Relieving traffic in San Antonio
Traffic can be a difficult problem to solve. Construction is expensive and new people are moving to our state each day, making the roads more and more crowded.
But over the last several years, the Legislature has taken some very significant steps toward improving mobility in Texas. And now our efforts are paying off.
The state Transportation Department recently announced plans to allocate $1.3 billion for congestion relief in the state's urban centers. This effort would accelerate work on the expansion of Highway 281 into a six-lane expressway between Stone Oak Parkway and the Bexar County Line, which is part of a larger project to expand 281 between the county line and Loop 1604.
How did we get here? Last year, the Legislature increased funding for transportation by about $4 billion per year. And we did it without raising taxes or fees. We ended diversions of the gas tax, so that money in our State Highway Fund now pays exclusively for transportation instead of other programs. We also passed a Constitutional amendment (later approved by voters) to dedicate part of our sales-tax revenue for transportation, providing a dependable funding source for roads going forward.
Before the Legislature took these steps, plans called for tolls on the expansion of Highway 281. But the infusion of state resources that we have provided will now allow the project to go forward without tolls.
As I mentioned, traffic isn't going to disappear overnight. But we are heading in the right direction, and I'm proud that the Texas House has made this issue a priority.