It's a good first step that an independent report like this was even commissioned
Austin, TX (Vocus) January 5, 2009
Meeting Texas' transportation needs between 2009 and 2030 will require some $313 billion, according to preliminary findings of the 2030 Committee 's Texas Transportation Needs Report.
Texas Transportation Commission Chair Deirdre Delisi appointed 12 Texas business and civic leaders to the 2030 Committee in May 2008 and charged them with independently determining the fiscal requirements for the state's future transportation needs. The Committee presented an executive summary of its draft findings to the Texas Transportation Commission at its meeting today. The estimate focuses on investment that will be necessary to maintain the pavements and bridges on Texas roadways; to prevent worsening traffic congestion in urban areas; and to ensure rural mobility and safety.
"It's a good first step that an independent report like this was even commissioned," said Dr. C. Michael Walton, chair of the Committee. "Our state's leaders must make tough financial decisions over the next two decades. It's important that they know what level of transportation need to expect. The 2030 Committee report strongly suggests that our leaders consider the economic and quality of life impacts that dollars spent on transportation improvements can provide. Our report should assist state leaders in visualizing the significant transportation challenges Texas and Texans will continue to face and the economic promise that will come with improved investment choices."
The Committee based its estimates on several factors, including increased population growth and freight traffic between 2009 and 2030. Traffic delay in urban areas has increased more than 500 percent in the last two decades, according to the Texas Transportation Institute. Texas is accommodating a rapidly growing number of trucks on its roadways as well, with almost 30 percent of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade and almost 70 percent of trade entering the United States from Mexico entering through Texas, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. These increases in usage of the Texas transportation system will further deteriorate roadways and increase congestion in urban areas. In the area of rural mobility, the 2030 Committee draft recommendations address improved roadway safety and enhanced connectivity. The draft recommendations do not address specific projects, solutions or funding sources.
The complete 2030 Committee report, which the Committee will post for public comment in January, provides a comprehensive analysis of estimated transportation needs, anticipated costs in 2008 dollars and resulting benefits from highway maintenance (pavements and bridges), urban mobility and rural mobility and safety. The timeframe of the report did not permit an in-depth analysis of other transportation modes that could complement traditional highway capacity, such as public transportation, freight and intercity passenger rail, ports and waterways and airports. However, the report will include an overview of these modes, with the Committee's recommendation for further study. Following final report revisions based on the public comment period, the Texas Transportation Commission will vote on accepting the Committee's report at its February meeting.
The committee held public hearings in six Texas cities and solicited public comment via e-mail, postal mail and fax. In all, 172 individuals offered suggestions and comments, including 92 who testified in person during the public hearings. The committee provided guidance and direction to a nationally renowned team of transportation experts who conducted the technical analysis. Team members are from the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University; the Center for Transportation Research at the University of Texas at Austin; and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
**Note: All figures included are estimates for Commission review and public comment and subject to change in the final report.
Attachment: 2030 Committee List
For additional information, contact Rick Davenport, Texas Transportation Institute:
(979) 862-3763; email@example.com.
To view a copy of the executive summary of the 2030 Committee Texas Transportation Needs Report and Commission presentation, visit http://texas2030committee.tamu.edu/.
Video of the committee's presentation to the Texas Transportation commission is archived and available for viewing online at http://www.txdot.gov/about_us/commission/meetings.htm.
# # #