DAILY DOSSIER: Economists Fear Recession, Cedric Benson Dies, Changes Proposed to Homeless Camping Ordinance

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DAILY DOSSIER: Economists Fear Recession, Cedric Benson Dies, Changes Proposed to Homeless Camping Ordinance

The Daily Dossier with Todd Jeffries

Most economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics expect that a recession is in the near future, it's just a matter of when. 

Thirty-four percent of economists polled say they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. 

Another 38% predict that it will occur in 2020. 

Only 2% of those polled expect a recession to begin this year. President Donald Trump has dismissed recession concerns, saying on Sunday, "I don't think we're having a recession."

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The area of 2222 where former Texas Longhorn Cedric Benson died in a crash over the weekend is one that is well known to many who live near the intersection of Mount Bonnell.  

Several people say they're afraid to make a left turn onto 2222 because it's so dangerous.  While there is an intersection at 2222 at Mount Bonnell that has a traffic light off of the eastbound lanes, the westbound intersection where Benson and his female passenger died does now.

There have been calls for a new stop light, as well as a sign prohibiting left turns from Mount Bonnell.

Cedric Benson was 36 years old.

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Austin's Homeless Strategy Office has given its recommendation that the city council consider limitations to where homeless people can camp in public, and for how long.  

Those limitations could be based on areas where both vehicle and pedestrian traffic are highest.  

However, there is no recommendation for creating dedicated campsites in specific areas around Austin.

On Wednesday, the Downtown Austin Alliance will host another public forum on Austin's homeless ordinances, and unlike recent town halls discussing this issue, Mayor Steve Adler will be in attendance, as will council members Kathie Tovo, Ann Kitchen, and Greg Casar.  

The Downtown Austin Alliance says this forum will be about finding solutions.

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The City of Austin has a goal of zero traffic deaths by 2025.  But on the state level, TxDOT is hoping to achieve the same goal by the year 2050. 

TxDOT Chairman Bruce Bugg says they will be allocating $600-million toward roadway surface upgrades this week, but the biggest dangers are still the most preventable.

"Driving while intoxicated, it leads to 30-percent of all of the fatalities we have every year.  And, the second thing is, 25-percent of the deaths are because people don't put their seatbelts on," Bugg says.

Money will go toward new striping, straightening out bad curves, and new tools to enforce Texas laws.

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The Austin Independent Business Alliance hopes the Austin City Council will take a look at their suggestion for a better process to address possible policy changes surrounding the employer-employee issue. 

Rebecca Meloncon with the AIBA says when they were debating paid sick leave, things were heated.

"It was hugely divisive in our community," Meloncon says.  "And very destructive, and set up in the paramaters of workers versus business, workers good, business bad."

Meloncon says AIBA has been taking ideas from places like Portland, Oregan and California to come up with a more inclusive and respectful process.

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