TxDOT IH-35 Lawsuit

Rethink 35 and other organizations are suing TxDOT over its I-35 Capital Express Central project. Should FAN join these other organizations as a plaintiff in the lawsuit?

As announced here, FAN’s membership voted in October 2021 to oppose TxDOT’s plan to expand IH-35 and called for considering community alternatives such as Rethink35 and Reconnect Austin, as well as impacts on air quality, noise, safety, vehicle miles traveled, climate change, and the tax base.

Since then, TxDOT conducted an environmental study of the options, per the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), culminating in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The lawsuit would contend that the analysis lacked sufficient environmental consideration, e.g. with respect to air and water quality impacts. If successful, it might result in redoing the NEPA process, giving city leadership and the community more leverage in altering the project and addressing new NEPA standards regarding air quality.

FAN and other prospective co-plaintiffs are not obligated to contribute financially to the lawsuit, but having diverse and numerous organizations joining the lawsuit would make a powerful statement. So far, at least two neighborhood association members of FAN, Friends of Hyde Park and Mueller Neighborhood Association, have already voted to join the lawsuit.

CC: @agreenfield319 @tommyates @brwittstruck @marshallgeyer

Hi there! Miriam here from Rethink35. Thank you so much Roger for bringing this to FAN’s attention. I just wanted to emphasize what you said at the end of your message - this lawsuit is a massive undertaking and we are investing in it not only because of the possible legal outcomes, but because it is also a very important part of our political strategy. Having FAN and other groups join as co-plaintiffs would be very impactful. We need a strong community voice to push for a better I-35 project. Thank you again, and if anybody on the forum has any questions about the lawsuit feel free to ask. If I can’t answer them, I will try to find the person who can.

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Thanks, Miriam, for the offer to address questions that members may have.

The draft resolution for FAN to join the lawsuit is here. The deadline to join the lawsuit is approaching, so we’ll bring it to a vote of the membership in the very near future.


Voting has begun on the resolution. If you are an individual member of FAN, you should have received an email message from “Helios Voting Bot” with instructions on how to vote. If you are a member and didn’t receive the ballot, let me know. If you aren’t a member, join here, and we’ll send you a ballot to vote.