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Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
H-GAC Transportation Policy Council
by Garrett Bryce
Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council on Friday voted unanimously to approve the 2018 Call for Projects.

The call will open September 3, and includes a total of $922 million in federal and local match funding available for programming between FY2019 and FY2028.

Director of Transportation Alan Clark gave a presentation on the Call for Projects. Clark noted that projects would be scored 50 percent through Benefit Cost Analysis and 50 percent through Planning Factors.

Benefit Cost includes safety benefits/crash reduction, reduced travel delay, and air quality benefits. Planning Factors will vary based on the type of project.

In discussing funding availability, Clark discussed a recommendation reserving as much as $20 million for regional transit fare collection.

“This is not just mechanical devices,” Clark said. “It's also a process of being able to inform the public of how they could make a transit trip that involves more than one of our transit providers, be able to plan that transit trip, be able to purchase a fare for that transit trip one time, and be able to have a back office that basically gets the right revenue to the right transit providers involved in that.” Listen (14:53)

Clark also noted the inclusion of a requirement of a minimum project amount of $500,000 for roadways and $150,000 for transit projects for submission for project funding.

“The reason why we're suggesting some minimum thresholds is because there is a significant cost associated with using federal funds on a project, and we do not want project sponsors to come out of this process saying 'gosh we actually put more funding into this project than if we'd just done it ourselves,'” Clark said.

He noted that all projects come back to the council for approval, and recommendations would be provided in March.

The council voted to approve the Regional Safety Plan. Stephen Gage provided a presentation on the plan.

“This plan is basically a framework for addressing the most pressing traffic safety issues in the region in a comprehensive and coordinated manner,” Gage said. Listen (4:26)

Gage noted increases in crashes and fatalities, with fatalities increasing twice the level of population increases, and crashes increasing four times the rate of population. Focus areas of the plan include impaired driving, speeding, distracted driving, bicycle and pedestrian safety, as well as intersection safety.

The council also received updates regarding the Waller County Transportation Plan and the Transit Asset Management and CMAQ Performance Measures.

All action items were approved unanimously. Attendance Sheet Agenda

Dannenbaum Engineering BayTran
Remembering Jim Guidry

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