Since the early 1970s — when I originally proposed urban rail for Austin — I’ve emphasized that rail transit would be essential to maintain adequate public mobility and livability. But urban rail must be primarily designed to solve the city’s most severe mobility problems, starting in its heaviest corridors.
By far, Guadalupe-North Lamar Boulevard has remained at the top of the list as Austin’s heaviest local travel corridor. In fact, throughout the City of Austin’s spring 2011 urban rail public meetings, this primary corridor was emphasized as being at maximum capacity for more than two decades. The Texas Transportation Institute lists it among the most congested roadways in Texas.
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Lyndon Henry, a former board member and data analyst for Capital Metro, is a transportation planning consultant for the Texas Association for Public Transportation and his own firm, Urban Rail Today. He has been promoting rail transit in Austin since 1973. He also writes a blog column for Railway Age magazine.