I believe that most of us are heartily sick of the congestion, traffic, and other issues we have with North Lamar and Burnet.  Its not just affecting those of us directly on these two streets – we are also seeing more and more traffic issues from people going through neighborhoods, or using other roads, to avoid the traffic on these two roads.

In January, the City concluded a survey with recommendations on what needs to be done to fix North Lamar and Burnet. Unfortunately, the next bond is a big package and to get any of these projects included in that bond is going to take ALL of us.

North Austin Coalition of Neighborhoods and Sustainable Neighborhoods agreed on Thursday  to pool our manpower and create one collective voice for Lamar and Burnet.  If we ALL scream as one for bonds for this study, we have a much better chance of getting some stuff done for our different areas.

So let me lay out the strategy:

1) We have to politely, but firmly,  stay in the face of the Bond Committee. They must realize this is one of things they must select for the November bond package.

*We need people to be willing to drive down to the Bond Committee meetings and speak out. Again and again and again. (meetings run February through May)

2. We desperately need motions of support:

“The <organization> supports the recommendations of the N Lamar Blvd/Burnet Rd Corridor Development Program and urges full funding as part of the proposed 2012 Bond Package.”

*This could be you as an individual person, or maybe you could ask a business or organization you know to send it in, or maybe your board could agree to send it from the neighborhood association.

*Please let Steve know if you have a motion of support, they will be hand carrying these down to the Bond Commitee.

3. Getting a HUGE turn out for the April North Austin Candidate’s Forum is critical. The current mayor, city council members, and those running for mayor and city council seats will be there to answer our questions.  One of those will be “Do you support full funding of therecommendations of the N Lamar Blvd/Burnet Rd Corridor Development Program as part of the proposed 2012 Bond Package?”

*We have reserved St. Alberts Catholic Church on Metric for April 11th.

*We will have flyers to download for you to pass out in regards the Forum on our website here no later than tomorrow:

*We will have people tasked to put up pretty boards and maps of the study and the recommendations at the Forum. A non-too-subtle hint that this is a vital issue for our area.

*We moved the forum so we had the parking and space to accomodate a big crowd – so there is no excuses why we can’t pack ’em in this year.

4. Voter turnout. If we get this on the November balllot, we need voters to vote on it.

*Austin has such low turn outs, we have a huge advantage. The three zipcodes most affected by these streets totals 113,000 people by the last census. If we just get an extra 10-15% of our residents to the polls, we can win this easily. Lets take advantage of the fact our area includes the 2nd and 4th biggest zipcodes in the City.

*we need to make voting for North Austinites super, super easy this year. We have at least 16 voter registars trained so we can get people registered. We will also provide transportation to polls, and we are keeping info on how to vote in one easy to find place:

We are also posting info about our progress and what we need in the way of support and warm bodies to go to meetings here:

5. Finally, we need to be very aware of neighborhood centers.   Part of the comprehensive plan roll-out is going to be a change in the city’s thinking – it looks like future money is only going to be allocated to designated ‘neighborhood centers ‘ and that will be the Ctiy’s MO for the next 20-25 years. We definitely need North Lamar and Burnet designated as neighborhood centers to ensure our areas get money and attention. Gabe and Steve are keeping abreast of how we can best do that, but having all of us pull together and press the urgent nature of this traffic study ties directly into this critical issue. Please watch the above two websites and make sure to check future emails so we can keep everybody in the loop on what else you can do to make sure we get our areas designated as neighborhood centers.

If you have made it all the way to the end of another too long email from me, then I think you are beginning to understand that this is a critical crossroads for us. We have a chance to really make some big, positive changes for our neighborhoods and for Austinites as a whole. Please pass this info along and consider how you can best pitch in to help.  Even something as simple as putting flyers out for the Candidate’s forum or getting a local business involved in the bond push can really help us out.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve and Gabe so they can coordinate everybody’s efforts.

-Mary R
GWNA Coach

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