Austin plan that tar­geted home­less liv­ing un­der free­way now stalled

Pro­posal would have OK’d ar­rests, which sparked a back­lash.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Philip Jankowski pjankowski@states­man.com Home­less

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

ANA RAMIREZ / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

An­thony “Tig­ger” Gra­ham holds a sign near Pack Sad­dle Pass in Jan­uary telling dirvers: “Smile! It could be worse.”

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