Divvying Up Bike/Ped/Road Money

Local transportation policy makers have $80 million dollars to distribute. Last month, they stalled on deciding what to do with that money. Everything from bikeway projects to road projects is on the table. As Wendy Siegle reports — discussions on how to allocate the funding is causing transportation advisors to reevaluate how Houston’s transportation system will look in the future.


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Advisors to the region’s Transportation Policy Council went around the table giving input on how an $80 million dollar pot of discretionary funding should be divided between bike and pedestrian projects and road and freight rail projects. There was no consensus on exactly how to do that Should 45 percent go to non-road projects or should that number be closer to 11 percent? But there was a lot of chatter on how divvying up the money would shape Houston’s transportation system in the future. Robin Holzer is with the Citizens’ Transportation Coalition.

“I think the question of how to spend this $80 million has kick-started a really important policy discussion that’s going to play forward into our future investments and in particular into our long-range transportation plan. And that’s a good thing.”

Clark Martinson is the general manager of the Energy Corridor. He’s also a technical advisor to the TPC. He notes that the majority of the conversation circled around alternative types of transportation.

“I have not heard anybody discuss that we want more roadways in any of these discussions. I’ve heard people asking that we want to create a more livable environment that’s safer to walk, for our children to walk to school, to be able to ride a bicycle to work and not be in fear on the roads. And so I think that with that kind of dialogue that’s happening, it’s a real transportation shift in our region.”

So who will get what from the $80 million dollar pie? The TPC will decide during its next meeting on March 25.

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