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April 7, 1998     (512) 463-0300

SENATE AND HOUSE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEES HOLD SPECIAL HEARING IN DALLAS

DALLAS - A joint public hearing of the Senate Interim Committee on Transportation and the House Committee on Transportation took place at Union Station in Dallas on Tuesday, April 7. The hearing is one of a series conducted by the respective committees as they gather public input relating to the interim research topics assigned by Lt. Governor Bob Bullock and Speaker of the House Pete Laney. Both committees have been charged with reviewing the way state and county transportation projects are financed and whether current plans are adequate to meet the traffic demands of Texas' growing population. Specifically, the House Committee has been charged with studying issues related to speed limits and highway safety, as well as the funding and adequacy of county roads and bridges.

Senate members include Chair Ken Armbrister of Victoria , Senator David Cain of Dallas, Senator Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay, Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr. of Houston, Senator Drew Nixon of Carthage, Senator Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant, and Senator Carlos F. Truan of Corpus Christi. House members are Chair Clyde Alexander of Athens, and Representatives Bill Siebert of San Antonio, Al Edwards of Houston, Charles Finnell of Holliday, Will Hartnett of Dallas, Judy Hawley of Portland, Fred Hill of Richardson, Joe Pickett of El Paso, and Tom Uher of Bay City.

Invited testimony came from witnesses representing various groups including:
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
Fort Worth Transportation System
Rusk County Commissioners' Office
James Reed, Program Director of Transportation, National Council of State Legislatures
Gary Schlegel, Mayor of Richardson
John Murphy, Mayor Pro Tem of Richardson
Jeff Moseley, Denton County Judge, representing North America's Superhighway Coalition
Partners in Mobility and North Texas Commission
Don Dillard, DART, Public and Private Partnership
Jack Miller, Mayor of Denton

Public testimony was taken in the afternoon.

The members examined transportation financing in other states, explored ways to ease crowding on state and local roads, and evaluated state efforts promoting alternatives to traditional transportation. In addition, the committee studied the funding of metropolitan transit authorities to determine whether their services are being provided with economic efficiency and reviewed the effects of oversize and overweight trucks on roads and bridges, including the impact of NAFTA-related traffic.

The committee will gather its findings and make any necessary recommendations to the 76th Legislature which convenes in January of next year.

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