Transportation and Traffic Congestion
The largest transportation issue facing the citizens of Precinct 1 is the ability to get into and out of the City of Austin, especially during rush-hour traffic. Unfortunately, this will be a difficult problem to fix given the intransigence of most Austin city leaders as well as the Travis County Commissioners Court to support any new road construction or expansion.
That said, in southern Williamson County, we must look at fixing those areas where traffic tie-ups occur on a daily basis, including the SH 45 toll merge onto I-35 North, the confluence of traffic that creates delays along I-35 South between US 79 and Hester's Crossing, as well as the perpetual backups along US 183. In addition, we must work with the city of Austin and the State of Texas to improve traffic flow along Parmer Lane.
On the issue of US 183, I would oppose the construction of a single toll lane between Mopac and SH 45. Instead of spending $650 million-plus on this project (assuming the project comes in at budget only so drivers can pay perpetual variable tolls), regional transportation resources would be better dedicated to fixing the causes of the major delays on this stretch of highway, such as eliminating the sudden merge from northbound Mopac to 183 North as well as adding free lanes in sections of US 183 where this is feasible.
Additionally, I believe Williamson County must continue to be forward-looking—acquiring rights-of-way now where growth will occur 20-50 years out. In the long run, this will save county taxpayers millions and it will ensure that we do not run into the same sorts of congestion issues currently plaguing Austin.
Finally, as Commissioner, I pledge to lead an effort to fix the chip-and-seal debacle that has created a major nuisance on many of the secondary roads in most of our neighborhoods.