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

 


March 2014

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OUR REGION

Variety of transportation options move North Texans from place to place

Dallas-Fort Worth is known as a car-dependent region, with neighborhood streets leading to busy arterials and miles of freeways and toll roads. All these different roadway types represent options for people to get to their destinations and are often complementary. For a trip to the grocery store, a resident may just drive to the corner, using neighborhood streets and an arterial. Or maybe the destination is close enough to get there on foot or bicycle. The region currently has a 1,000-mile network of off-street trails and 82 miles of on-street bicycle facilities, including dedicated bike lanes and shared lanes. For trips longer than just a few blocks, motorists have 794 miles of freeways and 114 miles of toll roads, 85 miles of light rail and 56 miles of commuter rail,

sharrow bike lane symbol

options that will take residents to points across D-FW. This multimodal system has been built and refined over many years, thanks to the planning efforts of NCTCOG and close coordination with its transportation partners. With the help of the region’s long-range transportation plan and other efforts, the system will continue evolving to meet the needs of a changing region. This month, as part of NCTCOG’s 40th anniversary as the metropolitan planning organization, we look at how the transportation system works together to get people where they need to go. As the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country, Dallas-Fort Worth must have a transportation system with many choices.

For some residents, such as Euless’ Lee Finlay Jr., getting to work involves a combination of other travel options. In 2009, Finlay started bringing his bike to work with him on the Trinity Railway Express as a way to save money. From 2010 to spring 2013, he rode his bike the entire way to work in Uptown Dallas daily. Recently, when his schedule changed, he started riding the train both ways. Finlay said he saves about $5,000 a year by choosing an alternative to driving, but that’s not what has kept him going.

“At first it was to get into shape,” he said. “Then, it became about saving money. After a while I realized how much of a stress reliever it is, not having to deal with highway traffic. I enjoy my time alone on the bike. It’s like a form of meditation. I also like riding the TRE and meeting interesting people. I’ve made some good friends over the years.”

NCTCOG and its transportation partners continue to work on solutions to move people to work, school or other activities, whether they want to drive themselves, ride their bikes or leave the driving to someone else.

Related link: 40th Anniversary

RTC POLICYMAKERS

NCTCOG sponsoring car clinics in April 

April is National Car Care Month, a nationwide effort aimed at providing information on the importance of vehicle care and maintenance. To help motorists understand the basics of how to care for a car, NCTCOG has partnered with automotive repair shops throughout the region to put on clinics next month. Proper care will not only prolong the life of your vehicle, but will ensure you are getting the best possible gas mileage and minimizing emissions. Visit NTXCarCare.org to find one scheduled near

Checking Oil

you. For additional information, send an email to NTXCarCare@nctcog.org or call 817-704-5605.NCTCOG partnered with area repair shops in October, which is Fall Car Care Month, to teach the basics of auto care. Attendees were taught about what the check engine light means, how to check fluid levels and other basic lessons that could help their vehicles last longer. 

Charting the Future helps you navigate MPO

The NCTCOG Transportation Department has published a new guide intended to help residents understand its role as the region’s metropolitan planning organization. Charting the Future explains how the planning process works and the transportation system it has helped produce.

Public involvement is important to the continued success of the region, and this is one of the avenues intended to reach out to residents and businesses for their input. If you would like copies of this report, produced in both English and Spanish, contact Brian Wilson at bwilson@nctcog.org.  

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

Texas AltCar Expo coming to Irving March 27

The 5th Annual Texas AltCar Expo, hosted by the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition, will take place at the LEED Silver certified Irving Convention Center March 27-29. In 2012, the event moved from the Austin area to North Texas and was held in Plano. This year’s Texas AltCar Expo will host the Propane Engine Fuel Summit and will feature more exhibit space, more ride-and-drive vehicles, and panel and roundtable sessions that highlight the latest alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technology practices. FWTAexas AltCar Expo will also give the public a chance to see the wide variety of alternative fuel vehicles and inform them of the benefits of owning and operating them. John Davis from MotorWeek will provide the keynote Friday, March 28.

Adoption of alternative fuels and advanced technologies by fleets and the public is pivotal in North Texas meeting national air quality standards. With examples of best practices, funding and incentive programs, the conference will provide industry leaders and the public with tools to get behind the wheel of these new technologies. To learn more, visit AltCarExpoTexas.com.

Related link:  DFWCleanCities

Clean Cities survey deadline approaching

There’s still time to respond to our Clean Cities survey to allow your efforts regarding clean and advanced technology fleets to be recognized.

To have your fleet counted, visit DFWCleanCities.org/about/survey.asp. All local fleets are encouraged to participate and may be eligible for awards. The survey allows the region to get a snapshot of the number and type of vehicles powered by alternative fuels and advanced technologies and the petroleum and emissions they reduce.

Related link: DFWCleanCities

 

 

     

 

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NEXT CHALLENGE

Area mayors have discussed a continuous trail connection between Fort Worth and Dallas. The $30 million plan would build approximately 24 additional miles of trails, including links to several TRE rail stations. Almost half of the 64-mile corridor is finished, and there is funding for 10 more miles. The next challenge includes identifying additional money to complete gaps in the continuous route. How would the completed trail corridor shape the region? Would it change the way residents travel to destinations? Tell us on Twitter and Facebook using the #DFWMPO40 hashtag

Transportation Update

State Highway 360 moves closer to completion

The Texas Transportation Commission approved an agreement Feb. 27 paving the way for the construction of the exten-sion of State Highway 360 to begin soon. TxDOT could issue a Request for Qualifications for design-build teams this month, and construction could begin by next year after a separate Commission action the same day to authorize the RFQ.

TxDOT will build the extension, from south of Interstate Highway 20 to US Highway 287, and the North Texas Tollway Authority will operate it as a toll road. TxDOT, NTTA and the RTC have agreed on a plan to deliver this extension, which has been pursued for decades. As part of the financing plan, TxDOT will provide a $300 million loan to finance the design and construction. The RTC agreed in December to provide a backstop for the loan.

Once the project reaches substantial completion, NTTA will use the toll revenue collected from the roadway to repay the loan. This phase of the project could be finished by 2018.

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 

E-mail: transinfo@nctcog.org
Web site: www.nctcog.org/trans
Fax: 817-640-3028
Phone: 817-695-9240


     
     
     
     
     
 
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Local Motion is prepared in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation and the U.S. 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 Department of Transportation.

5/6/2016  03/17/2009 JS

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