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Progress North Texas 2017

   

Roadway Innovation

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NCTCOG strives to stay at the vanguard of transportation advancements, new technologies and innovative programming. NCTCOG's Travel Demand Management Program continues to market alternative forms of transportation to the region's commuters. TEXpress Lanes and peak-period shoulder-use lanes are innovative ways that increase speeds and volume while reducing emissions.

Employer Trip Reduction


NCTCOG has continued to work closely with regional businesses to educate them on trip-reduction strategies designed to reduce work-related solo ommutes. The Employer Trip Reduction Program promotes strategies such as ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling), telecommuting and flexible work scheduling, as well as transit, bicycling, and walking. Both public and private employers are assisted with the formation of company-specific trip reduction
strategies. NCTCOG published a trip reduction guide in 2016 to introduce employers to the multiple options available in the region.

TryParkingIt.com

It has been a year since TryParkingIt.com relaunched. The region's commuter ride-match and trip-logging website helps users find carpool and vanpool matches. It also pairs commuters with biking, walking or transit buddies to help them navigate the options available. Users can also receive an estimate of miles saved, trips and harmful emissions reduced, calories burned, and money saved as a result of their choices. Rewards partners, introduced as part of a 2015 website redesign, help North Texas air quality and traffic congestion by providing incentives to choose alternative commutes. Through its G.R.E.E.N. Rewards Partners, TryParkingIt.com provides a variety of rewards for active members to win. These businesses Give rewards, Receive recognition, Expand their customer base and have a positive Effect on North Texas.

 

chart showing the regional vanpool performance for 2016.

 

Commuter Challenges

TryParkingIt.com hosted two commuter challenge competitions in 2016. DART and TryParkingIt.com partnered on the region's first Bike to Work Challenge in May, encouraging commuters in the DART service area to incorporate bicycles into their work trips. Residents were able to ride their bikes to any DART bus or rail station and use one of more than 140 bike lids to store their bicycles. They could also take advantage of bike racks on every bus and train to combine bicycles and transit. Bicycles are permitted on any DART vehicle, all Trinity Railway Express trains and the Dallas Streetcar.

The I-30 Insider Commuter Challenge was hosted on TryParkingIt.com from October 1, 2016-April 28, 2017. The goal of this challenge, funded through the federal Value Pricing Pilot Program, was to test the effectiveness of incentives to positively affect driver behavior. The challenge encouraged commuters along the I-30 test corridor to use alternative commute modes instead of driving alone. Participants were able to earn I-30 Insider points for each alternative commute trip during the morning and afternoon peak periods and use them to purchase incentives.

TEXpress Lanes

TEXpress Lanes continue to allow drivers in North Texas the choice to pay to bypass congestion in adjacent general-purpose lanes. In addition to the TEXpress Lanes already operating, the region was introduced to additional managed lanes in the IH 30 corridor in Grand Prairie and western Dallas in 2016.

Data suggests that the TEXpress Lanes have provided significant congestion relief to travelers, including those on non-tolled, general-purpose lanes. For example, generalpurpose congestion is down about 70 percent on the North Tarrant Express and 60 percent on the LBJ Express since 2010.

CAP-MAIN

NCTCOG continues to make strides toward improving existing capital projects using the Capital/ Maintenance process. Cap-Main seeks to boost the performance of roadways, especially freeways, through means other than widening. This can include restriping, intersection improvements, shoulder-use lanes and repaving existing facilities. This approach focuses on performance improvements that maximize benefits and minimize costs. The new 10-year plan initiated through House Bill 20, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015,
included several current and future Cap-Main projects. Among them were a second phase of IH 35E near Waxahachie and interchanges in Parker County. Transportation officials are also beginning to research improvement to lanes and interchanges along IH 20.

US 75 Technology Lane

US Highway 75 is the primary corridor for drivers in Collin County into northern Dallas County. With its widening project scheduled to finish in spring 2017, NCTCOG and TxDOT are exploring use of the corridor's high occupancy vehicle lane as a peak-period and incidentmanagement lane with additional technological assets and datasharing applications. A similar use of the shoulders along a three-mile stretch of SH 161 led to a 50 percent decline in peak-period congestion in 2015, and the strategy will remain in place through fiscal year 2019.

Travel demand modeling shows continued congestion on US 75 and limitations on available right-of-way for future expansion. Therefore, shoulder use during peak periods along the corridor is a viable and fiscally responsible option. NCTCOG and TxDOT are also examining how technologies along the roadway can be bolstered to provide innovative transportation services. This includes integrating data from NCTCOG's traveler information service, 511DFW. The team working on the Technology Lane is considering safe and effective ways to communicate breaking traffic and travel information along the corridor using dynamic message signs.

Traveler Information

The 511DFW Traveler Information System is a regional source to help improve the reliability of the transportation system. It can be accessed via the internet and a new mobile app, available for Apple and Android devices. Users can receive personalized travel information through the creation of a My511 account. Also available by dialing 511, 511DFW provides information on traffic, weather and transit, including a transit trip planner.

Traffic information includes speeds and travel times for freeways and arterials. The website also provides links to rideshare and paratransit resources. The traffic and transit map provides information on special events, messages posted on dynamic message signs over freeways and TxDOT camera images. The system is being updated. Once enhancements are made, there will be a marketing campaign to increase awareness of 511DFW. For information on current and future improvements, visit www.511dfw.org or dial 511.

A grapghc showing the 511DFW enhancements.


 

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7/25/2017 06/15/2016 BW

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