- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A review shows that voters who live near a proposed 9.5-mile light rail line in central Texas were more likely to support it at the polls than those who don’t.

The measure lost 57 percent to 43 percent in Austin, and its defeat casts serious doubt on the rail’s future, the Austin American-Statesman (https://bit.ly/1x7slqw ) reported. The measure was tied with a $400 million roads package.

John Langmore, former Capital Metro board member, made several appearances at forums to support the rail before Tuesday’s election. He thinks the geographic break down is actually an argument to continue pursuing the rail in Austin.

“It’s not an indictment of rail, it’s an endorsement of rail,” Langmore said. “The direct beneficiaries of it totally get it, in large numbers.”

He said that it makes sense that people who don’t live near the proposed line and didn’t vote for it saw it nothing more than as a property tax increase.

“Those people in Southwest and Northwest - understandably, by the way - looked at this and said, ‘There is nothing in it for me,’” Langmore said.

He acknowledged the city might not have an immediate appetite to continue pursuing the project anytime soon. But he said he thinks a similar rail route proposal might be brought back for a vote in the future and packaged again with road spending.

Still, he said combining the rail and roads in one proposal was a mistake.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

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