Is there a more universal daily complaint in our district than terrible traffic? Have you thought about moving because your daily commute is horrendous? Looked for a different doctor closer to home? Been overwhelmed with anxiety as you tried to beat traffic to get to a child’s extracurricular activity in time, or just school pick-up? Time is money. How much is yours worth?
The solutions come down to money and planning. To help the Texas Department of Transportation boost its budget and increase its capacity to build new roads, Texas residents overwhelmingly (83%) approved Proposition 7 in 2015 which diverts some sales tax revenue to the State Highway Fund. In 2017, that equates to a $5 billion inflow of money into TXDoT. However, at the beginning of the 2017 Legislative session, some lawmakers were concerned about having so much revenue diverted to the highway fund when there are so many other critical needs in the state due to the growing population.
No single solution meets everyone’s transportation needs. Obvious solutions include more mass transit, increasing the gas tax for the first time since 1991, and toll roads.
I can hear the howls of anger over at least one, if not all, of these solutions. So here is what I promise:
- Listen to the many voices in this large district and champion the solutions that make sense for your area.
- Work with local governments to coordinate with state planners.
- Keep an eye on transportation connectivity in the larger geographic area.
- Demand all possible environmental protections accompany transportation engineering.
- Above all, ensure transportations dollars go where they are needed.