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July 29, 2010:

TxDOT Sets Public Meetings throughout the State for Texas Rail Plan and Statewide Transportation Plan

Not sure how to spend your weekday evenings in August? Fear not! The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has set 36 public meetings in August at a multitude of locations around the state. Nine public meetings have been scheduled on the Texas Rail Plan, which is intended to guide future public and private actions to expand mobility of people and goods on rail and meet federal and state legislative requirements. TxDOT is coordinating development of this plan with the Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plan, which looks at all transportation modes in Texas. This plan will be the subject of 27 public meetings. For more information about the Texas Rail Plan, go to http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/rail_plan/. For more information about development of the Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plan, go to http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/transportation_plan/overview.htm

Input to both plans may be submitted electronically as well as at the public meetings.

Texas Rail Plan : The development of the Texas Rail Plan is being led by the new TxDOT Rail Division. Rail Division staff will present information at the nine public meetings, where attendees will be able to learn more about the Rail Plan, ask questions, submit comments and/or complete a brief questionnaire. Comments may also be mailed to the Division or submitted on the Texas Rail Plan website by clicking on “Submit Comments” under the “Get Involved” heading. Comments will be accepted through October 9, 2010. A questionnaire will be available online on August 2 on the same website.

Here is the schedule of Texas Rail Plan public meetings (all 6:00 to 8:00 PM):

Monday, August 2, Houston TxDOT District Office Auditorium, Houston
Tuesday, August 3, TxDOT District Office Training Center, Corpus Christi
Wednesday, August 4, DalTran ITS Center Conference Room, Mesquite
Thursday, August 5, VIA Metro Center Board Room, San Antonio
Monday, August 9, Pharr TxDOT District Office Conference Center, Pharr
Tuesday, August 10, Austin TxDOT District Office Hearing Room, Austin
Monday, August 16, La Placita Conference Center, El Paso International Airport, El Paso
Wednesday, August 18, TxDOT District Office Training Center Mesquite Room, Lubbock
Thursday, August 19, Tyler TxDOT District Office Training Center, Tyler
Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plan 2035 : TxDOT is currently updating the long-range, multimodal statewide transportation plan. According to Amadeo Saenz, Jr., TxDOT Executive Director: “This plan will provide an inventory of all transportation modes and address the need for improvements to roadways, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, transit, freight and passenger rail, airports, water parts, pipelines, and Intelligent Transportation Systems.” TxDOT held a series of public meetings in the spring to take initial public input on the development of the plan and has conducted other analyses on future transportation needs and options for meeting those needs. Some preliminary findings of this earlier work are available in the July 2010 issue of a TxDOT newsletter found at http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/transportation_plan/newsletters.htm.

TxDOT will be conducting a second set of open house-style public meetings during the month of August to discuss preliminary findings and take additional public input.

Here is the schedule for this second set of public meetings on the statewide long-range transportation plan (all meetings from 4 PM to 7 PM):
August 2, TxDOT San Angelo District Office, Training Room, San Angelo
August 3
, TxDOT Childress District Office Training Room, Childress
August 3
, TxDOT Fort Worth District Regional Training Center, Fort Worth
August 3
, TxDOT Laredo District Office Meeting Room, Laredo
August 3
, Levelland High School Commons Area, Levelland
August 3
, TxDOT Lufkin District Office Regional Conference Room, Lufkin
August 4
, TxDOT Pharr District’s Conference Center, Pharr
August 5
, TxDOT Amarillo District Office HR Conference Center, Amarillo
August 5
, Central Texas Council of Governments, Belton
August 5
, TxDOT Brownwood District Office Large Meeting Room, Brownwood
August 5
, Desoto City Hall, Desoto ( Dallas Area)
August 5
, TxDOT Houston District Auditorium, Houston
August 5
, TxDOT Odessa District Office Large Conference Room, Odessa
August 5
, TxDOT Wichita Falls District Training Center, Wichita Falls
August 5
, TxDOT Yoakum District Office Training Room, Yoakum
August 10
, TxDOT Atlanta District Office, Atlanta
August 10
, TxDOT Beaumont District Office, Beaumont
August 10,
Sam Rayburn Student Center , Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce
August 10, Rose Garden Center, Tyler
August 10,
Waco Transit Administration Building, Waco
August 11
, El Paso Times Community Room, El Paso
August 11
, VIA Metro Center Board Room, San Antonio
August 12
, TxDOT Abilene Area Office Large Conference Room, Abilene
August 12
, TxDOT Austin District Office Building 7, Austin
August 12
, Brazos Center, Bryan
August 12
, TxDOT District Office Building 2 Training Room, Corpus Christi
August 13
, Marfa City Hall Casner Room, Marfa

One formal hearing will be held in Austin, tentatively in October (but no date has been set yet), to solicit public comments on a draft plan before presenting the plan to the Texas Transportation Commission for adoption.

The State Capitol E-Report is a monthly electronic update from the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club reporting on Texas environmental policy issues of statewide interest. Contact us at: lonestar.chapter@sierraclub.org ...Header photo copyright Susan Heller
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