Following a presentation on the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan at the March 6 meeting of the Environmental Commission by Annick Beaudet, the assistant director of Austin Transportation, commissioners began asking about some of the environmental aspects of the plan. While questions about tree canopy removal in order to widen streets made a predictable appearance, issues of air quality, right-of-way and autonomous vehicles were also raised.
Commissioner Mary Ann Neely noted that Austin is uncomfortably close to being in violation of air quality requirements and the new transportation plan will likely push the city over the edge if it doesn’t take pollution into consideration.
While Beaudet said that air quality improvements are part of the plan (there are limitation on idling vehicles), Commissioner Katie Coyne observed that “the indicators and targets don’t have any quantifiable metrics.”
Read more from Jessi Devenyns with Austin Monitor here.