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

September 2017

Driverless vehicles introduced in Arlington Entertainment District

Next time you are in the Entertainment District for a Rangers or Cowboys game, there may be an alternative to enduring high summer temperatures as you make your way to the stadium.

On August 26, the City of Arlington debuted two air-conditioned driverless vehicles that will take fans to Globe Life Park or AT&T Stadium via trails in the Richard Greene Linear Park and Robert Cluck Linear Park. The bright red Milo shuttles, provided by Easy Mile, are free to ride and handicap accessible.

This is part of a pilot project to test the concept of low-speed driverless vehicles in Arlington. During the test, the vehicles will follow a predetermined route, using a laser on the roof to detect obstacles.

Each vehicle will have an operator on board who can override the automated setting in the case of an emergency. The vehicles, which can travel fast as 20 mph, are not permitted on the streets. For now, they will travel on the trails in the Entertainment District, comfortably providing the final connection for people trying to get from their cars to the ballgame or other nearby event.

For more information, visit www.arlington-tx.gov/news and search "autonomous vehicle."

Automated vehicle photo
NCTCOG photo
Driverless vehicles are a new transportation option in Arlington’s Entertainment District.

NDEW celebrates success of electric vehicles

Exciting progress is being made that could lead to less expensive, more plentiful electric vehicles. But how much do you know about them? Learn more about the technology from current EV owners and local representatives during North Texas’ National Drive Electric Week celebration September 9 at Grapevine Mills Mall. Additionally, a series of five daily webinars beginning Monday, September 11 will help you understand the basics about EVs.

Electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts will show off their rides, discuss the ownership
experience and demonstrate this incredible – and clean – technology beginning at 10 am September 9 at the mall. Sponsored by NCTCOG and the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition, the North Texas NDEW celebration is an opportunity for residents to learn more about electrification without feeling pressured to buy an EV. Attendees will even be able to test drive these vehicles.

Mike Taylor, a member of the Colleyville City Council and the Regional Transportation Council, will speak during the event, highlighting the importance of electric vehicles in North
Texas. Organizers are again hoping to establish a State record for the number of EVs in one
location. For more information, visit www.driveelectricdfw.org.

NDEW event photo


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By the Numbers:

5th

Texas' rank in electric vehicles sold. NCTCOG and the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition will celebrate the success of EVs during National Drive Electric Week, beginning September 9.

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MEETINGS

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

Breathe cleaner with Idle Free School Zones

As school gets underway, NCTCOG asks parents and districts alike to keep their eyes open for long lines of idling vehicles at campuses.
NCTCOG will be looking for school districts and specific campuses to team up with for an Idle Free School Zones project, which will focus on implementing idle reduction strategies in parent pick-up/drop-off zones. Student educational components will also be developed.

The goal is to ultimately reduce harmful air pollutants around each campus. Respond to AQfunding@nctcog.org by September 30 to recommend school districts or campuses that would benefit from this unique and educational opportunity.
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RTC awards transportation data-sharing grants to TxDOT, area cities
The Regional Transportation Council has awarded grants to area cities and the Texas Department of Transportation that will help make highways and streets safer and more efficient.

Along with TxDOT, the cities of Arlington, Flower Mound, Frisco, Garland, Grapevine, Grand Prairie and Plano, will receive $25,000 apiece to help them share traffic signal data with connected-vehicle and other app developers.

This move makes 27 percent of the region’s signals accessible to developers hoping to improve the way vehicles communicate with the infrastructure around them to enhance traffic flow and safety.
The RTC also approved grants totaling $131,000 to cities as part of a separate project with Waze, a travel navigation app that employs a combination of city- and user-provided data to help keep transportation systems moving.

