Recent Streetsblog TEXAS posts about State DOTs

Texas DOT’s Own Numbers Cast Doubt on Its Story of Ever-Rising Traffic

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Back in 2015, the people of Texas were asked by the legislature and Governor Greg Abbott to meet the challenge of the state’s projected traffic growth by enacting a constitutional amendment to require road spending for the next decade. The people agreed and voted to allocate about $38 billion in state taxes for the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) […]
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4 Ways Road Builders Game the Numbers to Justify Highways

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The people who make the case for highways often present themselves as unbiased technicians, simply providing evidence to an audience subject to irrational bias. Forecasts said motorists would make 21,000 trips per day on Greenville’s Southern Connector, a public-private toll road. In real life they made fewer than 9,000. Map via Toll Road News But traffic forecasting is not a neutral, dispassionate exercise. It [...]
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The Complete Case Against Highway Widening

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Detroit in 1949 versus today. Images: AtDetroit.net Michigan DOT wants to spend $1 billion rebuilding and widening I-75 to Detroit’s sprawling northern suburbs, at the expense of the city and close-in suburbs. Royal Oak, a walkable suburb that borders the city, is not having it. The City Council passed a resolution unanimously this week officially opposing the widening [...]
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5 Things States Can Do to Bring Transportation Policy Out of the Stone Age

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A growing number of states are taking steps to ensure projects are selected on merit rather than politics. Image: Transportation for America On its page commemorating the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower signing the Federal Aid Highway Act, the Federal Highway Administration offers a “Then and Now” chart showing how much America has changed since 1956. It’s a little corny, [...]
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Advice for State DOTs Looking for More Money: Spend Smarter

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The Oregon Department of Transportation is in a tough spot after it tried to justify highway expansion projects by saying they would cut greenhouse gas emissions. ODOT’s bogus claims helped sink a $350 million transportation funding package in the state legislature, and even some of the state’s Republican lawmakers are calling for agency director Matt Garrett’s head. What’s a beleaguered [...]
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3 Reasons Politicians Like Building New Roads More Than Fixing Old Ones

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The $600 million it will cost to build this one bridge is more than the estimated $500 million needed to bring all of Minnesota’s 1,191 “structurally deficient” bridges into a state of good repair. Guess which project Minnesota is moving ahead with. Image: Minnesota DOT American transportation policy places a premium on delivering big, shiny new things. As much as the [...]