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

November 2015

PDF | Return to main Local Motion page | Archived issues

OUR REGION

 
Planning underway for high speed rail connection
 

As development for the region’s next long-range transportation plan continues, options to connect residents to planned high speed rail service are emerging. FWTAexas Department of Transportation and North Central Texas Council of Governments are studying how to best provide regional access to this emerging technology, proposed for the Dallas-to-Houston and Oklahoma-to-South Texas corridors. The Regional Transportation Council supports a three-station concept with potential stops in Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas. The planned line from Dallas-Fort Worth to Houston is on schedule to debut in 2021, and the Oklahoma-to-South Texas corridor is currently being studied.

 

Regional transportation leaders are looking at the third piece as more than a connection to high speed trains, but as the completion of a system that will allow residents seamless access to other nearby metropolitan areas via high speed rail. Two options are being examined: the Trinity Railway Express corridor and an alternative that would use portions of the areas surrounding the TRE and Interstate Highway 30, bringing high speed rail to Arlington.

 

Planners are moving forward with the environmental process, which includes the examination of many factors, such as ridership and cost estimates, potential right-of-way needs and impact on the environment and to the nation’s economy.

 

The environmental impact statement, which will answer these questions and more, is expected to be finalized in 2017. Residents will have the opportunity to provide input during the planning for Mobility 2040, the region’s multimodal blueprint for keeping transportation moving over the next 25 years. The new mobility plan will provide roadway, rail and bicycle-pedestrian recommendations, which present potential connections to high speed rail. Mobility 2040 could be approved by the Regional Transportation Council in early 2016.

 

 
NTTA expanding two major roadways to keep drivers moving

 

The North Texas Tollway Authority is keeping pace with the region’s population growth by making improvements to two of its busiest roads. Projects on the Dallas North Tollway and the President George Bush Turnpike are designed to improve mobility, enhance services to customers and move the tollway system into the future.

 

Changes to the DNT will bring traffic relief in years to come with the addition of a fourth lane in each direction between the Sam Rayburn Tollway and Belt Line Road. The DNT improvements also include reconfiguring the direct-connector ramps on the north side of the DNT/PGBT interchange. This will include improvements to the Park Boulevard exit from the Bush Turnpike. Access between Parker Road and Windhaven Parkway will be improved by
modifying the ramp locations and adding new entrance ramps north of Windhaven.

 

In the first quarter of 2016, crews will also begin work on improvements south of the Bush Turnpike in Dallas and Addison. The DNT projects are scheduled for completion in early 2018.

 

Work is also underway to add a fourth lane in each direction of the Bush Turnpike. The new lanes will be built within the current median of the roadway between Interstate Highway 35E and State Highway 78. The project is being built in phases. The first phase, currently under construction, will add a lane between the DNT and US Highway 75; the second will continue the fourth lane from the DNT to IH 35E and from US 75 to SH 78. The entire 26-mile project is anticipated to be complete in 2019. For information about these projects, visit ProgressNTTA.org.

 

— Written by NTTA


RTC POLICYMAKERS 

 

SH 360 extension moving forward

 

The extension of State Highway 360, for years considered one of the top transportation priorities for the region, is moving forward. Local and state leaders gathered in October for a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the beginning of the 9.7-mile project that will extend the road southward through Arlington, Grand Prairie and Mansfield.

The $330 million project will improve capacity for drivers with the addition of two toll lanes in each direction between Interstate Highway 20 and US Highway 287. Construction is expected to begin this month and be completed in late 2017.

It is the second major project announced this year for SH 360. In February, the Texas Transportation Commission approved funding for a new interchange at IH 30 and SH 360, in the plans since the 1980s. Proposition I, approved by voters in November 2014, will provide much of the funding for the interchange project.

On the Web: Drive360South.com

Watch RTC meetings live online

 

If you are unable to make it to the next RTC meeting, you can watch from your home, office or even on the go. NCTCOG began streaming the meetings at NCTCOG.org/video in September. After each meeting, a recording is made available on the website, where archived sessions can also be watched. Streaming began following the Legislature’s approval of a bill this year requiring policy board meetings to be presented live online.

 

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

 
Program could boost school transportation

 

The Regional Transportation Council hosted a workshop October 8 with school superintendents and school board members to solicit policy-level input as it seeks to strengthen transportation coordination with the region’s school systems. The meeting served as the kickoff for the Community Schools and Transportation Program, developed in 2014 with the help of a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. In encouraging collaboration and coordination among the region’s school districts, local governments and transportation agencies, the program seeks to:

- Advance long-term planning for school siting

- Improve multimodal transportation options to schools

- Improve transportation safety near schools

 

NCTCOG will host the first technical, staff-level Regional Working Group meeting involving staff from cities and school districts December 9. This group will help guide the specific program activities and deliverables related to land use and transportation near schools. For more information, visit NCTCOG.org/schools.

 

Fact sheet: NCTCOG coordinates UAS effort

 

Traditional aircraft are increasingly being joined in the skies over North Texas by unmanned aircraft. NCTCOG is watching this development closely and coordinating with regional partners on standards for unmanned aircraft systems in the region. UAS technology has many useful applications from law enforcement to accident investigation to regional planning. NCTCOG developed a fact sheet to explain the technology and regional efforts. Read it at NCTCOG.org/factsheets.


 

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Voters approve
Prop. 7

 

Texas voters approved seven constitutional amendments November 3, including Proposition 7, a transportation-related measure that received 83 percent of the vote. The amendment will dedicate a portion of revenues from the state sales tax and the motor vehicle sales tax to the State Highway Fund to be used on non-tolled roadway projects or to repay transportation-related debt.

For more information, visit SOS.Texas.gov.


 

 

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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