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Would Another Round Of State Funding Help Ease Houston’s Traffic Congestion?

Texas voters this November will be asked to decide on another proposed constitutional amendment to fund transportation. If it’s approved, the measure could bring in over $2.5 billion a year to pay for highway projects.

 

The Houston region was allocated about $278 million from Proposition 1. That’s the constitutional amendment that was approved last year. The money is now being used for about a dozen projects.

Lawmakers have now proposed another constitutional amendment that would dedicate a portion of revenue from the state sales tax and vehicle sales tax to the state highway fund.  

If voters approve the measure, millions more would come to the region.

But University of Houston Political Science Professor Brandon Rottinghaus says it won’t fix everything.

“You have big projects and you’ve got little bits of money spent on them over time so it’s probably not the sort of thing that’s going to be in everybody’s daily life,” Rottinghaus says.

And there are some big local projects in the works, like the proposed makeover for I-45.

Andrea French, with the Transportation Advocacy Group, says Houston can’t just depend on the state for money.

“We’re going to continue to have to seek local matches, different local funding options, as well as look toward the federal government for more of a long-term, sustainable funding plan,” French explains.

Analysts say the state needs to generate about $5 billion a year just to keep traffic congestion from getting worse.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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