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The TxDOT Update
News and Information from the Texas Department of Transportation

In this issue

  • Measuring Transportation Investments: Texas Leads
  • High-Speed Rail Funds Awarded
  • Transportation Commission Meeting Set for May 26
  • Celebrating Texas Tourism
  • $14K Tire Dump Cleanup Bill
  • TxDOT Marks 10-Year Anniversary of "Click It or Ticket" Campaign
  • Statewide Podcasts
  • Small Hr


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TxDOT Goals

  1. Prepare for the future
  2. Enhance safety
  3. Maintain the transportation system
  4. Relieve congestion
  5. Enhance connectivity
  6. Work with our partners to
    identify funding strategies

May 16, 2011

Here's our roundup of Texas Department of Transportation news and events. If you have any questions, comments or just want to know more about something you read here, send a message to AskTxDOT@txdot.gov.

Measuring Transportation Investments: Texas Leads

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Texas is one of 13 states leading the way in providing the essential tools ─ goals, performance measures and data ─ needed to help decision makers choose more cost-effective transportation funding and policy options, according to a new report by the Pew Center on the States and the Rockefeller Foundation.

States use a range of performance measures to assess the ease in which travelers move between destinations. In Texas, we use an online dashboard called TxDOT Tracker that presents and explains data on a number of core mobility measures, including a statewide congestion index, large and small urban area travel delays and costs of congestion delays.

Read the full report »

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High-Speed Rail Funds Awarded

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently awarded $15 million to Texas for the development of the proposed Dallas/Fort Worth to Houston Core Express Service, a high-speed rail corridor that would link two of the country's largest metro areas. TxDOT will use the funding to pay for engineering and environmental work on the project. The rail corridor is one of several in the Texas Transportation Commission's recently-adopted statewide passenger rail line plan.

The federal grant, announced May 9, is part of more than $2 billion DOT awarded in high-speed rail funding designed to create tens of thousands of jobs, improve mobility and stimulate American manufacturing. Twenty-four states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak submitted nearly 100 applications, competing to be part of the historic investment.

Read more »

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Transportation Commission Meeting Set for May 26

The Texas Transportation Commission will convene at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 26 for its monthly meeting. The Commission will present a resolution recognizing former Travel Information Division Director Doris Howdeshell, who retired from TxDOT in April with 32 years of service, and will receive a staff update on the agency's modernization efforts.

The Commission also will consider the selection of pass-through toll projects totaling up to $250 million and approving the 2012 Unified Transportation Program for FY 2012-2021. The Commission will not hold workshop sessions in May or June.

Read the meeting agenda »

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Celebrating Texas Tourism

TxDOT marked Travel Rally Day May 10 with a variety of activities at many of its 12 Travel Information Centers throughout the state. The annual observance promotes travel and acknowledges its important economic impact on communities and is part of Texas Travel and Tourism Week. In 2010, the centers hosted an estimated 2.4 million visitors. Agency officials participated in a festive ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce at the Amarillo Travel Information Center to celebrate and welcome Texas tourists.

View the Amarillo Travel Rally Day video »

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$14K Tire Dump Cleanup Bill

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TxDOT's Corpus Christi District will send a bill for more than $14,000 to the person charged with creating an illegal tire dump the district recently cleaned up in sensitive wetlands adjacent to US 181 in Portland. The bill will include labor charges of approximately $2,700 for 32 TxDOT employees; more than $1,300 for vehicles and gasoline; and $9,000 for a contract tire recycler to haul away the 392 tires. A Corpus Christi man has been arrested and charged with the illegal dumping, a state felony that carries up to two years in jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.

"Along with facing criminal charges, the suspect will receive a detailed bill for expenses associated with the cleanup effort," said Tom Tagliabue, Corpus Christi District public information officer. "As a victim of crime, we are working with the city of Portland Police Department to submit these expenses and seek restitution from the guilty party. The expenses TxDOT amassed in the cleanup effort took away limited resources from other highway maintenance activities."

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TxDOT Marks 10-Year Anniversary of "Click It or Ticket" Campaign

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TxDOT kicked off its 10th annual "Click It or Ticket" spring campaign at the state Capitol in Austin May 3 with the good news that Texans are buckling up more than ever, saving thousands of lives. Before the campaign began in 2002, only 76.1 percent of the state's population was buckling up. Today, 93.84 percent of drivers and passengers use safety belts. To ensure that Texans continue complying with seat belt laws, thousands of state troopers will join other statewide law enforcement officers between May 23 and June 5, including the Memorial Day holiday weekend, to ticket drivers and passengers who aren't buckled up.

Read more »

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Statewide Podcasts

TxDOT produces a weekly Statewide Podcast to keep you updated on the latest transportation news and issues, and new podcast episodes are published every Friday on the TxDOT website, www.txdot.gov.

In this week's episode, we talk TxDOT Rail Division Director Bill Glavin about the $15 million in federal funding for the proposed high-speed rail corridor between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to Podcast »

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