Transportation Commission

The Transportation Commission regular monthly meeting is scheduled to be held at 9 a.m. on Thursday, February 28th, in Austin.

Texas Legislature

The Senate Transportation Committee will take invited testimony from TxDOT and other agencies in a meeting at 8 a.m., Wednesday, February 27th in the Capitol.

Working Toward 2020 UTP

The Transportation Commission will hold a workshop in the spring to discuss energy sector highway issues. This and three earlier workshops are a prelude to selecting projects to be part of the 2020 Unified Transportation Program that will be adopted in August. Commission Chairman Bruce Bugg noted that recent workshop discussions of urban congestion, upgrades to the length of I-35 and trunk system issues had alone identified some $49.8 billion in project needs unfunded in the current 10-year UTP.

THE CHALLENGE FACING TEXAS - Funding the Diverse Transportation Needs of a Vast and Rapidly Growing State Transportation Advocates of Texas is a statewide coalition that brings together cities, counties, established community and regional organizations and business interests to support additional funding to address the challenging highway transportation demands facing the state. We support funding solutions for infrastructure improvements that reduce congestion, enhance safety, move commerce, create jobs and improve the quality of life in Texas.

 

Statewide Trends

Here are some recent stories indicating the trends in Texas transportation policymaking:

 

Houston Chronicle: Downtown Houston Freeway System Rebuild Passes First Step, 7.26.18

 

Dallas Morning News: Mobility 2045 Plan for North Texas Envisions Ways to Keep Millions More of Us Moving - and Includes Tolls, 6.16.18

 

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Fort Worth Declares Roundabouts a Success, Plans to Expand Them 3.9.18

 

Austin American Statesman: Should Toll Projects be Put to a Vote of Local Voters, 2.23.18

 

Public Works Financing: Texas Limiting Funding Options, by Robert Poole 1.3.18

 

Dallas Morning News: I-635 LBJ East Project in Dallas Hits Red Light Again 1.26.18

 

Austin American Statesman: I-35 Plan Adds Toll Lanes Below Ground Level 10.31.17

 

Houston Chronicle: Areas Leaders Say Time to Push Transportation Improvements Beyond Adding and Widening Freeways 12.23.16

 

Houston Chronicle: The Start Date for the Massive Set of Projects That Will Eventually Relocate I-45 Around Downtown Houston Has Just Been Moved Up By Years. Read Dug Begley's story here from 2.24.17

 

New Texans Don't Bring
Any Roads With Them

MORE THAN 1,200 NEW RESIDENTS every day help make Texas an economic powerhouse. Most bring their cars and trucks but all leave their roads behind. The Texas population of 28.7 million has increased 69% since 1990.


Informative Reports Available

Our LIBRARY includes some very valuable information about Texas transportation. They are here for you to download.

 

 

Nichols, Canales Head Transportation Committees

Senator Robert Nichols returns for a fourth session as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and Rep. Terry Canales of Edinburg is the new chairman of the House Transportation Committee. The Senate committee has six returning members on a roster of nine members. New members are Senators Royce West of Dallas, Charles Schwertner of Georgetown and Carol Alvarado of Houston. Ten of the 13 members of the House committee are new to the committee this session including Chairman Canales. [Read More With Maps]

 

TAOT Supports Senate's Proposed Budget

Lawmakers have included the full amount of voter-approved highway funding from Props 1 & 7 in the Texas Senate's proposed budget for the 2020-21 biennium. It also continues the practice of not diverting funds from the State Highway Fund to non-transportation activities. TAOT lauds those positions in written testimony presented to the Senate Finance Committee. [Read More]

 

Committee: Protect Prop 1 & Prop 7 Funding

The Texas House Transportation Committee and the Senate Transportation Committee have issued Interim Reports recommending action during the upcoming 2019 Legislature. At the top of the list is a House recommendation that automatic termination dates for voter-approved Prop 1 and Prop 7 highway funding be removed. If lawmakers take no action Prop 1 funding will end in 2024 and the two sections of Prop 7 funding will end in 2029 and 2032. [Read More]

 

Prop 1 & Prop 7 Allowed TxDOT Commission

To Awarded $8 Billion in FY18 Contracts

The Texas Transportation Commission was able to award almost $8 billion in highway construction contracts in FY 2018 including an historic $3 billion in projects during the June through August period. And TxDOT is on track to award a projected $7 billion in maintenance and new work projects in FY 2019. [Read More]

 

Federal Highway Investment Needed Now

Transportation advocates say the time is now for transportation investment by the federal government. Bob Lanham, a Transportation Advocates of Texas board member, made the case for a sustainable, long-term solution to funding the Highway Trust Fund at a hearing held in Washington by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. [Read More]

 

