Support HB 4520 for TXDOT Equitable Decision Making Policy
Texas is a vast and varied state, and the people making decisions about our transportation options should reflect the diverse population and needs of our state. But diversity is not what you will find when you look at the boards and commissions who actually decide what kind of transportation options we can have.
The four current members of the Texas Transportation Commission are all non-Hispanic White, with only one woman. Most Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), seek to ensure all the local governmental agencies are represented, but this then often means rural communities and suburbs have a greater voice than the urban areas with a much greater population. People with disabilities, minorities, and the working class who might normally prefer transit, often go unrepresented. Patterns of inequity are found all across the state, at MPOs, and other institutions such as port authorities and regional mobility authorities.
Who we are, and where we live can greatly impact our transportation needs. A recent survey found women would choose to spend more on sidewalks and safety than men. People of color in general are more likely not to own a car., and Black Texans are disproportionately killed or seriously injured as pedestrians. They are also more likely to suffer from police enforcement of traffic violations.
Whether we like it or not, the inequity remains woven throughout the Texas transportation decision-making system. This is why we need a more equitable and inclusive decision making process for our transportation systems - so we all can have access to the options we need - and so we can harness the diverse wisdom and experiences of Texans.
Texas House Bill 4520 would lead a process to develop more equitable decision making policies, and consider how to make our decision makes look more like all Texans. Please ask your State Representative to support HB 4520, and to sign on as a co-author.