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

May 2016

PDF | Return to main Local Motion page | Archived issues

OUR REGION

 

NCTCOG 50-year anniversary logo
Transportation has evolved, but department’s commitment remains

 

The NCTCOG transportation Department began in 1969, with two employees. Although its role has evolved and its size grown over the past 47 years, its commitment to the region has remained steadfast. In the early days, the emphasis was on energy, necessitated in part by the energy crisis of the 1970s. Later, with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, air quality became a significant area of emphasis. This remains true today. Because ten Dallas-Fort Worth area counties are in nonattainment for ozone, transportation improvements must be made without negatively impacting air quality.

 

In 1974, the department was designated as the region’s metropolitan planning organization and today, through the Regional Transportation Council, is in charge of transportation policymaking for 12 counties. North Texas has added about 4.5 million people since 1970, bringing the total to near 7 million and necessitating a transportation system that serves more than just personal vehicles.

 

Dallas Area Rapid Transit’s 90-plus mile light rail system is the largest in the nation, and the region’s commuter rail network continues to develop, connecting more and more people to their destinations. FWTArinity Railway Express serves as an important connection between Dallas and Fort Worth; Denton County Transportation Authority’s A-train connects Denton and Carrollton; and starting in 2018, TEX Rail will provide residents of the western side of the region the same opportunity their eastern counterparts have through DART light rail: direct access to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport by rail. The region’s bicycle-pedestrian network also continues to expand.

 

Over the years, the region’s transportation system has seen more than just expansion. Innovation has helped Dallas-Fort Worth accommodate the growth that continues today. NCTCOG works closely with its regional partners and the Texas Legislature to ensure the transportation needs are met for the entire region. One innovation with a lasting impact was the financing agreement reached with the North Texas Tollway Authority to construct Sam Rayburn Tollway, a roadway that is attracting new development to parts of Collin and Denton counties.

 

Historically, NTTA has constructed roads and used the resulting revenue to support its growing system. With Sam Rayburn Tollway, the benefactor became the region. NTTA paid the region more than $3 billion, which has been used to build numerous Dallas-Fort Worth area projects that otherwise would have had to wait years for completion. The Regional Toll Revenue funding initiative remains in use today to enhance the multimodal transportation system. For a closer look at the Transportation Department over the years, visit www.nctcog.org/50.

 

RTC POLICYMAKERS

 
Look Out Texans logo
Students can learn to bicycle, walk safely

 

The end of the school year is just a month away, so students will soon have more opportunities to bicycle, walk and play outside. To help keep kids safe this summer and in the coming school year, the Look Out Texans safety campaign has created lesson plans and materials to teach students about how to bicycle and walk safely.

These resources were developed by NCTCOG with assistance from an educator focus group made of North Texas teachers. The lesson plans, customized for students in grades 3-5 and 6-8, meet Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards. Through a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation, Look Out Texans is able to provide these informative and fun resources to educators and the general public for free online.

 

A combination of videos, activities and a quiz, helps students learn about safe bicycling and walking practices. Teachers can also take advantage of articles, letters and tip sheets to ensure learning continues at home. To access the resources, please visit www.LookOutTexans.org/schoolkit.

 

Idle Reduction
Survey: Idle-reduction initiatives

Vehicle idling reduces fuel economy, wastes money and contributes to ozone-forming emissions. NCTCOG is looking for ways to make regional idle-reduction programs more effective, and needs your help! Tell us what type of vehicles you think are most important to target, what messages are most effective, and areas where you think idling is most important to reduce, by taking the following survey: SurveyMonkey.com/r/FX3T7FW

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

 
Celebrate Bike Month in North Texas

 

May is Bike Month, and North Texans have opportunities to show support for commuting on two wheels throughout the month, starting with Bike to School Day on May 4. National Bike to Work Week May is 16-20, capped by National Bike to Work Day on May 20. NCTCOG encourages residents to commute by alternative transportation modes in support of Bike Month, organized by the League of American Bicyclists. Bicyclists can also log their commutes on TryParkingIt.com, where they will be eligible for prizes.

 

For information on Bike to Work events organized by cities and the region’s transit agencies, visit
NCTCOG.org/trans/sustdev/bikeped/bike2work.asp.

Arlo with bike

 

Fort Worth Earth Party-April 2016
 
NCTCOG celebrates spring at 20 DFW events

 

The NCTCOG Transportation Department participated in 20 community outreach events this spring, educating residents about air quality initiatives and metropolitan transportation planning in North Texas.

 

Staff members visited the sixth annual Earth Day Texas at Fair Park, attended by more than 130,000 people. They presented to the Texas Trucking Association about for funding for alternative fuels and clean vehicle technology for freight efficiency and emissions reduction.

 

In addition, NCTCOG had booths at Fort Worth’s Earth Party, Lewisville’s ColorPalooza, Oak Cliff Earth Day, DFW Airport’s Earth Day Celebration, University Day at the University of North Texas and The University of Texas at Arlington’s Celebrating People and Planet, among others. Transportation and air quality programs, including Try Parking It, Air North Texas, Clean Air Action Day, the Look Out Texans safety campaign and the NCTCOG Active Transportation Program, were also highlighted.


 

 

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SmartWay

EPA honors NCTCOG
freight outreach

 

NCTCOG has been recognized for the fifth year in a row for its efforts to promote emissions reduction and improve efficiency in the freight industry. The Environmental Protection Agency named NCTCOG a SmartWay Affiliate Challenge honoree in April. NCTCOG promotes SmartWay initiatives by providing outreach to potential partners and informing freight operators in the area about the benefits of adapting to EPA-verified SmartWay technologies.

 

The SmartWay Affiliate Challenge was developed to acknowledge entities that have demonstrated exceptional recruiting, promotion and marketing toward these goals. SmartWay Transport is a voluntary, public-private partnership with the freight industry that the EPA started in 2004. It helps SmartWay Partners move more goods more miles with lower emissions and less energy. Reducing emissions in the freight sector plays a vital role in improving regional air quality. Thirty percent of regional on-road nitrogen oxide emissions come from heavy-duty diesel vehicles.

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

 

5/6/2016  CH

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