A petition to our elected representatives to stop the expansion of Interstate 45 in Houston

Our Elected Officials

The NHHIP better known as the I-45 Expansion will bring untold harm to Houston, Harris County and our Communities.  Our Elected Officials can stop this project!

Petition by
Susan Graham
Houston, Texas
Sponsored by

To: Our Elected Officials
From: [Your Name]

A petition to our elected representatives to stop the expansion of Interstate 45 in Houston:

TxDOT is planning to rebuild over 24 miles of I-45, which will cost $7 billion or more of tax payer money. It will destroy over a thousand homes, thousands of jobs, and 27 acres of green space, most of which is in low-income or Black and brown communities. It will encourage more people to drive, worsen flooding, worsen air quality, and ultimately make traffic worse. The Federal environmental review process was not completed in good faith, and it is based on untrue assumptions. We need our elected representatives to stop this project.

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TxDOT’s plan to rebuild over 24 miles of Interstate 45 is -by their own admission- deeply inequitable and must be stopped. In addition to being a colossal waste of our taxpayer dollars, the project will displace over a thousand homes and thousands of jobs, remove or alter 27 acres of green space and lead to an increase in the number of Vehicle Miles Traveled in our region at a time when our planet can least afford such a change. It will disproportionately impact low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color that were harmed by the original building of the freeway, deepening the unjust wounds of our past. It will ultimately make the freeway more congested. The Environmental Review Process was not completed in good faith, is based on faulty assumptions, lacks substantiating data, and is inadequate in its response to public input. The true community engagement for the project was outsourced to a third-party, wherein Houstonians overwhelmingly supported a focus on public transit and avoiding displacement at all costs. This sentiment was not reflected in any way in the subsequent Final Environmental Impact Statement and it certainly is not reflected in the State’s overall transportation budget which allocates zero dollars for public transportation. We have exhausted all efforts to work with TxDOT who have time and again ignored the will of the people. We need our leaders to step in to stop the destruction of our city and our homes by our state transportation department.
The project’s stated goal is to widen the highway rather than improving mobility for people throughout the region. TxDOT refused out of hand to consider any options that did not include adding lanes. The project is wholly based on the faulty assumption that adding lanes reduces congestion meaningfully over time, when history has taught us the opposite is true. TxDOT never considered other, more cost-effective demand management strategies, nor did they ever consider any alternatives that did not cause disproportionate injury to our city’s historic Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
Furthermore, this entire project is predicated on a set of self-fulfilling prophecies masquerading as models and projections. The population models created by our Regional Planning Organization (the Houston-Galveston Area Council) assume the creation of highways subsidising growth in outlying areas, so TxDOT builds said highway to support the predicted growth. In the case of this project, the underlying traffic and growth models are dramatically out of date and rely on inflated estimates of current travel times to predict improvements in their “preferred alternatives”.
TxDOT names safety as a primary goal of this project, yet TxDOT’s preferred design largely ignores anyone who is not the driver of a private automobile, and has little to no analysis of the impact to adjacent neighborhood streets. This project is grossly incompatible with Vision Zero, Houston’s vow to end roadway fatalities by 2030. This project is incompatible with the City of Houston and Harris County’s stated goals to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled and subsequent emissions. This project is incompatible with the City’s Complete Streets program, the City’s Climate Action Plan, and the City’s Resiliency Plan.
A wider freeway is bad for public health and is deeply inequitable. This is little more than the subsidy of Houston’s already wealthy suburbs on the backs of our city’s historically Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. Construction of this project will make traffic worse. Texas is the only state that does not dedicate funding for public transit. Please consider lending your support in stopping TxDOT’s expansion of I-45.