Please plan to participate in the public meetings scheduled in April regarding the City of Austin’s proposed Urban Rail line or submit written comments via the Austin Urban Rail web site or by mail to Urban Rail Project, Austin Transportation Department, P.O. Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767-1088. Comments submitted after the public meeting must be postmarked on or before Friday, April 29, 2011.
The public meetings and comments are a first step being taken by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the City of Austin as they prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) prescribed by federal law and regulations for Austin’s proposed Urban Rail system in Central Austin.
The initial phase of the EIS process, known as the “scoping” phase, will present information and gather input on the proposed Urban Rail system and consider alternate approaches to meeting Austin’s urban and regional transportation needs. The environmental process will examine the entire proposed 16.5-mile transit system which would serve Downtown Austin, the State Capitol Complex, and the University of Texas campus, with extensions southeast to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (along East Riverside Drive), and northeast to the Mueller redevelopment.
The “scoping” process will focus on the purpose and need identified by the City for the Urban Rail project. The City says that Urban Rail is intended to improve mobility, connectivity, and sustainability in the region’s core by:
- Increasing transportation system capacity and choice while preserving the integrity and vitality of existing neighborhood plans and commercial districts;
- Improving access to major activity centers and other regional transit; and
- Promoting economic development and reinvestment in emerging neighborhoods and districts and supporting the city’s goals for the environment and public health and safety.
The following public meetings have been scheduled in April:
I. Scoping Meetings (Federal Transit Authority and City of Austin)
Downtown: Monday, April 4, 2011 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center, Meeting Room 3 on the first floor, 500 E. Cesar Chavez Street
Mueller: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, in the conference room on the first floor in the Mueller Redevelopment, 4700 Mueller Boulevard
II. Additional Open House Meetings (City of Austin)
University of Texas: Thursday, April 7, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, Classroom 103 on the first floor, 1900 University Avenue
East Austin: Thursday, April 7, 2011 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the George Washington Carver Museum, 1161 Angelina Street
East Riverside Corridor: Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ruiz Branch Library,1600 Grove Boulevard
An Alternatives Analysis is currently being conducted by the City of Austin. The Central Austin Transit Study, published in July 2010, evaluated preliminary potential route, technology, and investment alternatives. This study and a conceptual engineering and a pre-NEPA environmental report are posted on the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan web site. For more information about the City of Austin’s Urban Rail proposal, visit RECA’s web page.