With volatile energy costs making it more costly for Texans to go to work and make a living, our rapidly growing population requires a transportation system that will safely and efficiently move more people, goods and products to expand economic opportunity. The guiding principles for a transportation system that benefits all Texans should include the impact of transportation on the economy, public safety, affordability, reduced congestion and environmental quality.
To that end, we support:
- feasibility studies for new roads and toll ways that include assessment of the impact on all factors in surrounding rural or urban environments as well as traffic congestion;
- the development of a state rail plan so that Texas will be eligible for federal high-speed rail funding;
- designing projects to avoid unnecessarily dividing communities or having detrimental impact on land owners;
- innovative funding mechanisms to provide needed roadways and develop reliable and affordable public transportation systems as necessary to alleviate congestion and move people and goods efficiently without damaging communities and the environment;
- reform of the Texas Department of Transportation in the wake of its infamous billion dollar “bookkeeping error”;
- a ban on converting existing roads to toll roads, which amounts to double taxation;
- developing rail and mass transit systems that don’t harm the environment or infringe on property rights, and utilizing the Mobility Fund to convert existing freight lines into passenger rail;
- a requirement that TxDOT incorporate pedestrian and bicycle modes into transportation projects, including connecting them to mass transit to offer Texans alternatives to automobiles to reduce traffic congestion; and
- a requirement that TxDOT mitigate flooding by building water detention ponds with unpaved floors that absorb and filter runoff water, and that these detention ponds be used to create green space for hike and bike trails.