ConnectSA Unveils a Plan to Ease San Antonio's Gridlock, but It Needs $2.7 Billion and Community Support

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Former Mayor Henry Cisneros discusses the ConnectSA plan Wednesday afternoon. - SANFORD NOWLIN
  • Sanford Nowlin
  • Former Mayor Henry Cisneros discusses the ConnectSA plan Wednesday afternoon.
ConnectSA, the committee Mayor Ron Nirenberg established to solve to the city's impending descent into gridlock hell, has delivered a report calling for more transportation choices, better traffic flow and smarter technology.

And, oh yeah, the committee also estimates delivering on those goals by 2030 will require $2.7 billion in new funding. And did we mention community buy-in, likely in the form of a public referendum?



"This is not a pie-in-the-sky plan," said former Mayor Henry Cisneros, one of ConnectSA's three chairs during the Wednesday report presentation. "It is measured. It is not a reach for Buck Rogers solutions but looks at what is realistically possible."

Among those proposed non-Buck Rogers solutions: a universal app to help citizens pay transportation fares, more electric vehicle charging stations and a rapid-transit bus corridor running from Loop 410 South to the northern reaches of the city. Also possible are miles of additional sidewalks and curb-protected "micromobility" lanes for bikes, scooters and other non-automotive transportation.



All told, the committee offered up 25 new programs the city could implement during the next 25 years, plus a few more nebulous ones to keep us busy beyond. Rail-based solutions — which local voters rejected twice — aren't on the table.

Now, it's up to ConnectSA to take its plan to the public between now and May 2019 to gather both input and support.

The latter should make for an interesting test after voters handed current city leadership a bruising November defeat over the fire union's punitive charter amendments. But, then, San Antonians' growing frustration with snarled highways and growing commutes could help override their apparent cynicism about local government.

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