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

November 2014

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OUR REGION

40th Anniversary RTC Logo
Multifaceted aviation system helps North Texas thrive

November is Aviation History Month, and as part of its 40th anniversary as the region’s metropolitan planning organization, NCTCOG is focusing on the industry’s impact. Recently, some significant events have thrust commercial aviation into the spotlight. Fort Worth-based American Airlines and US Airways merged in late 2013, forming the world’s largest airline. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport celebrated its 40th anniversary in January. And the Wright Amendment, restricting long-haul flights at Dallas Love Field Airport, expired in October, opening up more possibilities for travelers. Although Dallas-Fort Worth is home to two major airlines — American Airlines and Southwest Airlines — aviation in North Texas covers much more than commercial flights.

 

Air cargo allows goods to be transported in and out of Dallas-Fort Worth in an efficient manner. Add general aviation to the mix, and the industry’s impact on the region becomes even more significant. Regionally, aviation employs 537,000, accounting for a payroll of $11 billion and a $40 billion economic benefit. DFW Airport, Alliance Airport and Love Field benefit the region’s economy by providing scheduled air cargo operations. Several of the region’s general aviation airports aid businesses by allowing shippers to provide critical just-in-time cargo shipments to their customers. While the major cargo airports provide most of the region’s air cargo service, the smaller general aviation airports make the seamless flow of goods to and from the region possible.

 

Many of the region’s general aviation airports began in the World War II era, providing crucial military training. Another example of the military’s influence on aviation was Carswell Air Force Base, established in 1942 and used as a training facility through the Persian Gulf War. Carswell became the Naval Air Station Fort Worth, Joint Reserve Base in 1994 and is home to the Texas National Guard. General aviation airports also evolved, serving public safety, business and agricultural functions.

 

North Texas aircraft flights are expected to expand by nearly 70 percent by 2035. The region will need more hangars to keep up with the expected surge, but will be equipped to handle the increase in aircraft that will come with economic expansion and population growth. In addition to infrastructure needs, regional aviation and aerospace employers will need to fill 8,000 pilot, engineer, mechanic and air traffic controller jobs by 2020 to meet anticipated demand. NCTCOG’s aviation education initiative will help create a local education pipeline to provide the workforce necessary for future industry growth.

RTC POLICYMAKERS

Downward trendline
Region's ozone shows improvement

 

For the first time since 2004, when the Environmental Protection Agency designated nine Dallas-Fort Worth counties as nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard (85 parts per billion), the region’s design value fell below the standard.

The 2014 ozone season ended October 31 with the current 10-county nonattainment area recording a design value of 81 ppb. While this represents an important step toward a cleaner North Texas, more progress is needed if DFW is to meet the current standard of 75 ppb, established in 2008. The programs aimed at raising awareness of ground-level ozone and improving the air we breathe, coupled with the mild weather the region experienced this year, helped DFW achieve this milestone.

 

cars on roadway
North Tarrant Express project complete

 

The $2.5 billion North Tarrant Express, nearly doubling the highway capacity along a 13.5-mile stretch of Interstate Highway 820 and State Highways 121/183, opened in October. The project included the reconstruction of expanded frontage lanes and main lanes and the addition of new TEXpress Lanes along IH 820 and SH 121/183 between IH 35W in Fort Worth and Industrial Boulevard in Euless. Drivers can travel along the newly rebuilt general-purpose highway lanes and frontage roads at no charge, or enter the tolled TEXpress Lanes, which are intended to provide increased reliability in exchange for a variable toll and a minimum speed of 50 mph. During the first week of December, TEXpress Lanes on NTE, the DFW Connector and LBJ Express will be free for motorists with a toll transponder who download the Drive On TEXpress app, register for an account and activate the Fast & Free Week discount by November 28.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

IH 30 commuter opinions needed
IH 30 Sign

The contest is over, but your input on Interstate Highway 30 is still needed. If you travel Tom Landry Highway between Arlington and Dallas, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and NCTCOG are seeking your opinions to help planners determine how to best manage congestion in the corridor. You are invited to take a short anonymous survey. The online questionnaire seeks basic information such as why people choose IH 30 and also asks whether incentives would change drivers’ behaviors and if they would be willing to pay a toll for increased reliability. Visit www.i-30survey.org to take the survey.

 

The survey was open over the summer, and three respondents were chosen at random to receive $250 gift cards. For information about the survey, contact Mark Burris at mburris@tamu.edu.

 

infographic
Addressing common transportation issues

Commuters in North Texas may come across issues or questions when they travel by roadway, transit or bicycle. Many residents don’t know where to turn to have these challenges addressed or questions answered.

 

The NCTCOG Transportation Department developed an infographic to help commuters understand whom to contact for common transportation issues across all modes. Visit www.nctcog.org/trans/outreach/media/ to view the graphic.

 

If you have an idea for a project that could improve your commute around the region, contact the NCTCOG Transportation Department at transinfo@nctcog.org or www.nctcog.org/trans.

 

Transportation projects must be in the long-range transportation plan, the blueprint for moving people in the region over the next 20-25 years.

 

 

 

 

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NEXT CHALLENGE

Aviation has greatly impacted the North Texas region over the past 40 years. North Texas relies heavily on its airport system for providing sustained growth and economic prosperity. More than 400 regional aviation facilities provide economic development opportunities, the ability to engage in business activities related to aviation and the movement of cargo, as well as leisure and tourism opportunities throughout the world. How do you think future aviation needs will be met over the next 40 years? Tell us using #DFWMPO40.

 

Transportation Alternatives

Active transportation projects receive $38M

Bicycle and pedestrian projects across 25 cities and seven counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have received a $38.2 million boost from the Regional Transportation Council.

 

The RTC allocated the funding to 33 projects as part of its Transportation Alternatives Program project selection. With local entities contributing more than $40 million toward the projects, over $78 million will be invested in active transportation and safety enhancements as a result of the funding awards, improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Hunt, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties. The funded projects include several portions of the planned regional trail corridor announced last year that would stretch from downtown Fort Worth to downtown Dallas. Extensions of the Dallas Trinity Skyline Trail, Irving Delaware Creek Trail, Arlington River Legacy Trail, and Trinity Trails in east Fort Worth are all part of this regional trail corridor. For a complete list of all projects allocated funding by the RTC, visit www.nctcog.org/tap.

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

 

11/18/2014  CH

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