Map showing Neighborhood Streets being changed to Level 2 (ROW 72’ – 84’)
- The city’s staff proposed changes during the winter holidays to Austin’s transportation plan that could pave the way for residential upzoning across our community
- City staff is allowing comments to the street designation changes until January 16
- Please call the mayor and city council and demand more time for public input on how this impacts your neighborhood
Over the winter holiday, city staff quietly proposed some significant amendments to the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan (ASMP), our community’s comprehensive transportation plan. If passed, these street designation changes could have a profound impact on redevelopment and increased density in neighborhoods through our community. They could open the door to the upzoning of many neighborhoods along these streets, in what may be a covert return to City Hall’s infamous “transition zone” plan.
Insensitively, local officials are allowing public comments only until January 16, despite the current COVID-19 surge. Many neighborhood streets all over the city are impacted.
Please contact Mayor Steve Adler and the members of the Austin City Council today and tell them we need more time to study the proposed ASMP amendments and how they impact our neighborhoods! Ask them to extend the comment period for these street-designation changes another month, to February 16. Our elected officials claim they want public input, so let’s hold them to their word!
Here’s some more background information:
The city’s staff is proposing to add additional roadways to what’s known as the “Transit Priority Network.” That network does not appear in the existing land development code, but is a term coined by the city to link land use with transportation and to “promote infill and redevelopment in these desired locations.”
To promote infill and redevelopment along the Transit Priority Network, the ASMP says “[t]he full range of planning tools should be used to establish these densities, including zoning reviews, small area plans, density bonuses, affordable housing investments, transit-oriented development zones, and revisions of the land development code … .”
In short, the city’s staff appears to be introducing justification for transition zones through a backdoor, laying the groundwork for Land Development Code revisions that would be supported by street designations. The city is justifying these additions saying they are supporting Capital Metro routes, but some of the proposed additions are not in Capital Metro’s adopted Project Connect System Plan or Initial Investment map.
The municipal staff is also proposing to redesignate the classification of a number of other neighborhood streets. The city designates roads using five levels, with 1 as residential to 5 as freeways. By increasing street designation levels, City Hall is essentially seeking to tie these new designations to support increased redevelopment in the future. In many cases, the right-of-way (ROW) required for the street level is incompatible with the built environment, suggesting future demolitions.
By adding transit priority network corridors and “upgrading” many other street designations, these amendments could open the door for upzoning in many additional neighborhoods.
This is no way for a city to operate. Demand real public input! Contact Mayor Adler and your representative on the Austin City Council using the information below, and tell them to extend the deadline a month and to order staff to publicize the comment period. Check this map if you aren’t sure which council member represents you.
Together we can build an Austin for everyone!