Runaway growth is bringing the Austin area to a standstill. According to the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), roadway congestion in 2010 is currently 15.6%. Roadway congestion projections soar to 39% by 2035, and that’s even after we spend $27 billion in a multi-modal dream of new highways, rail, bus, bike and pedestrian improvements. Given the fact that no money exists for such a pipe dream, central Texas traffic will grind to a halt in 2035 with 56% of our roads jammed and commute times unbearable, slowing response times for police, fire and EMS. Endless growth brings higher traffic congestion, higher taxes, higher utility rates, big city problems, and a lower quality of life.
Austin’s growth is aggressively promoted by the specific business interests who profit from population growth. Austin’s metro area population, currently about 1.7 million, will grow to 3.3 million by 2035 and the additional 1.6 million people will require 600,000 new housing units. This translates into a $100 billion boon to Austin’s home building industry at roughly $160,000 per unit. But population growth requires massive outlays of taxpayer supplied public infrastructure for schools, roads, water, wastewater, parks, fire/EMS and police stations, municipal buildings, libraries and power. Guess who pays for all of that infrastructure while the profiteers walk away without contributing? Existing residents, that’s who. Taxpayer subsidies of public infrastructure are woven throughout the city budget in a myriad of ways almost no one realizes or will admit. This site is dedicated to transparency about how our tax dollars subsidize growth and increase the cost of living to sky high levels.
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