Transportation | Texas Public Radio

Transportation

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The city may be backing down from its streetcar support, but Mayor Ivy Taylor said she believes there could be room for discussion of a more comprehensive project that has public support.

During a one-on-one conversation with TPR Tuesday, she said politics notwithstanding, the community's voice is really what directed the council's decision on VIA's current proposed streetcar project.

After Mayor Ivy Taylor's surprise announcement yesterday that the city of San Antonio would be asking for the $32 million it gave to VIA Metro Transit for the modern streetcar, many questions about the future of streetcar and downtown development were left unanswered.

The decision comes after months of intense political and public pressure on the city to put the measure on the November ballot.

Flickr user ericnvntr / cc

San Antonio's streetcar project hit a major hurdle Monday when city council asked city staff to draft an ordinance that would withdraw the city's $32 million contribution from the project.

Joey Palacios / TPR News

The city of Castle Hills is considering removing VIA and VIA Trans service from it’s city boundaries.

If the Castle Hills City Council approves it, the citizens of the small San Antonio suburb will be able to vote on whether or not to remove VIA from the city. Acting Castle Hills Mayor Timothy Howell, who was placed into the position last week, said he’s not taking a side on the issue yet.

“I think it’s very important that we allow the citizens to decide what they want to do moving forward,” Howell said.

VIA Metropolitan Transit

VIA Metropolitan Transit has released a commissioned study showing a $1.3 billion economic impact along the routes of its proposed streetcar system. Those opposed to the street car system say the transit authority is paying for exactly what they want to hear.

The economic impact study commissioned by the SABÉR Institute at St. Mary’s University and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce predicts a multi-billion dollar return on investment over 25 years through VIA’s initial $280 million.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

Texas lawmakers with the Senate Committee on Transportation heard from state and local mobility experts on how to the reduce the amount of traffic within the state’s top 100 most congested roadways list.

The state’s top 100 most congested roads is a list started by TxDOT in 2009 as a way to highlight the problem areas in the state. Currently the worst congested area in the state of Texas is the stretch of IH-35 running through Austin.

TxDOT

Later this month, the speed limits on a portion of Loop 1604 will change, and in some instances, frequently change throughout the day with a new system being piloted by TxDOT.

Imagine driving on loop 1604 and a new digital speed limit sign on the side of the road changes from 60 to 55. The signs are a new variable speed limit system TxDOT is deploying here in San Antonio, in Eastland County and Waco. The system is used in other states like Florida.

TxDOT spokeswoman Laura Lopez said the system is designed as a safety measure.

Alamo Area MPO

The Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is working this week with residents in its expanded metro area outside San Antonio to come up with a regional transportation and traffic safety plan for the next 25 years.

VIA Metropolitan Transit

Mounting pressure on the city of San Antonio and VIA Metropolitan Transit to stop their construction of a streetcar system has grown.

In the last few months, the political landscape has changed surrounding the project: San Antonio notables like Red McCombs and state Rep. Lyle Larson have come out against the plan, Mayor Julián Castro is soon to depart to lead the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development, and opponents say they will be able to get a charter amendment requiring a public vote added to the ballot in November.

Dan Patrick campaign

Business leaders across the state of Texas are hoping they can convince Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, to work with them on their agenda of providing more money for roads and water.   

During the Republican primary and runoff election, groups like the Texas Association of Business threw their support behind incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, even going as far as to say Republican voters made the wrong choice with Patrick as the nominee.

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