Proposed East Riverside Corridor Plan

It\’s available now. You can read their presentation.Lot\’s of nice pictures. Most of what I\’m seeing is really good. The anti-light rail people at Country Club Creek Trail seem like they didn\’t sway the opinions much. It\’s still one of the top priorities. I attended a meeting where there was talk about how light rail would bring in an undesirable element. Unless they\’re referring to rich yuppies I don\’t see what they\’re concerned about. If the element they\’re referring to is the element I think they\’re referring to, they\’d be better off rerouting the #7 away from Riverside drive.

Country Club Creek Trail is still a major part of the plan which is great. Once they get the trail under Riverside setup they\’ll have a great arterial for getting bike traffic from areas south of Oltorf into the commercial zones at Riverside and Pleasant Valley.

Modern architecture fares worse than traditional which is probably attributed to the fact that the participants were quite a bit older than the average Austinite.

The graph explaining what income groups people think should be represented is fascinating and representative of Austin in general I think:

I\’m glad the desire is there to keep the mix, and hopefully they\’ll be able to do so. But I hope no one\’s under the illusion that as many poor families will be housed there in the future. I honestly think that the mix of Moderate and High income is wishful thinking and that the High Income Only is more than likely where this is going. Lakefront property in Austin next to a light rail line is not going to be cheap.

I think one of the big issues we see time and time again is a wishful thinking on the part of advocates for the poor and middle income. We saw this with Mueller. There was this expectation that it really wouldn\’t be that popular. That rich people really wouldn\’t want to live in East Austin so it wouldn\’t be a big deal for low and middle income housing. I think we should be planning that anyone who makes less than $75k/year is not going to be able to find housing within a 10 minute walk of the Riverside corridor within ten years time. Setup our affordable housing plans with that in mind. I think this is going to move faster than anyone thinks. Those east riverside commercial slumlords have been holding onto their property specifically waiting for the transformation to start. They\’re going to sell the minute things look good. And the first half-mile looks like it will be transformed within a couple of years. If you like the Baby A\’s on riverside you might want to drink up.

If the light rail plan actually goes through, even Canyon Oaks might get a fresh can of paint and a couple hundred dollar hike in rent.

That said, I think the plan looks great. Now I can\’t wait for them to zone Oltorf for mixed use and start getting rid of all the ugly strip malls.

On an only lightly related note I found this great resource on a CapMetro blog today. It shows you every bus stop on a bus route, so you don\’t have to guess where the bus goes. It would be better if they interfaced with Google Street View, but still very nice.