Message from Dr. Michael Abelson - TLNA President

Part 2 - Where We're Going...

We presented 10 major activities/achievements of the TLNA over the last year or so in Part 1 of the President’s Corner.  See Part 1 below. 

 

As you saw, the TLNA has been very active communicating with the City.  A response to our requests from the City to date has been minimal.  The issue then becomes; “What’s next and why may the City be more responsive now?”

We are getting more organized and more vocal & need your help to do both!!!

 

Current Action Steps

We have taken these major steps to get more organized and in preparation to be more vocal:

  • We have strengthened our Board of Directors and included officers from several Rainey HOA associations as members of our Board. 

  • We have joined forces & worked together with the RNA and the Rainey Business Coalition on several fronts.

  • We have had a successful membership drive with over 100 paying member households and growing.  If you haven’t joined yet, annual dues are only $20.  Click HERE to join.  The more members, the louder our voice at City Hall.  Please join to increase your voice through us.

  • We have communicated with several different media outlets, they have interviewed us, and have written/broadcasted stories about Rainey.  And there is much more to come.

  • We are in talks to create a stronger TLNA and RNA

  • We have recently sent two new position statements; one on the Shared Streets initiative and the other on the new Austin Energy substation to be located in Rainey.  Both are included in this edition.

 

Our Current Major Goals

We are currently working with and/or plan to work more closely with individuals, the business community, developers, HOAs, and the MACC within Rainey.  It is also our goal to work cooperatively with other local homeowner associations, City staff, City officials, CapMetro and other Austin organizations to:

  • Influence the city to allow development height and density only to the extent that it is responsible and facilitates overall mobility in the Rainey area

  • Work to ensure that Bierce Lane remains open to River Street.

  • Work to ensure Shared Streets responsibly moves forward only to the extent it meets the goals and needs of Rainey District stakeholders.

  • The Austin Energy substation meets our needs without further restricting mobility within Rainey.

  • Ensure that the City has a Mobility Plan for Rainey that takes into consideration the recommendations made in the Big Red Dog Rainey Neighborhood Mobility Study and Plan and allows for sufficient access to appropriate modes of transportation.

  • Influence the City to utilize a portion of the funds paid by developers of Rainey District developments to improve infrastructure within Rainey District (e.g. sidewalks, re-working the roundabout etc.).

  • Work with the City to possibly develop additional roadways and infrastructure within Rainey to help support the thousands of new residents that will be moving into Rainey District developments as well as the bars, restaurants and other services under development.

  • Improve the quality of life and property values of both existing and future residents of the Rainey District.

Future Action Steps

We are now at a stage where we need to use our past efforts as a base and expand the scope and span of our activities.  We need your help! 

  • PLEASE join by paying the annual dues of only $20 per household.  Click HERE to join now. We are working to expand membership so that the City of Austin realizes our concerns and is willing to allocate resources to solve some of the issues created by the significant, and seemingly relentless development, they have allowed to occur within the Rainey District. 

  • We plan on repeatedly getting before City Council and different City Commissions.  Please heed our requests to attend these meetings (we will just need your attendance, not your active participation).

  • Volunteer when you can, to help us help you.  We are looking for people with extra energy and/or expertise related to increased community action.  Contact any of the six TLNA Board members or respond here to our request.  We WILL contact you.

It will take a tremendous amount of energy to meet the needs of Rainey District. We are moving forward in a positive direction and organizing to promote more active involvement of everyone and anyone who lives or works within the District.  Your attendance at meetings organized to keep you abreast of current and future activities within the District would be greatly appreciated.   Keep reading our website to also keep abreast of what we are doing.  If you are interested in helping us or would like more information about our efforts, contact us at TLNA:  raineyinfo@gmailcom.

 

In Summary

Some of the work related to these concerns is already underway and other efforts have yet to begin. We are committed to working with the City, as well as stakeholders within and outside of our District, to ensure Rainey District is developed in a responsible forward-thinking way.  In the future, we hope to continue to see a beautiful and vibrant community that is accessible to residents, visitors, and businesses alike and is a place fully enjoyed by a diverse set of developments, residents, businesses and the MACC, all working and living successfully together. Please help us meet these needs by your actions, your volunteerism, and your support. 

