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Austin Green Health Zones

Zones within Austin's busiest business districts at rush hours that restrict vehicles that are occupied with less than two people.

Photo of Franklin Brown
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Create strictly enforced "Green Zones" within Austin's most congested business districts. During business hours or rush hours, vehicles that are occupied with less than two people are restricted from entering within the boundaries of the zones, unless those vehicles are registered and are displaying an official Green Zone decal on the license tag and windshield. Registered vehicles would pay a yearly fee, funds generated from those fees would be used solely on new mobility projects, similar to those ideas of the Ford Challenge. Other uses would include: the construction of new bike paths and walkways, the planting of trees along existing walkways and bike paths, issuing vouchers to participants that take part in health, exercise and nutrition classes, vouchers for bike riders that may be used at bike shops that offer free bike safety classes, and discounts on monthly transit passes. Health insurance companies and ride-share companies may also find it beneficial, as stakeholders, to contribute to the sponsorship of Green Zones projects. Green Zones would help promote healthier, stress-reducing lifestyles and increase ridership for ride-sharing companies. Vehicles found to be in violation of the Green Zone restriction will be cited by law enforcement with considerable fines. There would also be the creation of a one-term only, bi-yearly elected, Citizens Mobility Authority (CMA.) The CMA would be made up of passionate, cause sharing, everyday citizens. The CMA would exist as a totally separate independent authority charged with overseeing the funds and creating and implementing new mobility projects countywide. Politically, the creation of the CMA would offer a great deal of cover for county elected officials from having to face backlash for implementing the Green Zones. Residents living in or near Green Zone areas could also experience an increase in property value, as is often associated with a decrease in traffic. Elderly car owners, vehicle owners with disabilities and residents living within Green Zone areas could register their vehicles at a discounted rate. Discounted rates could also be applied to company fleet vehicles, ride-sharing, and taxis that utilize the Green Zones during restricted hours. The entire budget would operate off of the funds generated by registrations, sponsorships and funds from citations. All funds generated by the Green Zones would be used exclusively (100%) for CMA projects.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Commuters carpooling could benefit from the reduced amount of traffic going into the business districts. Job creation for existing or start-up construction companies wanting to get involved in the building of the new projects funded by the Green Zone revenues. People not willing to carpool would benefit the most from purchasing a yearly Green Zone Pass. Health conscience citizens would find their daily experiences fresher, safer and easier with the reduced amounts of vehicles and CO2. Public transportation would have a much easier time getting into Green Zones with less traffic, which would help in maintaining better on-time performance and public transportation would be made much more affordable by subsidies. First Responders would find much easier to respond to calls within the Green Zones with less traffic. Elderly and Disabled pedestrians would find it a much smoother experience getting around within Green Zones.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Team: Franklin A. Brown, Ralph McCoy, Jasmine Baldwin, Harold Young of Urban UAV Systems and Consulting, Inc. in association with various members of COMTO - Conference Of Minority Transportation Officials - Miami-Dade & Broward County, Florida Chapters *Professional guidance and assistance from various members with both public and private sector experience.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

https://uuavsc.com

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

Most of the costs can be attributed to the signage required to let the driving public know when they are approaching a Green Zone. The installation of signs would include through-ways, highways and local neighborhood streets leading toward Green Zones. Other costs would include: legal fees, travel costs, general administrative costs, distribution of decals through auto tag agencies and online, also making the public aware through an assortment of media outlets.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We would pilot our idea by targeting one of the most congested business districts in Austin. The decision would be considered only after organizing meetings with citizens, business owners, public safety departments, transportation officials and elected government officials to determine where the pilot program would most effectively and efficiently be implemented.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Success could be measured in the following ways: a decrease in the amount of traffic in and surrounding the Green Zones, the number decals that were sold on a monthly basis, an increase in the number of commuters using public transportation going into the Green Zones, an increase in the number of 'GZ' vouchers being used on a monthly basis and online surveys. Lastly, we could gauge the pilot by an increase in the number of pedestrians, ride-sharers, carpoolers, cyclists and an increase in the amount of sponsors involved.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Sustainability: Monies generated by funding as a result of the yearly decal sales, health insurance companies and ride-share companies sponsorship, as well as traffic enforcement tickets issued to violators by law enforcement.

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Photo of Tarsha Foster
Team

I love this. Looking forward to seeing it go through.

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