4

Bike & Pedestrian Activists Amp Up to Protest Budget Cuts

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

BikeHouston.org and other groups are calling for people to take to the barricades, or at least the public-comments rostrum, when an important transportation group meets to allot funds for the coming years Friday.

Activists say "alternative modes" of transit such as bike paths and pedestrian projects are getting cut to allow for more spending on roads and rails.

The $9.8 billion Transportation Improvement Program takes all the funds -- federal, TxDOT, etc. -- coming to the members of the Greater Houston-Galveston Area Council and allots them along certain policy lines.

Friday's meeting will see proposed cuts in alternative-mode projects, but Harris County Judge Ed Emmett tells Hair Balls overall spending in that category will increase, percentagewise, over previous years.

Earlier decisions on how to spend the money in the current process showed alternative-mode programs receiving 20 percent of the funds, he said, and that's not good.

"If you go to the general public and say we're going to spend 20 percent of the total mobility dollars and put it on hike-and-bike things, eh, they wouldn't like that," he says. "But if we cut it to zero, they wouldn't like that, either."

To get the level of spending on alternative-mode down to an agreed level of 11.2 percent of the total, Emmett said, some projects will be axed Friday.

He notes that the 11.2 percent share is higher than the previous 10.1 percent.

Jay Crossley of Houston Tomorrow says increasing the share over previous years isn't enough, because spending on alternative modes in those years was too low.

"I would not hold up previous TIPs as a model of prudent spending, he says.

Here's the agenda and the details on Friday's meeting.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.