Unfortunately, this is an April Fools Day post, and not a real proposal to address Austin’s traffic woes.
Transportation has long been one of the biggest issues facing Austin, and the newly elected 10-1 City Council proved their commitment to tackling it this week with their consideration of a new proposal to radically transform Austin’s public transit system via the introduction of stagecoaches.
The proposal has the support of many prominent neighborhood groups, most notably the Coalition of Austin Neighborhood Traditionalists (CANT), who have been the loudest proponents of the idea. As Carol Hartman, president of CANT, told reporters, “Austin was at its best before all these Californians started moving here and changing everything. This proposal would be the first step to restoring the Austin I remember by bringing our infrastructure back to how it was at Austin’s peak in the 1840s.”
Council-watchers are also enthusiastic about the proposed change. “Polls have found that public transportation bonds have continually failed because voters see buses and trains as un-Texan,” said political consultant Tina Hernandez. “Stagecoaches fit much more consistently with the Texas image and mentality. I think this one could really make it.”
Not everyone was as supportive, however. Josh Harrison, a neighborhood activist, expressed his doubt that the plan was good enough to solve Austin’s traffic woes. “The proposed stagecoach route only serves a very limited corridor of the city. Why build a stagecoach if only a few people ride it? I know people are saying that once we build the initial infrastructure, we can expand, but it really seems like a waste to me. I won’t throw my support behind any public transit improvements unless they come to my neighborhood, preferably my block.”
Another neighborhood activist, Kevin Gerston, thinks the plan goes too far. “My city doesn’t need all this expensive, socialistic infrastructure that the newcomers are trying to bring. I oppose the stagecoach plan–I think we should get rid of all those big-government roads and just let people drive without them. That’s the Austin I grew up in, and even though it’s 2015, I want it to stay how it used to be.”
City Council will be debating the stagecoach proposal at its next meeting, and many are confident that it will make it to this year’s ballot as a new transportation bond (whose low-cost may actually allow it to pass.) They’ll then move on to the next item on the agenda, expanding Pony Express coverage throughout the city.