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

July 2014

PDF | Return to main Local Motion page | Archived issues

OUR REGION

40th Anniversary RTC Logo

5 regional innovations that changed how transportation was approached

Dallas-Fort Worth looks vastly different today than 40 years ago, and one example can be seen in its infrastructure. Here are five projects that helped the region accommodate growth and changed the way transportation was approached.

1. The expansion of Central Expressway in Dallas and the relocation of Interstate Highway 30 in Fort Worth resulted in dramatically improved traffic flow. Additionally, they represented a new era of public involvement, as the Texas Department of Transportation was required to provide more opportunities for community input. The change helped bring North Texans closer to the process, ultimately resulting in better projects.

2. The LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express represented a new way to finance construction of transportation projects. Capacity to be added to these facilities, among the state’s most-congested freeways, was planned as managed lanes to improve reliability. The private sector has taken the risk, but the roads are owned by TxDOT.

3. The North Texas Tollway Authority built the Sam Rayburn Tollway, but in a nontraditional sense. Historically, NTTA has constructed roads and used the resulting revenue to support its growing system. With SH 121, 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.

4. The Dallas-Fort Worth area continues to develop one of the most extensive rail systems in the country. Commuters can use almost 90 miles of light rail and more than 50 miles of commuter rail. Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority brought commuter rail to the region in 1996, thanks to a unique partnership whereby both agencies shared ownership of the Trinity Railway Express. FWTARE now provides commuter service between downtown Dallas and downtown Fort Worth. In 2010, the Denton County Transportation Authority introduced a 21-mile commuter line running between Denton and Carrollton, where it meets DART’s Green Line. This arrangement was noteworthy because the rail line was paid for using RTR funds.

5. President George Bush Turnpike, SH 161 and Chisholm Trail Parkway were all originally conceived as TxDOT projects. However, funding constraints led to them becoming toll roads. Local governments requested they be tolled rather than waiting 10 or more years for improvements.

RTC POLICYMAKERS

TCEQ offers rebate for new vehicles

FWTAexas Commission on Environmental Quality recently released funding available from the Light-Duty Motor Vehicle Purchase or Lease Incentive Program.

This program will provide financial incentives of up to $2,500 for the purchase or lease of eligible new vehicles powered by compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas or electric drives (plug-in). For a list of eligible vehicle makes and models, visit www.terpgrants.org and navigate to the program.

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until June 26, 2015, or until all funding is awarded, whichever occurs first.

For more information, visit the above website or call 800-919-TERP (8377).

Denton adopts state idling rule

This spring, the city of Denton became the 26th municipality in North Central Texas to adopt the state idling rule as part of a regional effort to reduce emissions from heavy-duty trucks.

Under this rule, no gasoline or diesel powered vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 14,000 pounds may idle the main engine for more than five minutes. For more information on this initiative, including applicable exemptions, or to report an idling vehicle, visit www.engineoffnorthtexas.org. Vehicles can also be reported at 877-NTX-IDLE.

For questions, email engineoffnorthtexas@nctcog.org.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

NCTCOG seeking energy savings information

The North Central Texas Council of Governments is soliciting information related to projects, programs or financing mechanisms that are making it easier for businesses and residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth area to save energy and water.

NCTCOG is seeking a reliable inventory of what is available, which will help in the development of future plans. This effort is for informational purposes only. NCTCOG does not anticipate awarding any funding following this request. Please provide information to NCTCOG Director of Environment and Development Edith Marvin at emarvin@nctcog.org or 817-695-9211.

On the Web:   www.nctcog.org/energy

4th-graders explain future of transportation

What do today’s young students think transportation will be like in the future? We wanted to know, so we asked a few of them. On a recent trip to Oak Cliff’s C.M. Soto Elementary School, we talked with fourth-graders about what kinds of vehicles they expect to ride in in the future.

See how they responded in our “Future of Transportation” video, part of our ongoing celebration of our 40th anniversary as the region’s metropolitan planning organization. Reflecting on the past is nice, but younger generations can make significant contributions, even if they are not old enough to drive.

Watch the video at www.youtube.com/nctcogtrans. The Transportation department’s 40th anniversary content is available at www.nctcog.org/dfwmpo40.

 

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NEXT CHALLENGE

Our region has accomplished a lot since FWTAotal Transportation Plan for the North Central Texas Region for 1990 was completed in 1974. Most of the projects in this plan have come to fruition, but a few – like State Highway 360 south and the Trans-Regional Transit Line, known today as TEX Rail and the DART Orange Line — are still incomplete. (The latter will run to DFW Airport from Fort Worth and Dallas.) What are your expectations for these projects? How will our region benefit once they are complete? Tell us on social media using #DFWMPO40.

DFWCC logo

Clean Cities

Heavy-duty gaseous training August 5-7

Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities and the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) will host a free heavy-duty gaseous fuels training session August 5-7 from 8:30 am to 5 pm at the Universal Technical Institute in Irving.

In recent years, heavy-duty vehicles powered by alternative fuels have increased, making technicians knowledgeable about alternative fuels in high demand.

Join certified NAFTC instructors and receive hands-on experience while learning about practical skills in actual shop environments.

Registration is open to the first 25 participants and each will receive a training manual and program certificate upon completion of the course. To learn more or to register for the course, please visit: www.hdgftraining.eventbrite.com.

For more information, please visit DFWCleanCities.org or email cleancities@nctcog.org.

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

 

 

6/15/2016  CH

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