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 Please help submit comments to the FTA!


Our effort to SAVE DIRTY’S! continues



Friends of Dirty Martin’s Place,


Despite all the changes and the impact on our community, including displacement of Dirty Martin’s, residents, and other businesses, and the uncertainty about how Austin can pay for Project Connect, the city is moving forward anyway. As part of the process, they must prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. Included in that study, they must seek meaningful public comment..


Our ask of you is to:


1.Attend one or more of the upcoming Austin Light Rail Open House public meetings and voice your concerns directly to the Austin Transit Partnership. Obtaining public input is the first step required by the federal government for an Environmental Impact Statement. 


Meeting Dates              Time                        Location
February 1, 2024       11:00 - 2:00 pm    Texas Union, 2308 Whitis Ave.

February 10, 2024     10:00 - 2:00 pm     Montopolis Rec Center, 1200 Montopolis Dr.

February 12, 2024      5:00 - 8:00 pm      League of Women Voters, 3908 Avenue B.

February 22, 2024      5:30 - 7:00 pm      Virtual

February 27, 2024      4:30 - 7:30 pm      Twin Oaks Library, 1800 S. Fifth St.

February 29, 2024,     7:30 - 9:00 am      St. David’s Episcopal Church, 301 E. 8th St.


You can find each of these events with a registration link here: https://www.atptx.org/events/


2. Submit a public comment on one or more of these topics if you are unable to attend.


You can do so by going to this link and clicking on Submit A Formal Comment. We need hundreds of Austin residents to submit comments on this project.


Our goal would be to make our voices heard.Currently, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is only hearing from the proponents of the project and those who stand to gain financially from it.Below you will find some examples of comments that can be submitted to the FTA.You can choose one of those or you can write your own.


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The new plan is vastly scaled down yet more expensive than what voters approved in2020.


In 2020, Austin voters approved abroad-reaching transit plan that included three rail lines and a 20-block downtown transit tunnel. In June of this year the city council threw out that voter-approved plan for a replacement plan. How can this billion dollar project be moving forward without explicit approval of the new plan from the public?Before granting Austin Transit Partnership any funding, we urge you to look at what was promised to voters in 2020 and what is actually being proposed under this new plan. 



We should be comparing ProjectConnect to a Bus Rapid Transit System.


It is my understanding that as part of theEnvironmental Impact study, the FTA looks at alternatives to the current plan.Why is the FTA and Austin Transit Partnership not comparing the current plan with a robust, environmentally preferable bus rapid transit system, like the one that has been adopted in San Antonio. For the cost of a single mile of light rail, Austin could purchase 500 brand new electric buses. It is clear that the environmental impact of a bus rapid transit system would be much less disruptive, cost us far less and take less time to increase transit ridership in Austin. Will the FTA look at this kind of alternative plan?



Why is ATP locating the maintenance facility in a residential neighborhood?


In 2020, the original plan proposed putting the maintenance facility in a non-residential area. With all the changes to the plan, ATP is now proposing to put the maintenance facility in the Montopolis neighborhood, a historically underserved and majority minority neighborhood. Is the FTA looking at the environmental, displacement, and safety impacts of moving the maintenance facility to a neighborhood rather than a more appropriate location for the use?



ProjectConnect and the land use policies associated with it are displacing residents and businesses.


In 2021, after the original Project Connect was approved by voters, KXAN came out with a report that said the light rail plan could displace as many as 300,000 Austinites and hundreds of businesses.What is the environmental impact of that level of displacement? Is the FTA looking at alternative plans that would cause less displacement of residents and businesses? How does the FTA measure the environmental impact of land use policy changes, like the city’s recent HOME initiative that is joined at the hip with Project Connect?



Why are you only evaluating the small plan instead of the environmental impact of the bigger plan voters approved?


City leaders are now excusing this pared backproposal as the  initial phase of anultimately larger transit project. Why is the FTA only looking at theenvironmental impact of the smaller plan? Shouldn’t we be looking at theenvironmental, displacement, and disruption costs of the larger plan?

We are raising funds to help pay for the lawsuit to stop Project Connect. If you would like to support the lawsuit, click the link below.

DONATE TODAY!


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