Roadway congestion challenges and solutions were front and center on November 3 as transportation policy followers gathered for a symposium hosted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) and the Texas Tribune.
Throughout the morning, policy makers and other leaders stressed the need for careful planning in anticipation of continued rapid population growth, most of which is expected in the state’s urban areas.
Ginger Goodin, director of TTI’s Transportation Policy Research Center, highlighted results from TTI’s recently published Texas Transportation Poll, which shows that more than 90 percent of Texans rely on a personal auto as their primary transportation mode. For alternative modes to be embraced, she said, they would need to be convenient, reliable, and inexpensive.
Goodin also emphasized the need for creative thinking in addressing congestion, especially in an environment where funding is limited. For example, technology and ride-hailing services are being tested to provide “last mile” services, which could lessen the need to build traditional infrastructure, like park-and-ride lots.
Panelists throughout the morning addressed a broad range of topics, including: transportation funding, multimodal solutions, alternative modes, high-speed rail, automated vehicles, telecommuting, land development, safety, and local control.
The symposium closed with a one-on-one discussion between Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp and Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith.