How many deaths does it take to get Austin City Council’s attention?

UPDATE 7/24: This post is already outdated. 61 traffic fatalities. H/T @cubbie9000

59 people have been killed in traffic fatalities in Austin in 2015. 6 in just the past two weeks. 18 pedestrians and one person on a bicycle. There were 63 traffic related deaths [edited from 58] in all of 2014. I understand City Council is currently on summer break, but how many deaths does it take to get Austin City Council’s attention? Let’s take a look at their social media accounts since July 4:

Mayor Steve Adler

July 8: Mayor Adler enjoys The Thinkery
July 9: The Mayor shares some insight on dedicated transit lanes he learned while visiting Dublin.
July 10: Mayor Adler spoke at Con Mi Madre. He also met with the Mayor of Saltillo, Mexico.
July 21: New Facebook profile pic


Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, District 9

The Mayor Pro Tem has not tweeted since July 4, and appears to only have personal Facebook page.

Councilmember Ora Houston, District 1

CM Houston last tweeted on July 2, to announce a Town Hall. Over on Facebook, CM Houston announced a community meeting on July 10, and a recruiting event on July 11.

Councilmember Delia Garza, District 2

CM Garza has an infant, so I’m cutting her some slack. On Facebook, she posted about the Choose Healthier app (7/11) and she served lunch for Summer Meals that Matter (7/21). She appears to publish the same posts to Twitter.

Councilmember Pio Renteria, District 3

CM Renteria announced a Workers Defense Project vigil after a worker died on the job on the Eastside (7/14), asked for feedback for the Y-to-Barton Creek Trail (7/20), and passed along a tip about a traffic hazard on Cesar Chavez on July 21.

Councilmember Gregorio Casar, District 4

CM Casar also met with the Mayor of Saltillo, Mexico (7/10); attended a Texas AFL-CIO conference (7/16); spoke at a CLASP DC panel (7/18); and got to visit the White House and tout increasing paid maternity leave (7/18).

Councilmember Ann Kitchen, District 5

Councilmember Kitchen last posted to Facebook in June. She last tweeted May 23.

Councilmember Don Zimmerman, District 6

It appears that CM Zimmerman abstains from a public Facebook page and tweeting, at least since June 26.

Councilmember Leslie Pool, District 7

CM Pool is one of the more active councilmembers on social media. Here’s a selection of posts from July:

July 8: CM Pool shares an article on right-sizing city roads to reduce collisions without causing additional congestion.
July 8: Announces that Austin was selected to the Designing Cities Conference, focused on “making streets safer, more livable, and more economically vibrant”.
July 11: Shares her admiration of recently sold Green Pastures.
July 11: Shares a petition to protect the Golden Cheeked Warbler.



July 13: Announced a Transportation Department plan to change traffic signals to reduce congestion.
July 16: Like CM Troxclair, CM Pool also wants you to learn about the City Auditor.
July 16: CM Pool tweeted a story about a driver who hit a cyclist with his truck.
July 17: Photos of Pluto.
July 20: Posts an article about the state of the music industry in Austin.
July 22: CM Pool spoke at an ANC meeting.
July 23: Another post about protecting the Warbler.

Councilmember Ellen Troxclair, District 8

Only a couple posts. She wants you to understand the role of the City Auditor (7/20).

Councilmember Sheri Gallo, District 10

CM Gallo is also very active on social media. Here’s her tally:

July 13: Attended Grovefest, site of a new development in Central Austin.
July 15: Celebrated HEB Mueller winning a Green Energy award.
July 15: Retweeted this @ImagineAustin post about #VisionZero, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths in Austin
July 17: Attended the Austin Aces home opener
July 20: Attended a meeting of the Indian-American Coalition of Texas.
July 22: Attended a Pecan Street, Inc. board meeting.

There you have it. 59 deaths. Six in two weeks. 11 elected members of Austin City Council. 2 posts about protecting the life of an endangered bird. 2 tweets about pedestrian & cyclist safety [Edited after Dan Keshet’s feedback].

How many people have to die to get Austin City Council’s attention, and a plan of action? Tell each one of them that 59 deaths is too many, and it’s time to prioritize safer streets in Austin.
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