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

March 2017


North Texas ozone season starts this month

The ozone season began in North Texas on March 1 and will last through the end of November. The height of ozone season typically begins in May when temperatures begin rising, but now is a good time for North Texans to begin considering how their actions could improve the air during ozone season, which has been extended by one month.

With the Environmental Protection Agency recently lowering the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb, the region will need to continue to work together to improve air quality. The 2016 design value for the North Texas region was 80 ppb, with seven counties in nonattainment for the 70 ppb standard. The EPA anticipates announcing the nonattainment designations for the 70 ppb standard in October. For current information on the region’s ozone levels, visit www.nctcog.org/ozone.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments maintains many policies and programs intended to help residents and businesses participate in clean air efforts. One is Air North Texas, which provides individuals, local governments and businesses lists of strategies they can implement when air quality is forecast to be poor.

The is the FlyBy DFW gaming app logo

Air North Texas implements a regional clean air event, Clean Air Action Day, on the first Friday of each summer.
Clean Air Action Day 2017 will fall on June 23, and participants are asked to implement a clean air action that will help
reduce ozone in the region. Visit www.airnorthtexas.org to learn more about how to improve air quality and to sign up for air pollution alerts, which will help residents and employers stay informed of when additional clean air actions are recommended.

 


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By the Numbers:

10

The number of North Texas counties that make up the current ozone nonattainment area. The region’s ozone season began March 1 and concludes November 30.

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MEETINGS

View the Transportation Department calendar to learn about upcoming meetings and opportunities to get informed, involved.

Survey: How do you plan your trips on managed lanes?

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the Texas Department of Transportation are interested in how drivers plan trips and the criteria they use to determine when to travel in managed lanes.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, these facilities are called TEXpress Lanes. Designed to help improve trip reliability by giving drivers the choice to pay for greater trip reliability, TEXpress Lanes have opened as part of the DFW Connector, LBJ Express, North Tarrant Express and Interstate Highway 30.

TTI has developed a short survey, available at www.travelsurveys.org. The anonymous survey should take about 10 minutes to complete and will help enhance travel information systems provided by transportation agencies. The deadline to participate is early March. So take a few minutes today to help TTI and TxDOT improve travel planning tools.

For questions regarding the survey, contact Sue Chrysler at 979-845-4443 or s-chrysler@tti.tamu.edu.



Self-driving shuttle gives Arlington taste of driverless technology

Residents and transportation leaders got a glimpse into the future of transportation in February, when EasyMile offered the public rides in a low-speed, 12-passenger self-driving transit shuttle as part of the Autonomous Vehicle Road Trip, organized by the Alliance for Transportation Innovation. NCTCOG and the City of Arlington co-sponsored the demonstration at the Arlington Convention Center.

At a meeting inside the Convention Center, Paul Brubaker, ATI's president and CEO, spoke to transportation officials about how self-driving technology could change the way Americans get around, making it safer and more efficient to travel from place to place.






The EasyMile shuttle is the type of vehicle that would be good for places such as the University of Texas at Arlington to take students, faculty, even visitors around campus. It may also be used in business parks. For widespread adoption to take place, the public must be willing to turn to vehicles without steering wheels. It was this need for public acceptance that led to ATI's Road Trip, which made Arlington its only stop in Texas.

Working with its regional and statewide partners, NCTCOG plans to play a key role in helping bring vehicle automation to the streets.
Through its new automated vehicle program, NCTCOG will use its planning expertise to help move the technology forward. The US Department of Transportation recently named Texas an Automated Vehicle Proving Ground, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, specifically the UTA campus, Arlington streets and Interstate 30 corridor between Dallas and Fort Worth, could soon welcome the testing of automated vehicles, including driverless cars and shuttles.



NCTCOG sponsoring Car Care Clinics in April

NCTCOG is partnering with local automotive repair shops to sponsor FREE Car Care Clinics throughout April to help North Texas drivers whose vehicles have the check engine light illuminated.

A vehicle's check engine light turns on when there may be an issue that could impact its emissions. These clinics will provide drivers with an opportunity to talk to a technician about their vehicles' issues.

Staff will be at each clinic to discuss financial assistance that is available to help drivers with repairs. To find a clinic near you, visit www.NTXCarCare.org. For more information, email NTXCarCare@nctcog.org or call 817-704-5697

 

This is a representative image of a mechanic working on a car (representing car care clinics)
                                                                                                            Photo - Getty

 


Alternative fuel vehicle procurement kickoff

N.CTCOG is looking for fleet representatives and fleet procurement staff to participate in a new initiative called Fleets for the Future. With a focus on local public fleets, NCTCOG plans to open a regional cooperative procurement of alternative fuel vehicles.

The goal is to increase regional alternative fuel deployment by coordinating the procurement of select vehicles and infrastructure to obtain volume discounts that fleets cannot access individually.

To learn more and take an alternative fuel vehicle fleet survey, visit the Fleets for the Future website, www.nctcog.org/f4f, or contact Bailey Muller at bmuller@nctcog.org or 817-695-9299.



NCTCOG to participate in spring outreach events

.NCTCOG is participating in several community outreach events this spring to discuss air quality initiatives and transportation planning in North Texas.

Residents who attend Fort Worth Earth Party, Colorpalooza: A Celebration of Spring, UNT University Day and Earth Day Texas at Fair Park, among others, can stop by the NCTCOG table to visit with staff about transportation projects and programs and learn how they can help improve air quality in the rapidly growing Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Information on NCTCOG transportation and air quality programs, including Try Parking It, Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition, Air North Texas and AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program will also be available. Brochures and publications will be distributed, as well as lunch bags, water bottles, activity books, crayons and other educational items. For more information, visit www.airnorthtexas.org.




Provide input on development credits, UPWP

Residents are encouraged to provide input on a series of transportation topics during public meetings in March.

Transportation Development Credits, a regional east-west equity update, Unified Planning Work Program modifications for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 and development of the FY 2018 and 2019 UPWP will be presented at 6:30 pm March 13 in Grapevine, 2:30 pm March 15 in Arlington and 6:30 pm March 20 in Carrollton.
Proposed modifications to the List of Funded Projects, AirCheckTexas, April Car Care Clinics and a Diesel Idling Hot Spots Request for Information will also be highlighted.

For more information on presentation topics or to watch a video recording of the Arlington meeting, visit www.nctcog.org/input.

Read or print Local Motion as a PDF here.

Read previous newsletters here.

For more information about Local Motion topics, contact Brian Wilson at 817-704-2511 or bwilson@nctcog.org. Visit www.nctcog.org/trans for more information on the department.

Prepared in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration. The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the opinions, findings and conclusions presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration or the Texas

3/21/2017 CH

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