Local Motion - April 2022

A monthly update on the Regional Transportation Council and the North Central Texas Council of Governments Transportation Department.

NCTCOG resuming in-person outreach in April

For the first time since the pandemic began, the North Central Texas Council of Governments is returning to in-person outreach.

NCTCOG’s spring outreach season begins April 1, with UNT’s University Day in Denton, where the Transportation Department will visit with students and other attendees about transportation and air quality programs and how they can become involved in the planning process. There will be several other opportunities across the region throughout April to interact with NCTCOG staff about transportation and air quality planning. Staff will be available to answer questions and talk with residents face-to-face at community events in Oak Cliff, Arlington, Fort Worth, Richardson and Lewisville. Here are the details:




UNT University Day

UNT, Denton

11 a.m. April 1

Oak Cliff Earth Day

Lake Cliff Park

Noon April 3

UT Arlington Earth Day Fair

University Center Mall

10 a.m. April 20

UNT Health Science Center Earth Day Fair

Fort Worth

11 a.m. April 21

UT Dallas Earth Day Fair


11 a.m. April 21


Old Town Lewisville

10 a.m.  April 23

The pandemic forced outreach to be conducted virtually beginning in spring 2020, and that continued for two years, with a few exceptions. NCTCOG conducted high-speed transportation open houses last fall and has begun holding hybrid public meetings, allowing residents to either attend monthly public meetings in person or watch them live online.

We are excited to once again enjoy some of the community events the region has to offer and hope to see you there!

Car Care Awareness Spring Campaign 

Are you Car Care Aware? April is national Car Care Awareness Month, and that means taking a few extra steps to ensure your vehicle is in good shape. Critical attention must be paid to the systems that keep vehicles operating cleanly and efficiently.

The check engine light is one of the most important indicators of how your vehicle is functioning. If it is illuminated, it must be investigated because it means your vehicle is potentially polluting more than it should, affecting regional air quality for all of us. It can also cost you more money the longer you wait for repairs as more components and parts start to break down. Another obvious sign of vehicle trouble is visible smoke emitting from the tailpipe. Not only does that smoke make it harder to breathe, but it may be a sign the vehicle needs attention and repair. 

Before those April showers can bring May flowers, you may have to drive through some wet weather. Make sure your windshield wipers are doing their job and are not brittle and hard to the touch. Wipers should be replaced if they leave streaks as they wipe, affecting visibility.

While your tires may be doing their job when it is dry, worn treads can seriously impact a car’s ability to stop in the rain. If your tread depth is less than 4/32”, you should consider replacing the tires. Also, if you hear squeaking brakes, that is your vehicle’s way of telling you that there may be an issue that needs attention. Stay safe, and remember to be Car Care Aware!  For more car care tips and check engine light information, visit www.ntxcarcare.org

Official comment period for Mobility 2045 Update begins April 1

Planners have sought input on the Mobility 2045 Update from the public through various methods, including public input opportunities, meetings and the online public engagement tool, Map Your Experience

With the RTC scheduled to adopt the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s next long-range transportation plan in June, the official comment period begins April 1. Residents will have until May 31 to weigh in on the plan, which is a multimodal blueprint of transportation system improvements scheduled through 2045. As the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s Metropolitan Planning Organization, NCTCOG is responsible for developing and maintaining a Metropolitan Transportation Plan. Mobility 2045 lays out the spending of federal and state transportation funds in accordance with regional goals.

Once the RTC approves the plan, the US Department of Transportation must determine if the plan complies with federal air quality regulations, allowing current and future transportation projects to proceed. Keep up with the progress of the Mobility 2045 Update at www.nctcog.org/PlaninProgress.

Policy body welcomes return of in-person gatherings

Regional Transportation Council Chair Theresa Daniel struck a joyful tone while calling the March 10 meeting to order, the first meeting held in person and on the NCTCOG campus in Arlington since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“Looking around this room, the smiles are evident,” Daniel said. “It certainly gives you chills to be doing that again,” she said after meeting attendees recited together the pledge to the US and Texas flags.

The RTC held its December meeting at the Irving Convention Center, allowing members an initial opportunity to gather in person for the first time in almost two years. One benefit of the return of  in-person meetings is the strengthening of relationships, camaraderie between members and more discussion on agenda items.

NCTCOG and the RTC will continue to monitor available data regarding the state of the pandemic to ensure safety of staff and those attending meetings. Even with the return of in-person gatherings, some people may choose to continue watching online. They may watch live at www.nctcog.org/video. Those unable to view live can watch a recording posted after each meeting.

RTC approves Automated Vehicle 2.0 projects

The RTC approved funding in March for the second round of projects being pursued as part of the Automated Vehicle 2.0 Program. AV2.0 was developed in 2018 to guide NCTCOG through the next generation of connected and automated vehicle (CAV) and connected infrastructure developments. The following were approved as part of Round 2:

  • $600,000 for a two-year continuation of Arlington’s RAPID service. Arlington began RAPID, which provides autonomous vehicle rides downtown and on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington, last spring. The RTC’s investment will help the system as it transitions to fully driverless operations in the future.
  • $1.5 million for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport’s automated parking test bed project.
  • $5 million to McKinney and Dallas for a program using AVs to deliver key services to residents in underserved communities.
  • $4.2 million to Fort Worth for projects that include increasing broadband access to communities in southeast Fort Worth to improve access to virtual transportation, providing them with more mobility options and optimizing traffic signals for transit and emergency vehicles.

This action follows the RTC’s approval last summer of $21.6 million in projects as part of the effort through AV2.0 to provide the funding and technical assistance to partners as they prepare for increasing vehicle and roadway automation.

Last year, NCTCOG and a consultant team launched the Connecting North Texas Communities with Emerging Transportation Technologies Program, which is a regional planning exercise included in the overall AV2.0 program. The initiative will help community leaders plan for the future of transportation in North Texas. For more on this initiative, visit www.connectntxfutures.org

NCTCOG to give project updates April 11

NCTCOG will share updates on current and upcoming projects at the next public meeting, April 11 at noon. Presentation topics will include updates to the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, the
department’s Car Care Awareness campaign, electric vehicle charging and the Fort Worth to Dallas Regional Trail Branding and Wayfinding Project.

NCTCOG is responsible for developing and maintaining a metropolitan transportation plan. Staff has initiated the development of an update to the current MTP, Mobility 2045, and will provide an overview of Mobility 2045’s nondiscrimination analysis, as well as draft plan materials, available at www.nctcog.org/planinprogress.

Staff will also present an ozone season update and strategies to help reduce air pollution, including the Car Care Awareness effort. The Dallas-Fort Worth area currently does not meet attainment for federal ozone standards. The Car Care Awareness campaign helps educate vehicle owners about proper maintenance so they can actively contribute to the regional air quality solution.

Additionally, NCTCOG is offering grant funding for the installation of Level 2 and Direct Current Fast Charge electric vehicle charging stations. All public entities are eligible to apply, and the stations must be publicly accessible. Applications are being accepted until April 22, for the first round. Additional details on the call for projects will be provided.

Staff will also present an overview and upcoming input opportunities of the Regional Trail Branding and Wayfinding project, the effort to develop a unified identity for the 60-mile-plus Fort Worth to Dallas Regional Trail.

Information on the department’s interactive map tool, Map Your Experience; the Regional Smoking Vehicle Program; vehicle incentive opportunities; and Fair Treatment and Meaningful Involvement efforts will also be highlighted. Attend in person or watch the presentations live at  www.nctcog.org/input.  A video recording will be made available afterward. To attend the meeting via phone, dial 855-925-2801 then enter code 7747.  
 Images provided by NCTCOG