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RULE §1.85Department Advisory Committees

(a) Creation.

  (1) Project advisory committees.

    (A) Purpose. The executive director may authorize a district engineer to create, by written order, an ad hoc project advisory committee composed of the following members as may be deemed appropriate by the district engineer: department staff; affected property owners and business establishments; technical experts; professional consultants representing the department; and representatives of local governmental entities, the general public, chambers of commerce, and the environmental community. A project advisory committee shall serve the purpose of facilitating, evaluating, and achieving support and consensus from the affected community and governmental entities in the initial stages of a transportation project. Advice and recommendations of a committee provide the department with an enhanced understanding of public, business, and private concerns about a project from the development phase through the implementation phase, thus facilitating the department's communications and traffic management objectives, resulting in a greater cooperation between the department and all affected parties during project development and construction.

    (B) Duties. A project advisory committee shall:

      (i) maintain community and local government communication; and

      (ii) respond in a timely fashion to affected parties' concerns about project development and construction.

    (C) Manner of reporting. A project advisory committee shall report its advice and recommendations to the district engineer.

    (D) Duration. A project advisory committee may be abolished at any stage of project development, but in no event may a committee continue beyond completion of the project.

  (2) Rulemaking advisory committees.

    (A) Purpose. The commission, by order, may create ad hoc rulemaking advisory committees pursuant to Government Code, Chapter 2001, §2001.031, for the purpose of receiving advice from experts, interested persons, or the general public with respect to contemplated rulemaking.

    (B) Duties. A rulemaking advisory committee shall provide advice and recommendations with respect to a specific contemplated rulemaking.

    (C) Manner of reporting. A rulemaking advisory committee shall report its advice and recommendations to the division responsible for the development of the rules.

    (D) Duration. A rulemaking committee shall be abolished upon final adoption of rules by the commission.

  (3) Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

    (A) Purpose. The purpose of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is to advise the commission on bicycle and pedestrian issues. The committee will also advise the commission on matters related to the Transportation Alternatives Program. By involving representatives of the public, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and other interested parties, the department helps ensure effective communication with the bicycle and pedestrian communities, and that the bicyclist's and pedestrian's perspectives will be considered in the development of departmental policies affecting bicycle use and pedestrian activity, including the design, construction, and maintenance of highways.

    (B) Duties. The committee shall:

      (i) review and make recommendations on items of mutual concern between the department and the bicycling and pedestrian communities;

      (ii) provide recommendations on the selection criteria for project applications for funding under Chapter 11, Subchapter G of this title (relating to Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program);

      (iii) in accordance with Transportation Code, §201.9025, advise and make recommendations to the commission on the development of bicycle tourism trails; and

      (iv) review and consider how personal mobility, or micromobility, devices relate to bicycling and pedestrian issues and to other road users.

    (C) Committee membership composition. Committee membership will reflect a diverse mix of bicycle and pedestrian stakeholders, including stakeholders representing the interests of persons with disabilities, and people knowledgeable about micromobility issues.

    (D) Manner of reporting. The committee shall report its advice and recommendations to the commission, except for matters relating to the Transportation Alternatives Program. Under the Transportation Alternatives Program, the committee shall report its recommendations to the director of the division responsible for administering the program.

  (4) Freight Advisory Committee.

    (A) Purpose. The purpose of the Freight Advisory Committee is to serve as a forum for discussion regarding transportation decisions affecting freight mobility and promote the sharing of information between the private and public sectors on freight issues. The committee's advice and recommendations will provide the department with a broad perspective regarding freight transportation matters and assist in identifying potential freight transportation facilities that are critical to the state's economic growth and global competitiveness.

    (B) Duties. The committee shall:

      (i) provide advice regarding freight-related priorities, issues, projects and funding needs;

      (ii) make recommendations regarding the creation of statewide freight transportation policies and performance measures;

      (iii) make recommendations regarding the development of a comprehensive and multimodal statewide freight transportation plan; and

      (iv) communicate and coordinate regional priorities with other organizations as requested by the department.

    (C) Manner of reporting. The committee shall report its advice and recommendations to the executive director or a department employee designated by the executive director and shall make reports to the commission as requested.

(b) Operating procedures.

  (1) Membership. Except as otherwise specified in this section, an advisory committee shall be composed of not more than 24 members to be appointed by the division or official to whom the committee is to report. When applicable to the purpose and duties of the committee, the membership shall provide a balanced representation between:

    (A) industries or occupations regulated or directly affected by the department; and

    (B) consumers of services provided either by the department or by industries or occupations regulated by the department.

  (2) Meetings.

    (A) An advisory committee shall meet once a calendar year and at such other times as requested by the division to which it reports.

    (B) A majority of the membership of an advisory committee constitutes a quorum. A committee may take formal action only by majority vote of its membership.

  (3) Officers. Each committee shall elect a chair and vice-chair by majority vote of the members of the committee.

(c) Reimbursement. The department may, if authorized by law and the executive director, reimburse a member of a committee for reasonable and necessary travel expenses. Current rules and laws governing reimbursement of expenses for state employees shall govern reimbursement of expenses for advisory committee members.

Source Note: The provisions of this §1.85 adopted to be effective January 13, 1994, 19 TexReg 89; amended to be effective August 9, 1994, 19 TexReg 5737; amended to be effective November 21, 1994, 19 TexReg 8768; amended to be effective March 8, 1995, 20 TexReg 1286; amended to be effective May 19, 1995, 20 TexReg 3345; amended to be effective September 22, 1995, 20 TexReg 7081; amended to be effective September 26, 1996, 21 TexReg 8954; amended to be effective August 25, 1997, 22 TexReg 7508; amended to be effective July 23, 2000, 25 TexReg 6799; amended to be effective January 2, 2002, 26 TexReg 11046; amended to be effective September 18, 2003, 28 TexReg 8003; amended to beeffective April 21, 2005, 30 TexReg 2234; amended to be effective December 8, 2005, 30 TexReg 8179; amended to be effective July 20, 2006, 31 TexReg 5667; amended to be effective December 6, 2007, 32 TexReg 8855; amended to be effective December 10, 2009, 34 TexReg 8794; amended to be effective May 19, 2011, 36 TexReg 3109; amended to be effective December 8, 2011, 36 TexReg 8239; amended to be effective April 17, 2013, 38 TexReg 2377; amended to be effective December 12, 2013, 38 TexReg 8916; amended to be effective December 9, 2015, 40 TexReg 8796; amended to be effective December 6, 2017, 42 TexReg 6814; amended to be effective December 4, 2019, 44 TexReg 7414; amended to be effective March 17, 2021, 46 TexReg 1660

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