Despite Texas DOT’s Shenanigans, El Paso Will Go Ahead With Bike-Share
El Paso bike-share is moving forward, despite Texas DOT’s attempt to kill the whole project. That’s the word today from a state representative in El Paso on the latest development in the city’s proposal for a 200-bike system.
The city of El Paso lined up approval and $2 million in federal and local funds to launch its bike-share system. But the whole project was threatened when TxDOT tried to pull funding last month. In the meantime, Streetsblog did a little investigating about whether the state of Texas actually has the authority to strip federal funds from a project that was approved by the metropolitan planning body as well as the Federal Highway Administration. TxDOT hasn’t responded — but in its own way, the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization has.
It was up to the El Paso MPO’s Transportation Policy Board to decide whether it would grant the state’s request to “deprogram” the bike-share plan and remove it from planning documents altogether. In a vote today, the board chose not to. It seems that the city can move forward with the plans without the state’s blessing.
But as the state representative’s tweet indicated above, there may be more drama to come.
Why does the state of Texas want to strip funding from El Paso’s bike share program? Streetsblog asked them three days ago and we’re still waiting for an answer. It may have something to do with the fact that Texas DOT continues to support unjustified $5 billion+ mega-highways, even though it doesn’t have the money to pay for them.