Local Advocacy

Photo from LINK Houston

Our goals


  • Align project development plans with the needs of the region — consider the context of where projects are being built and their impact on adjacent communities. 
Metropolitan Planning Organizations
  • Gain proportional representation, based on population. 
  • Improve transportation planning processes.
County and City
  • Make TxDOT and other transportation projects part of the local political discussion, in election years. 


Partner’s success


  • Have provided a real alternative to expansion.
  • Influencing public opinion on reroute/remove/rethink options.
  • Organized over 9,500 public comments during early Scoping phase — including detailed letters from community groups and the City of Austin.
  • Engaging diverse stakeholders, including the Downtown Austin Alliance.
  • Compelling City Council members to voice their positions on the project.
  • TxDOT extended public comment periods.
  • TxDOT put the project on temporary hold to redesign based on public input.
  • TxDOT completed a Greenhouse Gas and Climate Change appendix, to the I35 Central section of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).  
  • TxDOT to depress I-35 — through downtown, UT Austin, and central neighborhoods.
  • TxDOT to allow caps and stitches (wide bridges) to be built over the depressed areas, though Austin must design and pay for them.  
  • TxDOT move toward safe speed design, including reducing frontage road speeds in the urban core.
  • Successfully advocated for the adoption of Vision Zero goal and programs.
  • Garnered transit, eTOD, and safe, multimodal funding votes.



  • Organized and educated neighbors on proposed expansion information, which they used on direct actions and then created STOP TxDOT I-45.
  • STOP TxDOT I-45 created an inclusive organization and gained local, national, and international press.
  • Organized and educated nearly 60 people to provide public comment at a Houston-Galveston Area Council Transportation Policy Council meeting to oppose the $100M for Segment 2. 
  • Organized an 8-month campaign to lobby Mayor Turner to facilitate a year-long revisioning process for feasible alternatives for 2 of the 3 project segments. 
  • Engaging elected leaders with impacted districts to speak to protect their constituents. 
  • Filed a Title VI civil rights complaint with the Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation after TxDOT ignored public discourse and issued a final EIS in fall 2020 and a record-of-decision in spring 2021. The investigation is on-going.
  • Engaged the Harris County government, which filed a NEPA-focused law suit in spring 2021 after TxDOT indicated the state was done with all environmental work and would begin construction. Negotiations and legal proceedings continue today.


El Paso

  • Educated City of El Paso leadership on the safety of various design elements, resulting in leaders working with TXDOT to address considerations such as lower speeds and narrower lanes on frontage roads.

Freeways for the People in El Paso