The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) visited the Texas Megaregion to host the Multi-Jurisdictional Coordination for the Greater Texas Region Workshop. Representatives from Municipal Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Area Councils in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas gathered alongside FHWA and the Texas Department of Transportation to discuss pressing issues in planning for freight in the Greater Texas region. Among the topics discussed local approaches to governance in the megaregions, the future of freight and planning for innovation, and the importance of resilient planning.
Universities were also present. Director of the Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2) consortium and professor, Dr. Ming Zhang, presented alongside professor Dr. Carol Lewis from Texas Southern University. They provided an overview of megaregional research they have conducted, including Dr. Lewis’s research to explore the need for travel options in the megaregion for vulnerable communities. This includes areas of need within the megaregion that are underserved by transportation and rural populations that are left out of the defined megaregions.
Overall, the impact of freight in the Texas Megaregion is significant, and coordination between localities that share common corridors is integral. This workshop served as a step towards identifying important experiences shared among freight planners in the region. The session was an opportunity to jumpstart efforts for states to collaborate and build for greater megaregional coordination.