Photo by Samantha Bryant
To kick-start an 18-month study of transportation alternatives in a corridor that stretches from downtown Austin to Georgetown, Project Connect: North Corridor hosted an open house June 19 at the Pflugerville Justice Center municipal courtroom.
Residents of Pflugerville and the surrounding area had the opportunity to offer their input on the problems within the corridor in a come-and-go format between 5 and 8 p.m. The meeting drew a crowd earlier in the evening, filling up the parking lot and forcing some attendees to park across the street.
Capital Metro has received federal funding to conduct the study, and after gathering information this summer, the organization will come back to the public with possible solutions and more workshops.
“[The open house] is to get their input on the challenges we need to address,” said John-Michael Cortez, manager of community involvement for Capital Metro. “We haven’t proposed any solutions yet.”
Organizers with Project Connect—a collaboration of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the City of Austin, Capital Metro and the Lone Star Rail District—said they are considering all opportunities to improve mobility in the corridor.
One such option is using the MoKan right of way for a railway—an action the Pflugerville City Council voted to oppose June 12.
“We wanted to plant our stake in the ground from day one and say, ‘Don’t think the community is in favor of this [use of MoKan right of way for a railway],’” said Pflugerville Mayor Jeff Coleman, who attended the open house. “But we are in favor of the overall concept, potentially.”
Project Connect has not made a decision regarding the MoKan right of way, according to documents handed out at the June 19 open house. The MoKan corridor runs roughly along Railroad Avenue and crosses Pecan Street between Railroad and FM 685.
Pflugerville resident Joan Zahornacky said she came to the open house after hearing about the potential plans surrounding MoKan. She said she learned more about all the options Project Connect is considering at the open house and planned to complete a survey regarding transportation in the corridor.
“It makes me believe there is something that needs to be done,” she said about alleviating traffic congestion in the area and planning for the future. “I’d rather be in on it now than affected by it later.”
An additional open house is scheduled for June 21 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Austin Energy assembly room, 721 Barton Springs Road, Austin.
For more information, visit www.connectcentraltexas.com.