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

June 2016

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REGIONAL News

 

trees
NCTCOG approves $1.6 million for environmental stewardship program

The Environmental Stewardship Program, an initiative established in April by the Regional Transportation Council, seeks to involve residents and businesses in an endeavor to improve the quality of life for all of North Texas.

 

The RTC has set aside $1.6 million to begin the stewardship program and is seeking help from the private sector to raise an additional $1.6 million.

The program would fund wetlands, tree planting and environmental stewardship efforts in North Texas, a region where ten counties are in nonattainment for ozone pollution. This fact means transportation planners must balance environmental concerns with mobility issues when pursuing improvements to the transportation system.

 

This effort will continue the legacy of the late Chris Anderson, a transportation planner who sought to bring multiple partners together to advance environmental stewardship. In addition to his work for seven years with NCTCOG, Anderson spent time with North Texas Tollway Authority and the Texas Department of Transportation during a long, distinguished career in regional transportation.

 

Both agencies would be commemorated through this program for their efforts to enhance the environment through transportation projects.

 

The resulting $3.2 million is to serve as a reminder of NTTA’s $3.2 billion payment for the right to build and maintain Sam Rayburn Tollway, a decision that led to the establishment of the Regional Toll Revenue initiative. The RTR account has assisted with many multimodal transportation projects since it was established and would be drawn on again to pay the public investment in these environmental stewardship projects.

 

The initial projects are:

  • Engineering for Southwest Water Gardens in Dallas, a project that could enhance flood control along the old Trinity River channel while providing a public amenity.
  • Trees for the Neighbor Woods Program, a partnership with the Texas Trees Foundation to enhance the tree canopy in Dallas.
  • Effort to plant more trees in the Lancaster/Hemphill-Lamar corridor in Fort Worth, thereby easing the potential heat-island effects of urban development.
  • Engineering assistance for wetland design at Lake Worth.
  • A regional education campaign for the Environmental Stewardship Program.
  • A regional map-based tree inventory to be developed by NCTCOG and available for public use.

 

The public can assist in this effort by taking a short survey seeking information on priorities and potential funding opportunities. The survey is available at SurveyMonkey.com/r/NCTCOGstewardship

 

Clean Fleets
New idle-reduction resource availble

 

There is a new resource designed to make it easier for fleets to adopt idling restrictions, one tool used to improve regional air quality. NCTCOG staff drafted a template Idle Reduction Policy and Guidance to assist fleets that do not have a policy.

This document is designed to help fleets meet obligations of the Regional Transportation Council’s Clean Fleet Policy, which requires adopting entities to implement idling restrictions as a policy or standard operating procedure.

 

Other requirements include partnering as a Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition Stakeholder and submitting the DFWCC Annual Report. The sample idle-reduction policy is available at NCTCOG.org/fleetpolicy.

 

Bike Pedestrian Fact Sheet
Fact sheet:  Bicycle-pedestrian trafic counts

 

NCTCOG has published a fact sheet describing the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Traffic Count Program.

This program began in 2014 to inform the public and decision-makers about actual usage and travel patterns, to collect baseline data for evaluating trends and the impacts of specific projects (before and after) and to study the relationship of the surrounding land use to the recorded bicycle and pedestrian traffic volumes.

 

NCTCOG coordinated with several local entities to install data-collection equipment at various locations throughout the region to gather information on the use of North Texas’ growing network of bicycle-pedestrian facilities.

 

The location of the paths and their surrounding land uses significantly impact the mode share split between pedestrians and bicyclists. For a closer look, read the fact sheet at NCTCOG.org/factsheets.

 

 

PUBLIC Involvement

 
NCTCOG seeks comments on DBE goals

 

As a recipient of federal transportation funds, NCTCOG is required to establish and periodically update Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation goals for US Department of Transportation-assisted contracts. This is intended to encourage contracting opportunities for minority and historically underutilized businesses.

Dallas Skyline

Draft DBE goals for fiscal years 2017-2019 will be presented for review and comment at public meetings set for 6 pm June 13 in Fort Worth, 6 pm June 14 in Plano and 2:30 pm June 15 in Arlington.

 

Additionally, bicycle and pedestrian count data will be discussed. NCTCOG recently purchased bicycle and pedestrian count data collection equipment to install on shared-use paths in various urban and suburban areas around the region.

 

A report has been prepared providing an overview of 2015 count data and presents information for each count station related to mode share split, total bicycle and pedestrian trips and seasonal variations in the average daily trips by month. Staff will present an overview and highlights of the data.

 

Finally, AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program, Clean Air Action Day and the Title VI Nondiscrimination Program will also be highlighted. For more information on the meetings or to watch the video recording that will be available following the Arlington meeting, visit NCTCOG.org/input.

 

NCTCOG to publish Progress North Texas

 

Progress North Texas 2016 will be published in June. This annual transportation report examines what is being done in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to make transportation safer regardless of travel mode.

Safety signs

The report will be mailed to partners, businesses and residents throughout the region and will be available online at NCTCOG.org/ourregion. For printed copies of the report for your employer, community or civic group, contact Brian Wilson at bwilson@nctcog.org.


 

 

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AirCheckTexas taking replacement applications

 

The AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program is accepting applications for vehicle replacement.

 

Administered locally by the North Central Texas Council of Governments, AirCheckTexas provides qualifying motorists vouchers worth up to $3,000 toward vehicle replacement ($3,500 for hybrids and some other fuel-efficient models) or repair vouchers of up to $600.

 

North Texans whose vehicles have failed the emissions portion of the state inspection in the past 30 days or are at least ten years old are encouraged to apply for assistance if they meet the income criteria. A family of four earning $72,750 or less per year may receive assistance.

 

Vehicles must be registered in one of the participating counties (Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall or Tarrant).

 

Assistance through this application-based program is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Local elected officials are encouraged to share information on the program with their constituents.

 

For more, visit NCTCOG.org/airchecktexas

 

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

 

6/13/2016  CH

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