Aman Batheja Reporter

Aman Batheja worked for eight years at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, most of that time covering state and local politics. A native of Cedarhurst, New York, he has an undergraduate degree in journalism and psychology from New York University and a master's in economics from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Recent Contributions

A New Boom for Oil, but a Bust for State's Rural Roads

Attendees filled the Alexander Convention Center on Tuesday evening for a Texas Department of Transportation hearing in Cotulla, TX on their controversial plan to convert some paved roads to gravel to save money on maintenance.
Attendees filled the Alexander Convention Center on Tuesday evening for a Texas Department of Transportation hearing in Cotulla, TX on their controversial plan to convert some paved roads to gravel to save money on maintenance.

As the Texas Department of Transportation blames a funding shortfall for its plans to convert some rural roads to gravel, South Texans argue they are being unfairly punished for the region’s drilling boom.

Combs' Legacy Not a Presence in Comptroller's Race

GOP candidates for state comptroller. Clockwise, from top left: former gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina, former state Rep. Raul Torres, state Sen. Glenn Hegar and state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran.
GOP candidates for state comptroller. Clockwise, from top left: former gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina, former state Rep. Raul Torres, state Sen. Glenn Hegar and state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran.
Texas Weekly

The Republicans running for comptroller aren't talking about the current officeholder at all: Susan Combs is off the ballot and out of the field of play, for now.

TxDOT Officials Address Concerns on Cost-Cutting Plans

Texas Transportation Commission chair Ted Houghton, l, confers with TXDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson during the meeting on August 29, 2013 regarding budget shortfalls.
Texas Transportation Commission chair Ted Houghton, l, confers with TXDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson during the meeting on August 29, 2013 regarding budget shortfalls.

During a meeting when local and state officials accused the agency of poor communication, Texas Department of Transportation officials confirmed plans Thursday to delay converting more asphalt roads to gravel.

New Law Aims to Protect TxDOT Workers

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TxDOT employees Brad Shepard and Canaan Johnson finish up after putting asphalt cold mix down for edge repairs on Interstate 35-S near Parmer Lane on Monday August 19th, 2013.
TxDOT employees Brad Shepard and Canaan Johnson finish up after putting asphalt cold mix down for edge repairs on Interstate 35-S near Parmer Lane on Monday August 19th, 2013.

Texas drivers will have to slow down or move over one lane when passing Texas Department of Transportation workers under a new law. This story is part of our monthlong 31 Days, 31 Ways series. 

Crowded Race for Comptroller Taking Shape

GOP candidates for state comptroller. Clockwise, from top left: former gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina, former state Rep. Raul Torres, state Sen. Glenn Hegar and state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran.
GOP candidates for state comptroller. Clockwise, from top left: former gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina, former state Rep. Raul Torres, state Sen. Glenn Hegar and state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran.

Four Republicans are vying to replace outgoing state Comptroller Susan Combs, and at least one Democrat may join the race soon, too.  

TxDOT's Cost-Cutting Plans Draw Local Outrage

Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.
Before and after images of of the frontage road on I-37 in Live Oak County. The Texas Department of Transportation converted the badly-damaged asphalt road to an unpaved road the week of August 19, 2013.

With the announcement of two new cost-cutting measures, the Texas Department of Transportation has managed to anger dozens of local officials in both rural and urban parts of the state. 

More Texas Cities Promoting Bicycle Use

Mayor Pro Tem Stephen Lindsey of Mansfield (yellow) leads the pack during the first Elected Officials Bike Ride in Irving on Aug. 6, 2013, as part of the Transportation and Infrastructure Summit. Riders included nearly 15 mayors and council members from around North Texas with the common goal of promoting biking in their neighborhoods.
Mayor Pro Tem Stephen Lindsey of Mansfield (yellow) leads the pack during the first Elected Officials Bike Ride in Irving on Aug. 6, 2013, as part of the Transportation and Infrastructure Summit. Riders included nearly 15 mayors and council members from around North Texas with the common goal of promoting biking in their neighborhoods.

From expanding bike lanes and trails to launching bike-share programs, more Texas cities are investing resources to encourage bicycle use.