This Friday, June 26, the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s (H-GAC) Transportation Policy Council (TPC) will be voting on a regional transportation plan that includes funding for Segment 3 (Downtown Loop System) of the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP, or I-45 Expansion). The meeting will be conducted as a webinar.
The 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program is a financial plan that approves projects to receive federal funding; included in this plan is the approval to use $3 billion for the Downtown Segment (also referred to as Segment 3) of the I-45 expansion project.
We have continued to raise objections to the project’s approval and recommended that it not receive funding until there is a comprehensive plan in place to address the numerous adverse impacts it will impose on communities of color adjacent to the corridor. For example, TxDOT has failed to put in writing how they plan to address the displacement of residents in Segment 3. TxDOT has also failed to detail how they will address increasing exposure to air pollution to schools along the freeway. Finally, TxDOT has yet to firmly commit to any of the demands laid out in Mayor Turner’s May letter, which provided a new, although imperfect, alternative vision for the project.
We encourage you to voice your concerns about prematurely approving funding for the I-45 project and the lack of written commitments on the part of TxDOT. TxDOT’s own Community Impact Report notes the following: “…the potential effects to community cohesion related to residential displacements could be expected to be felt more so in the neighborhoods Northside/Northline, Independence Heights, Near Northside, Greater Fifth Ward, Downtown, Second Ward, and Greater Third Ward.” Moving forward with funding the I-45 project perpetuates systemic racism in transportation planning.
When: Friday, June 26, 2020, at 9:30 a.m.
- Call-in information:Toll-free number: 1-844-992-4726. Access code: 126 534 0380. When prompted for a password, press #
How to Provide Public Comments:
Callers will be given the opportunity to make public comments during the public comment period of the meeting. In addition, you may submit written comments via email to [email protected] by 5 p.m. on June 25th.
Please find here background information and talking points to help you prepare your remarks. If you have questions or need help in drafting your public comment, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Harrison Humphreys, our Transportation Policy Advocate, at [email protected].
The webinar can be followed live at: http://www.h-gac.com/live