Ask Your Lawmakers to Reject More Highways and Air Pollution

Sign on to our letter by Tuesday (April 11) evening!

The Texas Legislative Session is in full swing and with the support of Houston-area State Representative Armando Walle (D-140), we have secured a hearing for a critically important transportation bill (HJR 77) that would allow state funds to be spent on something other than highways.

If you have ever wished it was easier to get around Houston without a car or would like to address the persistent air pollution plaguing our city, now is the time to take action and tell that to our lawmakers. 

Our window of time to act is short. We just learned that: Rep. Armando Walle, the author of HJR 77, will be presenting the bill to the Texas House Transportation Committee on Wednesday, April 12, 2023Please take a moment to read below to learn more and sign on to our letter to express your support for this important Bill. 

The issue: Currently, a vast majority of state transportation funds in Texas go into the State Highway Fund (SHF). The SHF is restricted by law to only being used on highway projects and maintenance. In other words, TxDOT cannot use these funds on multimodal infrastructure, such as public transit, bike lanes, or sidewalks.

What this bill would do: House Joint Resolution 77 (HJR 77) would add a line to the Texas Constitution that says the SHF money can be used on non-highway projects. The bill requires nothing else. It would simply give TxDOT the option to use the funds in other ways, thus making it possible for them to do something other than highway projects.

Why it’s important: Many of Houston’s air quality issues stem from the emissions from cars and trucks on Houston roads. For decades, Houston has undergone cycles of building and widening highways under the assumption that more lanes will improve traffic flow. That hasn’t happened. Instead of improving traffic, more lanes has led to unsustainable sprawl and a reliance on cars over other modes of transportation. Today, transportation sources account for almost half (47%) of climate-warming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Houston. To improve air quality and reduce GHGs, we must fund multimodal infrastructure to give Houstonians different, sustainable options to get around.

Call to Action: Sign on to our letter in support of HJR 77 and tell the Texas House Transportation Committee that Houston needs alternatives to highway widening. The future of our health and our climate demands it.

Share this post