Housing, Transportation Top Nirenberg's First 'State of the City' Address

Mayor Nirenberg focused on issues ranging from housing to transportation to crime today in his first State of the City Address, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Nirenberg stressed the new investment being made in roads and streets in the proposed 2018 budget, but he said with 150 cars being added to the city every day, by 2040 there will be a half million new cars on San Antonio roads.

"By 2040, your commute times are going in increase dramatically, if we continue with the status quo, average commute times will rise by 75%."

He said if we don't plan for transit, 'we won't blame ourselves but our children will.'

"If we don't plan for better transportation, if we don't plan for transit now, we will erode the economy and the quality of life that makes San Antonio so great," Nirenberg said.

Nirenberg said the city is making improvements in VIA Metro Transit, but he said, without actually using the words 'light rail' that additional mass transit is needed.

"We know the future that is in store for us, if we do nothing to build a mass transit system in San Antonio," he said.

And Nirenberg says he realizes that railed options have been defeated at the ballot box, and shouted down by angry citizens.

"Modern mass transit in San Antonio must be citizen driven, and must be voter approved," he said.  "None of this can be accomplished without us working together."

Nirenberg said the skyrocketing price of housing is also endangering the city's economy, and he announced the creation of the Mayor's Housing Policy Task Force' to come up with a plan to deal with a situation where the city is in need of some 142,000 affordable housing units.

He also noted the spike in violent crime rats, and promised action."San Antonio will be the safest big city in the country.  We can do this and we will."

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