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Local Motion - photos of the TRE, traffic in the IH 30 managed/HOV lane, Fort Worth, airplane

December 2014

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OUR REGION

40th Anniversary RTC Logo
How will transportation meet the needs of the DFW of tomorrow ?

For the past year, the NCTCOG Transportation Department has focused on progress made in transportation planning over the last four decades, as part of the council of governments’ 40th anniversary as the metropolitan planning organization. From changes in the transportation system and improvements to air quality, tremendous steps have been taken to promote the efficient movement of people and enhance their quality of life. As the year winds down, it is time to look ahead. And it is a good time to ask: What about the future?

A transportation system that has seen significant roadway expansion and the development of passenger rail and active transportation options in the past few decades could experience equally significant changes in the future, population projections indicate.

North Texas has a roadmap that will help guide decision-making. The Regional Transportation Council last month approved Mobility 2035 – 2014 Amendment, a $94.5 billion blueprint of transportation planning through 2035. This long-range plan outlines multimodal recommendations that will help the region accommodate continued growth and increasing density. The plan focuses first on making the most efficient use of the existing transportation system through maintenance, management and operations strategies, and coordination of land-use and transportation scenarios. Where major transportation investments are needed, strategic decisions can be made with the remaining available resources.

One mode expected to experience significant growth in demand is passenger rail. About 100,000 people ride light and commuter rail daily in Dallas-Fort Worth, but with expanded options and more density, that number is projected to grow to 300,000 by 2035, according to NCTCOG analysis. Many more enhancements will come as the region’s population climbs toward 10 million. A larger region calls for a broad transportation vision that includes not just traditional improvements, but a continued focus on quality of life. The RTC’s Sustainable Development Program will continue to assist local governments seeking transportation solutions such as bicycle/pedestrian options.

How should Dallas-Fort Worth’s transportation system be expanded to ensure it most efficiently and effectively addresses the needs of North Texans in the coming decades? NCTCOG and its transportation partners grapple with this question every day. The answer is not easy, and it depends on more than just planners and engineers. The public’s voice must be heard to help shape the discussion. How will you contribute?

RTC POLICYMAKERS

Downward trendline
RTC approves Mobility 2035 amendment

 

 

The RTC last month approved an amended version of Mobility 2035, the region’s long-range transportation plan.

The amended $94.5 billion plan calls for two new projects — additional lanes on Interstate Highway 35E in Ellis County and more capacity to State Highway 114 east of SH 170 to address a bottleneck — and modifications to others.

 

Overall, it sets aside $40.1 billion for freeways, toll roads, managed lanes and arterials; $29.2 billion for infrastructure maintenance; $16.5 billion for transit; $4.8 billion for maintenance and operations; and $3.9 billion for growth, development and land-use strategies.

 

For information, visit www.nctcog.org/mobility2035.

 

 

cars on roadway
Entities encouraged to adopt idling rule

 

Reduction of heavy-duty vehicle idling is an effective way to cut ozone-forming emissions in the Dallas-Fort Worth ozone nonattainment area, which is important both for public health and preserving future transportation funding.

 

To date, 30 entities have joined regional efforts by adopting the State Vehicle Idling Limitations Rule. However, many drivers now seek adjacent areas where idling restrictions are not in place, which undermines program benefits. Cities and counties are encouraged to adopt and enforce the idling rule in order to contribute to the consistent reduction of emissions throughout North Texas.

 

For more information, visit www.EngineOffNorthTexas.org or email EngineOffNorthTexas@nctcog.org.

 

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

IH 30 Sign
Air North Texas to announce top partners

The City of Grand Prairie has been named the Air North Texas Partner of the Year, the highest form of recognition awarded to Air North Texas partners. Grand Prairie is one of six organizations that will be honored for their promotion of Air North Texas by the Regional Transportation Council in December.

The City of Fort Worth, Denton County Transportation Authority, the City of Plano, Hood County Clean Air Coalition and The University of Texas at Arlington were recognized for outstanding outreach, media engagement, advertising, initiative and partner involvement, respectively.

Organizations interested in becoming Air North Texas partners may contact Whitney Vandiver at wvandiver@nctcog.org or 817-704-5639.

On the Web: www.airnorthtexas.org

 

infographic
Fact sheet:  High speed rail to connect us

Do you want to learn more about what is happening with high speed rail in Texas? The NCTCOG Transportation Department recently published a fact sheet highlighting efforts to bring fast trains to Texas.

 

It discusses potential routes, such as the eagerly anticipated Dallas-to-Houston corridor, and partnerships that have been established to deliver this form of transportation to the Lone Star State. It also discusses the different high speed rail options being considered.

 

The fact sheet is part of the department’s ongoing series that seeks to provide readers with summaries of transportation programs and projects underway in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

 

Visit www.nctcog.org/factsheets to read more about high speed rail.

 

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NEXT CHALLENGE

The NCTCOG Transportation Department has four decades of experience as DFW’s metropolitan planning organization. A lot of time is spent thinking about the future and how plans should be made to accommodate growth. But, the past is important too. As the DFW region moves forward, how can we apply past lessons, successes and challenges to our future transportation needs? What are some things you have seen or experienced over the years that you think are important to consider when planning the future of our region’s transportation? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter using #DFWMPO40.

PROPOSITION 1

Voters OK measure to add $1.5 billion to road projects

Texas voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1 in November, providing a boost of more than $1.5 billion per year for non-tolled transportation projects. About 80 percent of those who cast ballots in the November 4 election voted for the statewide proposition.

 

Seventy-five percent of the state’s oil and gas severance taxes have typically flowed into the Rainy Day Fund. Proposition 1 will allow half of those funds to be used for transportation projects.

 

According to the Texas Department of Transportation the state needs an extra $5 billion per year to keep up with the demand generated by the growth in population.

 

This funding measure will help meet transportation needs in Dallas-Fort Worth and across the state.

But members of the Regional Transportation Council and other transportation advocates will look to Austin for additional funding starting January 13, when the Legislature convenes for the 84th Session.

Public comments

Comments or questions about transportation or air quality topics may be submitted at any time. Submit questions or comments online or send them to:

North Central Texas
Council of Governments
Transportation Department
P.O. Box 5888
Arlington, TX 76005-5888 

Email: transinfo@nctcog.org
Website: www.nctcog.org/trans
Fax: 817-640-3028
Phone: 817-695-9240

 

12/1/2014  CH

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