On June 26, the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s (H-GAC) Transportation Policy Council (TPC) will vote on the 2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The TIP is ” a fiscally constrained financial plan of transportation projects approved to receive federal funding over the next four-years ” and includes funding for Segment 3 of the North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP).

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has not committed to mitigating adverse impacts such as displacement, flooding, and air quality in the proposed NHHIP and should not receive the green light to bulldoze, disconnect, and dismantle  historic Black and Latinx communities along the project corridor.

At the Transportation Advisory Committee’s (TAC) June 17 meeting, the precursor review of the TPC agenda, LINK’s Executive Director Oni K. Blair opposed funding for the NHHIP. She reminded her fellow voting members, “America is grappling with racial tensions and the real impacts of systemic racism. Every person on the TAC must understand that a vote on this project continues those very systems of oppression, disparity, and racial inequities.”

Noting TxDOT’s projections that the project will displace over 1,000 homes in predominantly Black and Latinx communities, she called on the committee members to push for “real commitments to improve the NHHIP or to halt the project until it can satisfactorily address” community concerns.

We urge you to virtually attend the June 26 TPC meeting to speak up and speak against a project that perpetuates historic inequities. Submit your public comments to publiccomments@h-gac.com by 5:00 p.m. on June 25 so that H-GAC staff can enter them into public record. The June 26 meeting schedule and agenda is not publicly posted yet. We will send an update once the information is available on H-GAC’s website.

Ines Sigel
LINK Houston | June 18, 2020