Fighting for Funding in Houston
A February proposal before the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council (TPC) called for cuts to bike, pedestrian and transit funding in the region’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for 2011-2014. Under the proposal, CMAQ and STP MM funds that were previously programmed for active transportation projects and livable centers would be reallocated for road expansion in the region.
Upset that the TPC would stray from language in the 2035 Transportation Plan, stating that roadway spending should make up no more than 55% of regional transportation infrastructure spending, advocates in the Houston area organized. Houston Tomorrow started an online petition and joined Bike Houston and other area cyclists at the TPC’s February 25th meeting to present the petition and insist that this funding be preserved.
Thanks to these hardworking advocates there has been a temporary reprieve. City of Houston Council member Sue Lovell motioned for a delay of 30 days so that TPC members could further investigate options and hear from their constituents. See Houston Tomorrow’s ongoing blog coverage here.
While significant progress has been made, pressure on the TPC and Houston-Galvelston Area elected leaders is still needed. League President Andy Clarke has written this letter to TPC members asking for the preservation of these funds for bicycling and other active transportation projects. Houston area cyclists can still help save this critical funding by signing on to this petition. Cyclists are also encouraged to attend the TPC’s next meeting March 25th at 9:30 am in the H-GAC building at 3555 Timmons on the 2nd floor in Conference Room A.