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TAC proposes spending $700 million of $783 million on roads

11% bike, ped, transit, LCI

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The Houston - Galveston Area Council Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has approved recommendations to spend 90% of regionally discretionary transportation improvement funds on roadway projects mostly for cars.

$783,265,000 is being allocated by the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council (TPC) and the TAC as part of the 2015 Call for Transportation Improvement Projects (TIP). Current recommendations propose the region spends roughly $700,000,000 of that on highway and roadway projects. $86 million, or about 11%, of funds will be spent on pedestrian, bike, livable centers and transit projects. These allocations could be decided by the TPC on Friday, Sep 25.

The vision of H-GAC’s 2040 Regional Transportation Plan is that

“In the year 2040, our region will have a multimodal transportation system through coordinated investments that supports a desirable quality of life, enhanced economic vitality and increased safety, access and mobility.”

It is unclear how funding cars and highways at 90% over pedestrian, bike and transit infrastructure achieves this goal and whether this proposed decision would make the region’s TIP and RTP out of sync.

With $185 million worth of pedestrian, bike, livable centers and transit oriented projects on the table, the TPC could fund all of these projects at 23% of the full budget. TIP funds come from a variety of sources, including CMAQ, STP, Cat-2 and Prop 1. CMAQ funds are specifically targeted to improve air quality, and yet over 51% of CMAQ funds are being allocated to roadway projects. Generally subsidizing the option of driving alone causes more driving.

Join us for a conversation about alternative proposals for balanced multimodal spending at the Livable Houston Initiative Wednesday, Sep 23, Noon-1:30 pm, H-GAC building, 2nd floor.

Come to the TPC meeting Friday, Sep 25, 9:30 am, H-GAC building, 2nd floor, where we will have the opportunity to speak with the TPC about the need for balanced transportation spending before allocations are finalized.

Read on about the proposed projects in the 2015 TIP Call.

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