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Progress North Texas 2017


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Population and job growth continue to define the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and with large employers moving to the region or expanding their operations, this trend is likely to continue for years to come.
The population of the 12-county metropolitan planning area has surged past 7 million for the first time, and projections indicate that by 2040, more than 10 million people will call North Texas home.

New residents are coming to the region in search of well-paying jobs and a good quality of life. Between 2010 and 2015, the region added more than 680,000 jobs. The population in 2017 is 7.2 million. This growth is positive because it provides a well-educated workforce for employers as they look to expand operations further. However, the new residents add to traffic congestion. Average daily traffic has increased each year since 2009, following a brief dip during the recession. In 2016, average daily traffic in the region increased more than earlier in the decade.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments and its transportation partners must find ways to meet the needs of a growing region, regardless of how esidents choose to travel. Technology provides planners with the data necessary to determine how best to program money.

The National Performance Management Research Data Set
makes it possible to create speed profiles for more than 8,000 miles
of roads. For example, the data can show changes by time of day
and day of the week, resulting in a more complete picture of reliability.

Chart showing the historical trends in avareage daily traffic.


Travel Time Maps

The performance management data has also allowed NCTCOG to create contour travel times for any location in the area at a specific time and day. Travel time contours are valuable for businesses in defining the area or population that can be reached in a given time interval from a specific location.

For example, the map below shows the area reached within an hour, at five-minute intervals, from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport at the morning peak hour on a typical weekday.

Traffic Congestion

Several companies collect travel time data. INRIX, for example, uses the data to measure vehicle congestion in cities around the world. According to INRIX, Dallas- Fort Worth, the fourth-largest region in the US, is seventh in congestion. Although the INRIX data shows an increase in congestion in 2016, road construction is believed to have played a significant role. Major improvements continue to Interstate Highways 35E and 35W, State Highway 183, the Dallas mixmaster and other regionally significant roadways.

It is anticipated that the congestion in Dallas-Fort Worth will lessen in the short run with the completion of upcoming construction projects. