Local Motion - December 2023

December 2023

Welcome to Local Motion, a monthly email newsletter from the North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Department.

Cotton Belt Trail receives $25 million boost from Transportation Commission

The Texas Transportation Commission recently approved more than $345 million in active transportation projects across Texas, including an additional $25 million for the Cotton Belt Trail, being built alongside DART’s Silver Line commuter rail project.  

This is the second major funding announcement for the Cotton Belt Trail in recent months, following a $25 million federal grant this summer. The Cotton Belt Trail, being implemented by Dallas Area Rapid Transit, received the most funding among seven projects in the Dallas and Fort Worth districts. The Pecan Creek Trail ($10.97 million) in Denton and the Five Mile Creek Trail ($6.6 million) in Dallas will also see a significant financial boost from the Commission for trail construction.Three cities in the Fort Worth District – Colleyville, Keller and Weatherford – were provided funding for active transportation plans.


Additionally, two cities in the Paris TxDOT District, which is also part of NCTCOG’s transportation planning area, received funding. The City of Quinlan was also approved for over $700,000 to make sidewalk improvements, and the City of Greenville received over $190,000 to aid in the implementation of its citywide trails and bikeways masterplan. In all, 83 bicycle-pedestrian projects across Texas were awarded funding for planning and construction.


DFW Clean Cities recognizes fleets for contributions to air quality


The Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition recently recognized 24 local fleets for their efforts to reduce petroleum use and improve air quality, as part of its annual Fleet Recognition Awards. The winners included seven Gold, nine Silver and eight Bronze recipients.

Entities were judged based on their contributions recorded in the DFW Clean Cities Annual Survey. The points included 55 for emissions reduction, 25 for fuel consumption reduction and 20 for partnering with DFW Clean Cities. Dallas Area Rapid Transit was awarded Gold status for the fifth consecutive year, while the cities of Carrollton, Dallas and Lewisville, and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport earned Gold for the fourth straight year. Other entities bringing home the top honor were the Town of Flower Mound and the City of Frisco. The winners of the Silver recognition were the cities of Arlington, Denton, Grand Prairie, Irving, Mesquite, North Richland Hills and Southlake, Denton County, and Trinity Metro. Irving earned Silver status for the sixth year. Eight entities – the Town of Addison, the cities of Coppell, Grapevine, Richardson and Watauga – joined Tarrant County, Bimbo Bakeries and Weatherford College to claim Bronze status.


The winners contributed significantly to a regional reduction of approximately 30 million gallons of gasoline and over 175,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, DFW Clean Cities recognized six Shining Stars for their work to enhance air quality by reducing nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, improving efficiency and converting to alternative fuels.


Southlake and Addison demonstrated the greatest showcase of efficiency strategies; Irving and Grand Prairie were named alternative fuel champions; and Denton County and Carrollton won the Rising Star Award as air quality champions for the progress they demonstrated reducing nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.


For more information on DFW Clean Cities, visit www.dfwcleancities.org.

North Tarrant Express corridor expansion project underway

Pre-construction work for the expansion of a portion of the North Tarrant Express between Fort Worth and Euless is underway in preparation for the addition of capacity to one of the most well-traveled corridors in the region.

The $414 million investment will result in the addition of one general-purpose freeway lane and one tolled, managed lane in each direction in a portion of the corridor where demand has outpaced capacity. The project will be funded by toll revenues collected on the NTE TEXpress Lanes. 

The (free) general-purpose lane in each direction will be along the North Loop of Interstate Highway 820 and a (tolled) managed lane in each direction will be along Airport Freeway (SH 183).

The project will also adjust some of the ramps and connectors, as well as the pedestrian bridge in Hurst. Early activities will include installing construction barriers and striping lanes, and full construction will be underway in mid-2024. Most of the construction activities will occur overnight to minimize disruptions to drivers. The project is scheduled to take 42 months, with completion anticipated in early 2027.

The North Tarrant Express is a major east-west corridor that crosses Northeast Tarrant County and connects all cities between Fort Worth and Irving on the North Loop of IH 820 and Airport Freeway (SH 183). When it opened fully in 2014, the NTE project almost doubled its capacity in the corridor.

By the Numbers:   $25 million

The amount the Texas Transportation Commission awarded the Cotton Belt Trail as part of a $345 million investment in active transportation projects statewide.

NCTCOG seeks public's help with air quality plan

NCTCOG is developing a comprehensive air quality improvement plan with the help of stakeholders across the region, and residents are invited to provide input at open houses in December. The first meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, December 4 at the West Dallas Multipurpose Center, 2828 Fish Trap Road, Dallas.

Another open house is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, December 12 at the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo. The plan will create a roadmap to enhance air quality, protect public health and reduce the impact of extreme weather events. 

The development of this plan is funded through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Pollution Reduction Grants Program (CPRG). The EPA established this program to help states and local governments create and implement plans that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Currently, 10 North Texas counties are in nonattainment for ozone pollution and are working to meet the federal standard. 

The CPRG program has two phases. Phase One focuses on planning, and Phase Two on implementation. NCTCOG has received funding for planning, which will allow the development of a priority climate action plan. This will permit the region to compete for a portion of the $4.6 billion available to develop and deploy different technologies and solutions to improve air quality.

Visit the project webpage to provide feedback on projects you would like to see in your community.

For special accommodation due to a disability or for language interpretation, contact Jackie Castillo at 817-695-9255 or jcastillo@nctcog.org. There will be more in-person opportunities for the public to provide feedback and learn about the project in 2024.

Sign up for updates at www.publicinput.com/dfwAQIP so you do not miss the next chance. 

You can also provide feedback through an online survey on the project webpage. 

Video: Partnership helping military, communities thrive together


Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth and the neighboring Lockheed Martin assembly plant serve as strategic US military assets and significant contributors to the North Texas economy. In fact, the region is home to over 20,000 active duty, civilian, National Guard, and reservists representing all branches of the military. 

The Military-Community Planning initiative allows NCTCOG to strengthen relationships with local governments, the defense industry and regional military installations. With these partnerships, a wide range of projects and programs are conducted to improve the sustainability of critical military infrastructure and ensure its continued coexistence with surrounding communities.

NCTCOG has produced a video highlighting its Military-Community Planning Initiative and the progress resulting from this effort. The video is available on the Transportation Department’s YouTube channel

NCTCOG offering final online input opportunity of 2023 beginning Dec. 11

NCTCOG is closing out the year with an online public input opportunity beginning on Monday, December 11. North Texans can provide vital feedback on the End of 2023 Ozone Season, the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Fleet Recognition Awards and Annual Survey Results, and the National Drive Electric Week Recap. Information will be posted online at www.publicinput.com/nctcogDec23 for public review and comment through January 9.

Ozone season concluded November 30 for the 10-county Dallas-Fort Worth nonattainment area. As the region continues to work toward compliance of the 2008 and 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, staff has been tracking the exceedance days at various monitors and will provide a summary of the 2023 ozone season data. Staff will also provide comparative data from previous ozone seasons and provide a snapshot for the 2024 ozone season.

Each year, DFWCC surveys local fleets about alternative fuel use and other fuel saving activities. Staff will present the 2022 Annual Survey results and details on the 2023 Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Fleet Recognition Awards. National Drive Electric Week is a celebration used to educate people about the benefits of owning an electric vehicle.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition has hosted a regional NDEW event annually since 2011. The 2023 event was held in October in Fort Worth. The event included electric vehicle displays and test drives, as well as games and more. Staff will provide a full summary of the 2023 NDEW event. Information and resources about Interactive Public Input: Map Your Experience, Regional Smoking Vehicle Program (RSVP), vehicle incentive and funding opportunities and Try Parking It will also be made available.

For special accommodation due to a disability, language interpretation or to request printed copies of the information, contact Jackie Castillo at 817-695-9255 or jcastillo@nctcog.org at least 72 hours prior to the deadline.

Reasonable accommodation will be made.

For more information about Local Motion topics, contact Brian Wilson at 817-704-2511 or  bwilson@nctcog.org.
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--Imagery provided by NCTCOG, TEXpresslanes.com, and Getty Images--