The Difference Between the TLNA and the RNA

The Town Lake Neighborhood Association (TLNA) is a collective of residents via individual memberships who are working to support the needs of the Rainey District Community.  You can learn more about us on our website at:  www.tlna-austin.org.

The Rainey Neighborhood Association (RNA) is a Board consisting of HOA representatives and apartment complex representatives within the Rainey District. 

Both the TLNA and the RNA are interested in promoting the needs of those living within the Rainey District.

Previous President's Message - Part 1

There is scarcely any passion without struggle.  Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

Though most of you have not been aware of the efforts of TLNA members, our group has been working on the realities of high-density development and other issues in the Rainey District since 2016.  We have worked cooperatively with the Rainey Neighborhood Association (RNA) in some areas and initiated other activities, all in the interests of Rainey District residents (a comment on the difference between the two associations appears at the end of this message.)

At times this Sisyphean task has seemed hopeless and has been frustrating, but we have not been willing to give up the fight to keep our neighborhood a great place to live.   Over the last 15 years, many requests to the City of Austin for a Master plan for the Rainey District have been ignored.  The lack of infrastructure to support the high-density development being approved by the City Council and City Commissions has not been addressed. Our goal has been to establish a dialogue with the City of Austin to promote more attention and action to address the needs of our community.

Past and Current Efforts

While our efforts over the past few years may not have been consistently communicated, here are some of the activities and accomplishments we have made:

  1. Had representation on and actively participated in the Rainey District Traffic Study Task Force created by CM Tovo, presenting the “Rainey Neighborhood Mobility Study and Plan” to the City of Austin in May 2017

  2. Organized a neighborhood “walk-about” with CM Tovo and staff, Austin Transportation staff, the City Police Department staff, and about 25 Rainey leaders and residents   Q4 2018

  3. Coordinated a neighborhood leadership meeting with Zoning and Planning Commissioner Jim Duncan   Q1 2019

  4. Orchestrated a Letter in Opposition to the proposed Bierce Lane alley vacation that was signed by each building, HOA Presidents, and Neighborhood Associations.  This letter was presented to all city council members, as well as, Mayor Adler.  We had multiple meetings with council members and/or staff to discuss our concerns     Q1 2019

  5. Appeared on local TV stations to voice our concern about the lack of a mobility plan and the continued development approval by the City Council.   Q2 2019

  6. Invited by CM Tovo to the Palm School City of Austin news conference this spring and presented comments   Q2 2019

  7. Presented the Rainey challenges at the Austin Neighborhood Council (ANC) meeting whose membership numbers over 70 Austin neighborhood associations   Q3 2019

  8. Organized and led a private “walk-about” with City Manager Cronk and Assistant City Manager, Fiandaca, who is over transportation

  9. Throughout the past two years the following has transpired:

    1. Held meetings with MACC leadership and/or attended MACC meetings to understand MACC needs and develop relationships with MACC leadership

    2. Facilitated/attended meetings, numerous times, with City of Austin Transportation Department staff to discuss Rainey District transportation issues

    3. Interacted numerous times with Austin Energy regarding their new facility on East Ave.

    4. Met numerous times with developers listening to and responding to their plans for 42-44 East Ave., 48 East Ave., The Travis, and other developments

  10. Lastly, we have recently developed a Rainey District Shared Streets Task Force and orchestrated meetings regarding the Shared Streets initiative passed by City Council at the June 20, 2019 Council meeting.  A letter will soon be presented to City Council, the Mayor, Austin Transportation Department, and City Manager Cronk regarding concerns of Rainey residents and the Rainey Business Coalition (RBC) regarding the Shared Streets initiative.  Q3, 2019

While you may not have been aware of these and other activities we have been involved with, things were happening, and we continued to move forward.  We have established relationships with many different departments throughout the City of Austin, City Council members and other Austin community leaders.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of this letter outlining WHERE WE ARE GOING...

Send Questions, Comments or Feedback to: raineyinfo@gmail.com

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