Last month, The Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) added a last-minute item to their May meeting agenda to propose banning cyclists from all TxDOT-controlled toll roads. Fortunately, we heard about the agenda item in time to attend the meeting and testify against such a ban. The TTC pulled the item from the agenda for more study. (Read more about the May TTC meeting and our response here.)
TxDOT has alerted us that the proposed ban is back on the agenda for the June 27 meeting. We feel that the TTC has not studied this issue enough to have the item back on the agenda so quickly and are disappointed that the TTC is choosing to ignore the rights of cyclists in this way.
Some of our concerns about a comprehensive bicycle ban from toll roads are:
- Riding a bike on the shoulder of a highway is the last place most people would want to be, but there is often no alternative accommodation;
- Some toll roads do not have service roads attached and may be the only access to a location;
- Many Texas toll roads have low traffic volumes and few conflict points, and thus are safer than their alternatives;
- Many Texas toll roads are in rural areas without the traffic volumes associated with urban toll roads.
- Such a sweeping policy from TxDOT sets a dangerous precedent for the future and does not allow any latitude in accounting for differences in regions, traffic volumes, and alternative accommodations across Texas.
Take Action Now:
- Contact the TTC using this form.
- Share your concerns with the TTC (use any of the points above, or put it in your own words). Make the request, “Don’t ban bikes from toll roads without first providing alternative accommodation.” Mark “yes” under “Is this a complaint?” on the form.
- If you can make the trip to Austin on Thursday, please make plans to be at the meeting in support of cycling in Texas. Let us know if you can attend so we can plan our testimony accordingly.
- Keep us in the loop after you’ve contacted the TTC, so we can remind them on Thursday of how many emails they’ve received.
Together, we can fight this ban, which is an assault on the rights of Texas road users.