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.
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