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

October 2014

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40th Anniversary RTC Logo

Regional Growth paves way for comprehensive transportation system

Forty years ago, the region possessed transportation assets that made it an attractive place to live and work. The Interstate Highway System had provided a path to move people and goods from the East to West Coast by way of North Texas. There were the railroads for freight delivery, and an airport that would become one of the nation’s busiest had just opened. The region was poised for expansion. Over the next 40 years, it would come, and with it the need for a diversified transportation system. Between 1974 and 2014, the population has grown by 4 million. Each county in the region has expanded significantly, but a few have led the way. Collin, Denton and Tarrant counties have seen much of the growth in recent years, aided by business developments such as the Telecom Corridor and AllianceTexas, which brought people and additional employers to the area. The pace of growth accelerated in the 1960s, as the region has added 1 million people or more each decade since then. The size of the planning area has been expanded to ensure transportation planning could keep up with the demand. Beginning with two full counties, Dallas and Tarrant, the planning area now consists of 12 counties.

With so many people moving to the region, more transportation facilities were required to maintain system reliability. The President George Bush Turnpike was built as another transportation option for many of Dallas’ outer suburbs. Later, Sam Rayburn Tollway connected the central part of the region with the rapidly expanding northeast, where growth had transformed cities such as McKinney and Frisco from small towns outside the metropolitan area to cities with over 100,000 residents. On the west side, Chisholm Trail Parkway opened this year to provide better access between Johnson and Tarrant counties and a promise of future development.

Growth also requires aging facilities to be transformed. The DFW Connector, LBJ Express and North Tarrant Express, which now includes Interstate Highway 35W, have been completed or gone to construction. They contain a new transportation option dedicated to improving reliability — tolled managed lanes, also called TEXpress Lanes. They will provide commuters with more reliable trips while producing revenue that can be used to further enhance the corridors.

One option that did not exist in the region 40 years ago — passenger rail — is now depended on by millions. Dallas Area Rapid Transit built has built the nation’s longest light rail system. Commuter rail was extended from Dallas to Fort Worth via the Trinity Railway Express during the 1990s and early 2000s. And the Denton County Transportation Authority in 2011 opened the A-train commuter line between Denton and Carrollton. With growth has come a more diverse transportation system. As the region prepares for the future, the current assets will provide a framework for more expansion, and NCTCOG will be there to help make the system work for all who depend on it.

Green lawn equipment demo

The Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition (DFWCC) is partnering with the Propane Education Research Council and Pinnacle Propane to host a Green Lawn Equipment Demo at the University of Texas at Arlington Maverick Activities Center on October 24. The DFWCC quarterly meeting will take place during the morning session, followed by alternative fuel lawn equipment presentations. Attendees will also be able to check out and test-drive alternative fuel commercial lawn mowers. For additional event information, please visit or contact Kimberlin To at 817-608-2362 or


Voters to decide transportation measure

Early voting for the November 4 election begins October 20. Voters will face a decision on the ballot that would provide a boost to mobility. Proposition 1, a proposed constitutional amendment, would allow more than $1 billion a year in oil and gas severance taxes typically reserved for the state's Rainy Day Fund to be used for non-tolled transportation improvements. This allocation represents half of the oil and gas taxes that flow into the state's reserve fund. Early voting concludes October 31.

For information, visit the secretary of state's website,

AFV Odyssey coming to UTA Oct. 25

The Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition (DFWCC) is celebrating Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey on October 25 at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) Parent & Family Weekend by highlighting cleaner and greener transportation options available for students and parents traveling to and from the campus. The addition of the Metro ArlingtonXpress (MAX) bus service offers UTA students and staff another commuting option in addition to car sharing and other choices already available. Attendees will have the chance to check out available alternative fuel and advanced vehicle technologies, as well as learn more about the DFWCC at the University Center mall area. For additional event information, visit or contact Kimberlin To at 817-608-2362 or


Participation plan undergoing revisions

The North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Department has proposed changes to its Public Participation Plan that would better align outreach and public input opportunities during the decision-making processes. Due to changing communication trends, draft revisions are being developed with more effective ways identified to reach and engage North Texans at convenient times and places.

The proposed revision to the plan entails holding fewer public meetings because an increased number over the past several years could be contributing to declining attendance. Public meetings would be reserved for topics dealing with the development of plans, programs and policies and other significant changes. For routine topics, such as administrative changes to the Unified Planning Work Program, staff proposes a shift online for public review and comment periods.

The Transportation Department would continue announcing all public input opportunities through multiple strategies and allowing 30 days or more for public review and comments. A revision to the Language Assistance Plan would incorporate updating demographic information.

The Public Participation Plan, last updated in 2010, encourages an open exchange of information and ideas between the public and transportation decision makers. The plan outlines strategies on how to keep the public informed. Among these are advertising, direct mail, social media and email. The revisions were discussed during public meetings in September, and the public comment period on the proposed changes ends October 22.

For a closer look at the proposed changes to the public participation plan, see the public meeting presentation at



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Identifying the right tools to improve mobility in North Texas is important. Although traditional freeways and tollways may offer increased capacity, other modes of transportation can also be used as alternatives to reduce the number of vehicles on the roadways. Our region has seen advances in passenger rail and bicycle-pedestrian facilities to help meet the transportation needs of today and the next generation. How do you think continued growth will shape the transportation system in the future? Tell us using #DFWMPO40.



Policy being updated with advances in technology

With the advancements of the past decade in engine technologies, vehicle regulations and air quality goals, NCTCOG staff and local fleet representatives are updating the Clean Fleet Vehicle Policy to ensure it remains relevant.

Policy revisions are emphasizing the establishment of a goal-oriented structure. Reducing emissions from fleet activities, lowering overall fuel consumption and fostering partnerships with NCTCOG and DFW Clean Cities are important elements of the update. Efforts are also being made to ensure drivers, operators and fleet personnel are familiar with air quality and petroleum-reduction goals. Fleets are encouraged to review draft materials online at and provide any feedback to Amy Hodges at by Friday, October 31. The revised policy is expected to be presented to the RTC for adoption in December.

Since 2005, when the existing policy was approved, 104 entities have adopted it.

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 

Web site:
Fax: 817-640-3028
Phone: 817-695-9240


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