We support Rethink35, a proposal to transform I-35 through Austin into a boulevard with affordable housing and transportation options for all. We oppose the Texas Department of Transportation expanding I-35.

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Texas Transportation Commission, Austin City Council

Texas plans to widen I-35 through Austin.
Instead, let's replace I-35 with a beautiful boulevard.

**Sign this petition now and help make this happen.**



I-35 through Austin has harmed and irritated countless Texans for decades. Noise, pollution, fatal crashes, blocking access to opportunities for low-income communities of color, and overall unpleasantness are just some of I-35 immense impacts.

And yet, TxDOT plans to widen I-35 to 20+ lanes


Widening I-35 through Austin would be a disaster. It would waste over $7 billion of public money to worsen noise and air pollution, increase crashes, and hasten climate change, while doing little or nothing to improve alternatives to driving.

And it wouldn't even fix congestion! Any short term congestion gains would encourage more people to drive until congestion was as bad or worse before. When TxDOT widened Houston's Katy Freeway to 23 lanes, average peak congestion times rose by 42%. Expect a similar result in Austin.

We need a REAL solution:


I-35 through Austin should become a boulevard


Converting I-35 through Austin into a boulevard would create more transportation choice, shorter commute times, more housing and local businesses, and a new world class public space. This would be an incredible quality of life improvement for Austin and central Texas.


Imagine:

  • A BEAUTIFUL, world class promenade in the heart of Austin with wide sidewalks, outdoor cafes, and local businesses
  • A HIGHER quality of life with cleaner air, less noise, increased safety, and a real response to climate change
  • Transportation CHOICE and SHORTER commute times with dedicated space for congestion-free mobility such as walking, bicycling, buses, and trains
  • PERMANENTLY affordable housing and PREVENTING gentrification with new housing put into community land trusts and tax revenues channeled into anti-displacement programs

How would congestion times improve? It's simple: Many of the 55% of Austinites who don't want to drive would walk, bike, or take the bus or train. Also, a boulevard would restore east-west street connections and open up travel routes other than I-35.


Other cities have removed their highways.
And people have loved the results every time.

San Francisco before and after removing the Embarcadero Freeway

For decades, cities including San Francisco, Portland, and Rochester have removed their central city freeways. EVERY highway removal has greatly improved quality of life. And yes, congestion actually improved. That's why there are currently over 30 grassroots highway removal campaigns nationwide, including in Dallas. Look out for more highway to boulevard projects across the US in the near future.

This is a sensible idea whose time has come.
Sign this petition and make this happen in Austin.


Whether you want a better way of life, better transportation and shorter commute times, a stronger economy, more local jobs, or a bold climate change solution, converting I-35 through Austin to a boulevard is the solution for you.

This will require a BIG community push. Please sign this petition and then ask at least 10 friends to do the same. Spread the word as far as you can. We can and WILL win this!

For more information, visit the Rethink35 website.

Sponsored by

To: Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Texas Transportation Commission, Austin City Council
From: [Your Name]

I call on you to convert I-35 through Austin into a boulevard, as proposed by Rethink35. I also oppose expanding I-35 to 20 or more lanes, as TxDOT is currently proposing.

For decades, I-35 through Austin has inflicted pollution, noise, crashes, and a lack of transportation options upon countless Texans. Now that I-35 is aging and needs to be rebuilt, now is the time to undo past mistakes by converting I-35 through Austin into an urban boulevard with local businesses, 100% permanently affordable housing, and dedicated space for wide sidewalks, protected bicycle lanes, buses, and trains. This would result in a significant quality of life increase for Austin and central Texas.

By providing congestion-free transportation options such as walking, bicycling, and public transportation and by restoring east-west street connections, the boulevard would actually improve travel times over today. In contrast TxDOT's proposed expansion would encourage more people to drive, therefore having no or even harmful impacts on travel times.

Highway to boulevard conversions have happened in many other cities, including San Francisco, Portland, and Rochester, and over 30 grassroots highway removal campaigns exist nationwide. This is a sensible idea whose time has come. Please choose and implement a boulevard as the solution to an aging I-35.