Letter to the Editor

I'm writing in regard to your recent article, "Street Smarts" [civic.com, March 2001].

Today, in the era of the information infrastructure, new kinds of equipment are called for that can deliver fast, simple, reliable, cost-effective data access.

Recently the citizens of Austin approved a bond package that included a 911 combined management center. The center will serve the city of Austin's police, fire and emergency medical services and its Capital Metro transit system.

This 911 combined management center will use electronic and communications equipment to monitor, analyze and immediately react to incidents by changing traffic routing, signals and signs. It also will provide accurate and instant information to the public, government emergency response personnel, the media and other jurisdictions.

The common thread is time — shortening the time it takes to commute to and from work, cutting emergency response time, reducing the time needed to transport goods. And all of that keeps traffic moving, improves productivity and leads to less pollution.

Now is the time to use the advances made by the American transportation system to connect the traffic manager to the transit manager and connect them both to commuters, truck drivers, schools and hospitals.

This 911 combined management center will meet Austin's mobility needs in the 21st century, and this sustains our economic prosperity and the quality of life Austin has treasured.

Jimmy Castro
Member, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
Austin, Texas

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