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Campaign Launched Against Project Connect

Updated: Monday, August 18 2014, 06:29 PM CDT

Austin traffic is something no one enjoys. "We all know that traffic and mobility is probably the biggest gripe that people have," says Precinct 3 Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty. 

There is a lot of debate when it comes to how to solve the traffic mess. And Project Connect will be on the ballot in November.

Supporters say the 9.5 mile track at a cost of $1.4 billion would help by removing thousands of cars from the roads.

"This Prop 1, the combination of roads and rail, is the right answer for our community at this time," Austin resident Martha Smiley said. 

The organization Citizens Against Rail Taxes or C.A.R.T launched its campaign Monday against Project Connect.

The group says the rail would come with a tax increase of around a $150 to $200 a year per household.

"Most people will never ride it so why in the world would we encourage 100 percent of the people in this community to vote and to pay for something the overwhelming majority of people will not use," Daugherty said. 

Studies predict Project Connect will have about 16,000 to 20,000 riders per day by the year 2030. Those against the rail say that's not enough to warrant the cost.

Council member Mike Martinez says you have to look at the bigger picture.

"We believe it's important to put that initial first phase on the ballot so that we can get a true multi modal system started going in and around all of our city. But this is the first phase and I think it's important we start somewhere," Martinez said.

By Rachel Kent

Campaign Launched Against Project Connect


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