Austin plan that targeted homeless living under freeway now stalled
Proposal would have OK’d arrests, which sparked a backlash.
A proposal that would have empowered Austin police to arrest people living under a South Austin overpass appears all but dead.
Council Member Ann Kitchen — who represents the part of Austin where a 1,000-foot-long overpass of U.S. 290/Texas 71 stretches over Manchaca Road and Pack Saddle Pass — told the American-Statesman recently that she would not be pursuing the program in the foreseeable future. Kitchen said she is now emphasizing other projects related to homelessness.
“We need to focus on other things,” Kitchen said. “It is a matter of timing. It is also not as simple as we thought it would be.”
The change in priorities comes after the Statesman shed light on Kitchen’s proposed agreement between the Austin Police Department and the Texas Department of Transportation that would have
Anthony “Tigger” Graham holds a sign near Pack Saddle Pass in January telling dirvers: “Smile! It could be worse.”