No Surprises in 100 Top Congested Roads

The 2018 list of 100 most congested roadway segments in Texas is out and it is not surprising to motorists in southwest Houston that the top spot on the list is again Loop 610 West going by the Galleria between Interstate 10 and Interstate 69.  Moving up from No. 3 to No. 2 is a five-mile section of the I-69 Southwest Freeway from Loop 610 east to the SH 288 South Freeway. And 15 of the top 100 most congested highway sections were on the urban sections of Interstate 35. [Read More]

 

Driverless Vehicles Hit North Texas Streets But

Self-Driving Hype Has Crashed Into Reality in 2018

Driverless vehicles are being deployed in two North Texas pilot programs covering limited pieces of well mapped real estate. While we have been hearing that self-driving vehicles will be filling our streets and highways in a short few years, that prospect has decidedly dimmed this year as the reality of dealing with road conditions, safety concerns, legal liability questions and regulatory issues stubbornly refuses to subside. And accommodating driverless vehicles will require changes to streets, bike lanes and sidewalks. [Read More]

 

Time to Get Serious About Infrastructure

It's not easy to get people excited about highways and bridges but the clock is ticking on old infrastructure. Two Texas A&M University transportation leaders think we need to find a way to jump start the conversation about how we are going to pay for the highway upgrades that will be unavoidable in the coming years. It is going to be expensive; there's no way around it. Gregory Winfree and Zachary Grasley believe we must ramp up the conversation about how we are going to pay for what must be done. [Read More]

 

Responding to Transportation Funding Myths

North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Trevino has been thinking for a long time about how Texas can make progress in trying to keep up with population growth and traffic congestion. He is a member and former chairman of DFW's MPO - the Regional Transportation Council. He recently took on some of the myths being spread about transportation financing in an op-ed piece. He thinks it is essential that false information be challenged. [Read the Op-Ed]

 

Hyperloop to be Considered for DFW

The DFW Regional Transportation Council has decided to incorporate the concept of hyperloop technology into transportation planning initiatives for North Texas. [Read More]

 

Shuster Offers Plan to Sustain Highway Trust Fund

Congressman Bill Shuster, House Transportation Committee outgoing chairman, has offered a draft bill that would raise federal gasoline and diesel taxes for 10 years and then eliminate them to be replaced with a vehicle miles traveled fee system that would go directly to the faltering fuel tax based Highway Trust Fund. The concept is not likely to get serious consideration this year but could be a blueprint for lawmakers in the next Congress. In a vision statement Shuster, who is retiring from Congress, said the ideas in the draft reflect input form both Republicans and Democrats plus a broad number of transportation stakeholders. [Read More]

 

Gasoline Tax Rates Up in 7 States

On July 1, 2018, gasoline tax rates went up in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Vermont and Iowa. The Oklahoma rate is now the same as the rate in Texas -- 20 cents a gallon in state tax and 18.4 cents in federal tax. The Texas rate has not been raised since 1991 and joins Arizona, New Mexico, Mississippi, Missouri and Alaska with the lowest tax rates in the nation. The Texas gas tax has lost most of its construction purchasing power over the past 27 years. More than half of the states have raised their gas tax in the past five years including several that have indexed rates to adjust to inflation. [Read More]

 

Metro 8 Chambers Urge Use of All Financing Tools

The state's eight largest chambers of commerce -- the Metro 8 -- are urging Gov. Greg Abbott to allow the use of currently available highway financing mechanisms such as tolled managed lanes. In a letter the Metro 8 says all options are needed to fund projects that will relieve congestion and avoid a situation where companies no longer see Texas as a viable place to expand and create jobs. They point out that tools such as tolled managed lanes will advance projects that have been in the pipeline for years. [Read More]

 

Autonomous Vehicles = More Congestion?

What if autonomous car occupants drive more miles because they no longer need to waste the time spent in their vehicles? Could that mean more congestion? Could sharing these vehicles mean more vehicles driving around in constant circulation? Those are among the questions city planners are asking. [Read More]

 

Truckers Urge New Federal Fuel Fees

The American Trucking Association added its voice to the calls for new federal revenue to keep the Highway Trust Fund strong and to avoid a huge funding gap that could force states to cancel or delay critical highway projects. Their plan includes a 20 cent per gallon additional fee on motor fuels across the board dedicated to shoring up the federal Highway Trust Fund. The Trucking Association asked Congress to consider establishing a fund capable of generating about $340 billion over 10 years with the new fee phased in over a period of four years. Truck traffic in the nation is expected to increase by more than 65% over the next 30 years -- and more in Texas. [Read More]

 

Hyperloop Would Add Speed to Texas Transport

A route connecting the DFW Metroplex and Austin, San Antonio, Laredo and Houston was named one of 10 winners of the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. Texas has a lot of the right ingredients to make such a system practical including large growing cities, mostly flat geography and high inter-regional movement of goods and people. The conceptual plan would connect five of the eight fastest growing cities in America. Hyperloop on this 640-mile corridor could start with moving critical freight and then add passenger travel as the system is proven out. The hyperlink vehicles would move at speeds up to 700 mph and cut inter-city travel times to minutes. [Read More]

 

 

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