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

February 2016

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OUR REGION

Ozone season begins March 1

 

The Ozone season begins in North Texas on March 1 and will last through October. 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.

 

With the Environmental Protection Agency recently lowering the 8-hour ozone standard from 75 parts per billion to 70 ppb, the region will need to continue to work together to improve air quality. The design value for the 10-county North Texas region is currently at 83 ppb. The EPA anticipates announcing designations for the new 8-hour ozone standard in December 2017.

 

NCTCOG 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.

 

Air North Texas implements an annual, regional clean air event, Clean Air Action Day, on the first Friday of summer. Clean Air Action Day 2016 will fall on June 24 and participants are asked to implement a clean air action that will help reduce ozone in the region. The 2015 event saw the highest participation to date and included a Clean Air Action Day Challenge for Surface Transportation Technical Committee members.

 

Individuals, businesses and local governments can participate by pledging to implement at least one clean air action not normally part of their schedules, such as carpooling, using mass transit, bicycling or walking. Find ideas, learn more about the event and submit Clean Air Action Day commitments at www.airnorthtexas.org.

 

Signing up for air pollution alerts will help residents and employers stay informed of when additional clean air actions are recommended


RTC POLICYMAKERS

Entities continue adopting Clean Fleet Policy

 

Entities throughout Dallas-Fort Worth continue to adopt the Clean Fleet Policy at a brisk pace. As of December 2015, 56 local fleets have approved the revised policy, an increase of 33 compared to April. Eligibility for clean fleet funding through the Regional Transportation Council requires adoption of the policy, and as the Dallas-Fort Worth area continues to face air quality challenges, the RTC requests all organizations with fleet operations in the 10-county DFW ozone nonattainment area adopt the new policy. The RTC resolution and new policy template can be viewed at NCTCOG.org/fleetpolicy. Supporting items are also available online, including a Clean Fleet Policy guidance document, which outlines practical examples for implementing policy elements

 

Environmental mapping site launched

 

The NCTCOG Transportation and Environment & Development departments recently launched an interactive mapping website that serves as a one-stop shop for partners seeking environmental data. The Regional Ecosystem Framework Interactive Viewer is a publicly accessible site intended for use by transportation, environmental and local government stakeholders to identify potential environmental impacts when planning transportation projects.

 

The interactive map contains over 40 spatial layers with detailed information in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and was developed with grant funds from the Federal Highway Administration. The interactive mapping site and additional project information can be viewed at NCTCOG.org/ref.

 

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

Input sought on Mobility 2040, conformity

 

NCTCOG staff will seek public input on draft Mobility 2040 recommendations and 2016 Transportation Conformity at public meetings scheduled for 6:30 pm February 9 in Richardson, 2:30 pm February 10 in Arlington and 6:30 pm February 15 in Euless.

 

This will be the third consecutive month NCTCOG has sought comments on the region’s next long-range transportation plan. NCTCOG is required to maintain a long-range plan for the region’s multimodal transportation system covering a time horizon of at least 20 years. Staff members are developing Mobility 2040, the next long-range plan, and will highlight draft recommendations for major roadways, transit projects and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure as well as a list of near-term Transportation Improvement Program projects affected by the plan. Mobility 2040 is expected to be adopted by the RTC in March.

 

In addition to long-range planning, NCTCOG also coordinates Transportation Conformity, a federal regulation requiring nonattainment areas to conduct air quality analysis on projects, programs and policies identified in transportation plans, federally funded projects or projects requiring federal approval. Ten Dallas-Fort Worth area counties are designated nonattainment for the pollutant ozone. Staff will present information regarding draft results for the 2016 Transportation Conformity.

 

AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program, Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities annual report and recognition and the annual list of obligated projects will also be highlighted.

 

Following the public meeting in Arlington, a video recording will be online at www.nctcog.org/input.

 

 

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Region develops UAS model ordinance to promote safety

 

As part of its ongoing coordination of small unmanned aircraft systems in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, NCTCOG is helping to facilitate the development of a model ordinance. The city of Fort Worth has led the process. The goal is the safe operation of a class of aircraft rapidly growing in popularity. Law enforcement, first responders and others have expressed a desire for a coordinated effort to ensure the safe operation of UAS.

In municipalities that adopt the ordinance, operators of small unmanned aircraft could be restricted from flying within 1.5 miles of an airport and military installation facilities. They must also comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations that require permission from airports, military installations, and airport control towers to fly aircraft within five miles of their facilities. The FAA recently required the registration of unmanned aircraft characterized by weight specifications and released the free B4UFly smartphone app. Operators of small UAS can determine if they are within five miles of an airport, or if other restrictions exist in their area.

On the Web: NCTCOG.org/uas


 

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

 

2/4/2016  CH

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