It is time to comment on TxDOT’s UTP

How is the Texas transportation system working out for you?

If you could spend about $115 billion over the next ten years to improve safe, multimodal access for all the people of Texas, how would you divvy up the money?

Don’t tell us, tell TxDOT:
Find out more at Unified Transportation Program – Public Involvement
Click on the Comment Form to submit a comment right now
or send an email to [email protected]

Every year, the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) approves the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Unified Transportation Program (UTP), which is not quite a budget, but a plan for how to spend TxDOT’s money over the next ten years. During this process, the decisions are made on allocating funds between different strategies and allocating funds geographically. The plan covers the coming ten years and includes roadway expansions, safety projects, maintenance, active transportation infrastructure, and other projects.

This year’s proposed FY 2023 UTP includes some significant improvements over last year. Last year, we were devastated that the TTC cut the increased Road to Zero safety spending, which had been an additional $300 million a year for two years. However, this year, the draft proposal adds another $804,839,000 for direct safety focused projects over the next ten years, bringing total planned direct safety spending to $4,216,589,000. This results in less direct safety spending per year than in the 2020 and 2021 UTP, but a significant increase compared to 2022.

Part of this increase is about $500 million going into a new spending category “11S – District Safety.” These funds will be spent by the 25 TxDOT Districts around the state, building upon structural changes from the Road to Zero process, including the fact that every TxDOT District has been preparing an annual Road to Zero plan for their district to target safety spending to ending traffic deaths [Note: These annual district safety strategies are not made available to the public].

The proposed budget also includes an increase in Category 9 “Transportation Alternatives” of an additional $806 million to become a $1.7 billion budget over the coming ten year period. This doubling of Transportation Alternatives spending will mean more Safe Routes to School, bike lanes, sidewalks, and other active transportation treatments, along with rest stops for people driving cars and trucks.

A final crucial improvement to note is that staff is proposing a $5 million / year increase in Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) spending. As part of the TxDOT ADA Transition Plan, TxDOT staff have developed the TxDOT Comprehensive Accessibility Program (TCAP), which includes an inventory of the conditions of sidewalks, safe crossings, and ramps on every TxDOT on-system facility in the state. At the recent 2022 TxDOT Transportation Planning Conference, staff said that this new project has identified a statewide need totaling $1.56 billion to bring all TxDOT facilities up to national inclusivity standards.

The proposed FY2023 TxDOT Unified Transportation Program (big pdf)
Recent staff presentation on the draft UTP (pdf) (video)
January 2022 staff presentation on the draft UTP (pdf) (video)
Farm&City twitter thread with some suggestions for the types of comments you might want to make

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