With Arlington, Crowley, Frisco, Garland, Grand Prairie and Plano sharing data on road closures with Waze, it will later become easier to build out 511 DFW as a portal for transportation information. Fort Worth has been sharing information on road closures as part of its involvement with the Waze Connected Citizens Program since last year.
511DFW logo

Planners are working to upgrade 511 DFW to serve as a central repository for cities to share and receive information with a variety of travel navigation services and each other. Data provided by cities and counties could have a significant impact on the freight and other industries relying on roads in off-peak periods, when many significant construction projects take place.

Advance notice of road closures will help these companies plan their routes so they can deliver goods more efficiently.



Corinth becomes 5th North Texas SolSmart city

Corinth has signed on as the fifth SolSmart city in the North Texas region. SolSmart is a national program through which technical advisors work with municipalities to reduce solar soft costs and adopt solar friendly policies. Soft costs include permitting, financing, installation and other non-hardware costs related adopting solar power.

Through participation, cities are sending the solar market a signal that they are “open for business” and can receive national recognition for their efforts. To join the cities of Plano, Kennedale, Cedar Hill, Denton, and Corinth as the region’s solar leaders, visit www.GoSolarTexas.org/solsmart.


Fleet discounts offered on alternative fuel vehicles

North Texas public fleets have an opportunity to get substantial discounts on alternative fuel vehicles. NCTCOG issued a request for proposals (RFP) for Fleets for the Future, a regional cooperative to assist with the procurement of alternative fuel vehicles.

The RFP focuses on four AFV platforms including:

Propane half-ton pick-up trucks Plug-in hybrid electric half-ton pick-up trucks
PHEV compact sedans Electric subcompact sedans

Proposals are due to NCTCOG at 5 pm September 15. The NCTCOG Executive Board is scheduled to consider the RFP at the end of October. Vehicle orders could be placed soon after Executive Board approval. Learn how your fleet can participate and benefit from this unique regional procurement process by visiting www.nctcog.org/f4f.

NCTCOG requests input on funding initiatives

NCTCOG staff will present several transportation funding initiatives, an electric vehicle update and work program modifications during public meetings in September.
Residents can provide input on local bond program partnerships, two Federal Transit Administration funding programs and the Unified Planning Work Program at meetings on September 11 (White Settlement), September 13 (Arlington) and September 18 (Lewisville).

The UPWP is a required summary of activities to be undertaken by NCTCOG as the metropolitan planning organization. The bond program partnerships aim to leverage funds for projects important to local governments and the region. In addition to local funding efforts, NCTCOG issued a call for projects to competitively award FTA funding through two programs that support transportation services for seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income individuals. Staff will present recommendations to award 10 projects the available funding. Finally, an update will be provided on the 2017 National Drive Electric Week celebration.

Information on Mobility 2045, modifications to the list of funded projects, the Public Transportation Agency Programs of Projects and the AirCheckTexas program will also be highlighted. Watch the Arlington meeting in real time by clicking the “live” tab at www.nctcog.org/video. A recording of the presentations will also be posted at www.nctcog.org/input.

Public Meeting Details

Monday, Sept. 11, 2017
6 p.m.

Splash Dayz Water Park & Conference Center

8905 Clifford St.
White Settlement, TX 76108

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017

2:30 p.m.

North Central Texas Council of Governments

616 Six Flags Drive

Arlington, TX 76011

Monday, Sept. 18, 2017

6 p.m.

Lewisville Public Library

1197 Main St.
Lewisville, TX 75067


Mobility plan survey open until September 20

The first survey for Mobility 2045 will remain open until Thursday, September 20. Planners are seeking input on transportation  behavior and challenges, as well as long-term priorities.

Take the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/m2045. Print copies will be mailed upon request. Mobility 2045 is the next long-term transportation plan for the region. The plan will define a 27-year vision for the region’s multimodal transportation system, guide spending of federal and state transportation funds, and address air quality and quality of life issues. Draft recommendations are expected to be available in spring 2018, and RTC action is expected in summer 2018. 

For more about the mobility plan and its development, visit www.nctcog.org/mobility2045.

Mobility 2045 logo


 

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

9/13/2017 CH

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