How Project Connect can help make Austin an even better city
For the past several years, High Five Events, owners and producers of the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon, have worked in tandem with CapMetro. We’ve partnered to ensure that runners and fans can move about promptly and safely on big race days. But our partnership with CapMetro goes beyond that. High Five Events and CapMetro have a shared vision of what the future of Austin can be—cleaner, safer, faster, more equitable. We believe Project Connect will achieve that.
Austin runners number in the hundreds of thousands. Most of the time our daily run starts and ends right outside our front door. But it’s beneficial, even essential, for fitness, training, and emotional health to have some variety. The solution is to run through any of Austin’s iconic environs like circling Ladybird Lake, flying past foliage on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, or tackling the difficult terrain of the Brushy Creek Trail.
If you’ve been a runner here for a few years, you know that those places are harder and harder to get to. It takes longer to get there and back, probably longer than the run itself. Austin traffic pollutes the air we breathe. Traveling, whether by car or on foot, is not as safe. Traveling by rail will help to reduce traffic fatalities.
If runners across Austin support Project Connect and Prop A, we’ll all reap the same benefits. More access to trails, greenbelts, and parks. Cleaner, more breathable air. And a safer run or bike ride along often-used corridors. A good example of improving safety is the planned construction of a new bridge over Ladybird Lake. The plans will reduce foot and bike traffic along Pleasant Valley Road and Longhorn Dam.
Thinking about the future
Austin’s runners often travel on weekends to events around the country and that, too, will return once the pandemic is over. Project Connect makes getting to the airport much less of a Heartbreak Hill, no matter where in Austin you live.
For running families, our children are facing a real challenge if they want to continue to live here. Two million additional people will move to Austin by 2040, four million total. Austin can certainly remain the best place in the country to work and live. However, we need to think about what life will be like in 20 years if we don’t act now to solve our traffic problems.
If you want to learn more about Project Connect and how you can offer your support, visit TransitNowATX.com
High Five Events has long worked with CapMetro and the City of Austin transportation department to create event plans and race routes that minimize disruption to the transportation network. CapMetro planners collaborated with High Five Events on the redesign of the Austin Marathon route, which was introduced in 2018. The new route resulted in a significant decrease in the number of affected bus stations and allowed for less disruption to the overall bus network.