Why is the City of Austin using a gate against “undesirables”?

Below is my letter I wrote to Austin City Council about a gate on an extension of Aldwyche Drive in South Austin, that would prevent “undesirables” from using the new road. No, literally “undesirables”. From the resolution:

Gate on Aldwyche resolution

Here’s the letter I wrote to Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin City Council:

Gates do not make good neighbors. I know, because I live behind one that was constructed to keep me and my neighbors from accessing my neighborhood schools, businesses and fellow residents.

It is embarrassing that the city has determined that “undesirables” — actual word from the resolution — shouldn’t have the privilege of using the streets. Before you say “undesirable cut-through traffic”, I will remind you that we don’t have self-driving cars yet. Each one of those cars has a person going to work, or picking up a child from a friend’s house, or any number of normal, *desirable* functions.

A vote for a gate is a literal vote for exclusion. The gate in my neighborhood has cause unnecessary division and ill-will across a single street. The City should have no part in endorsing that behavior. If it’s a safety issue, then fix the safety issue. That would be a “new way forward” rather than further establishing existing city policies that create exclusion and division that keep the “undesirables” away from the more politically powerful.

Voting Yes on Item 26 is a vote against neighbors.

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