 million, is slated to go towards sidewalk, bike and urban trail projects, CommunityImpact.com reports. These are worthy endeavors.
For instance, the National Center for Safe Routes to Schools reports that the number of children walking to school today has greatly increased in recent years. We need to make sure these children are safe.
The Safe Routes to Schools projects which are being funded through the mobility bond will add and make improvements to sidewalks, provide bike routes, enhance traffic medians and add pedestrian hybrid beacons, which are traffic control devices that are aimed at increasing motorists’ awareness of pedestrian crossings.
Additionally, adding protected and buffered bike lanes and making other improvements for cyclists through this bond package will help to prevent bicycle accidents that can be especially severe for cyclists, often causing severe head and brain injuries, cuts, fractures and burns.
It is important to note that Austin was already deemed a “bicycle friendly community” by The League of American Bicyclists (with the University of Texas at Austin earning “bicycle friendly university” status).
The projects that will soon be undertaken as the result of this bond should elevate Austin from the organization’s “Gold” status to “Platinum,” which is the highest safety level that a community can reach.
Hurt in a Crash? Get in Touch with Our Austin Accident Lawyers
At Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP, we have a long history of protecting the rights of injured motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians in Austin and surrounding areas. (Check out Our Results to see examples of cases we have worked on during recent years.)
We have seen the devastating impact of accidents on victims and their families. That is why we are fully supportive of efforts to make our roads safer for everyone.
If you or a loved one has been harmed in an accident that you believe was caused by the careless or reckless conduct of another, please feel free to contact us. We can provide a free consultation about your case.