Airport Blvd Society Meeting Notes, June 22, 2014

Written by Kathy Sokolic

Founding Principles: The Airport Blvd Society (ABS) has no precise boundaries, and consists of people, from the north part of the Blvd, from Lamar to MLK, mostly.  Jerry Perkins, founder 2014.

ABS will gather periodically to:

  • Share food and drinks
  • Enjoy one another’s company
  • Talk about how we can get the word out on this important geographic part of Austin’s future.
  • Look city-­wide and beyond to communicate with relevant decision-­makers about things important to ABS
  • Learn from one another in a social setting and seek to educate others.
  • Communicate with relevant decision-­makers about things important to ABS.

ABS is NOT:

  • It is not a council district organization
  • It is not a single issue organization.

Invite Airport Boulevard neighbors meeting our ABS premise. Each attendee is asked to contribute $5 to defray cost of refreshments and meeting materials, such as maps, etc.

Next ABS Meeting Date: AUGUST-­TBA, 2014 ~ 4:30-­?6:30 pm, at Arpeggio Room on Airport Blvd.

ABS June 22, 2014 Discussion: Corky Hilliard, Facilitator, ABS member, Mueller Neighborhood, District 9

Attendees agreed to 4 primary community concerns, Transportation, Affordability/Affordable Housing, Education, and Environment. Each person chose the topic area of their preference for a 15 minute discussion to discern direction/information/development desired. Three topic areas were discussed.

After the small group talk, each group’s perspective was shared and it was augmented by the additional comments of others in attendance. Below are the general notes, by topic, from this engaging process. There was agreement that the topics have multiple foci, requiring integrated, ongoing, thoughtful responses.

TRANSPORTATION

  • A coordinated/integrated regional/metropolitan/urban approach is required. Coordinated planning must include representation, by each of the Central Texas Capital Area 10 counties, along w/ the local governing and taxing authorities.
  • Integrated, multi modal approach, supporting less ‘need’(use) of cars, and increasing safe options for pedestrians, bicycles, and other TABS (alternative approaches addressing all needs/abilities)
    • Add Pedestrian Driven Flashing Light Crossings on Airport Blvd. to increase pedestrian options for crossing the Blvd., safely, from Lamar to 183, as needed for use by the pedestrian community.o
    • Develop separate routes for bicycles and for cars…by physical barrier; use of right of way along rail lines, etc.).

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/AFFORDABILITY

  • Need a definition of what affordable means based on income of Austinites, who are working full-­?time, earning a minimum wage.
  • Based on this definition of ‘affordable’ ask community and businesses, in each District, to develop incentives to increase the amount of housing/services, in their District, based on this updated definition of ‘affordable’.
    • Understand that density does not equal affordable.
    • Integrate this affordability throughout/along the Airport Blvd. Corridor project area.
  • Encourage development of Cooperatives – business/residential – including small/locally owned businesses, residential cooped w/ schools/libraries/community services/etc. Reward/incentives for/support local ownership. Expand Foundation Communities model – bringing dollars into the Austin economy that support persons’ capacity to improve/move from low income/poor housing/ limited outcomes/high service needs to middle income, safe housing/accessible/affordable services/maximizing personal potential.

ENVIRONMENT

  • PROTECT/PRESERVE/ENHANCE
  • Watersheds/Aquifer/Air
  • Green Space and Neighborhoods
  • Rain gardens/ Water Table/Trees, etc.
    • Educate community about value and function of each.
    • Engage community in basic protection skills for these resources.
    • Develop Environmental Report Card with the community to gauge changes and needs.

The ABS Planning Team will secure subject matter experts to present at Airport Boulevard Society’s upcoming gatherings. Team Mates are Kathy Sokolic, Kevin Foster, Leyla Cohlmia, Mariela Guitterrez, Tim Mahoney.

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