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Your organization seems to encourage irresponsible drinking. Personal responsibility is at the very core of what we are doing. We believe that when given enough options, most people will make the responsible decision. Conversely, our anonymous survey of 651 Austin residents found that most people in Austin who drive while intoxicated do it because they don’t feel that there are very many alternatives. We do not encourage irresponsible behavior; however we acknowledge that the city’s current methods of dealing with this behavior are ineffective, and we are proposing a more proactive solution. To us, the most responsible drinker you can be is one who finds alternative means to get home at night, and encourages their friends to do the same. We also recognize that not everyone who is in need of transportation is out drinking. With approximately 2500 night club and venue people employed downtown, there is a real need for late night commute options as well.
Why should my tax dollars pay for drunk people to get home? Impaired driving affects everyone, whether you patronize bars/nightclubs or not. The cost of extra police, repairs, hospital bills, and prosecution are passed on to all taxpayers. No one wants to be in a DWI-related accident; our proposals are focused on getting sober people to leave their cars at home before they start drinking. Additionally, consider the tax dollars of tourists, bar/nightclub/restaurant patrons, and service industry workers. All of these people pay taxes and deserve a safe way to get back to their hotel, to get home, and to get to and from work.
I heard that ATX Safer Streets is an astroturf organization funded by the rideshare industry. Not true. Our 501c3 non profit is a truly grassroots coalition of Austin residents, some who either currently or have previously worked in the downtown Austin service industry. We are neither affiliated with nor sponsored by any political or corporate entity. Our mission is to advocate expansion and improvement of Austin’s transit and parking infrastructure as a means to reduce intoxicated driving, and in doing so we may work side by side with public and private entities to achieve our goals. We will continue to report and promote any stories and legal items positively relevant to our goals of easy and convenient 24 hour transportation in Austin TX.
Where does my donation go? We require an operating budget to ensure the longevity of our organization, including the standard overhead costs of maintaining a nonprofit, and the printing of promotional and educational materials. Our long term mission is to not only improve Austin but help other cities struggling with similar issues in the future. Your donation is tax deductible!
Will increasing public transit really stop people from driving drunk? A 2009 study on public transit in Washington D.C., done by Cornell University (One for the Road: Public Transportation, Alcohol Consumption, and Intoxicated Driving), it was found that for each late night hour bus service was extended: ridership increased by 7%, DWI’s decreased 9%, and fatal accidents involving intoxicated drivers were reduced by 70%. We don’t believe it will stop everyone, but we feel it will greatly reduce it, and our anonymous survey supports this theory as 94% of our respondents said that they would use public transit if it ran later and in their area.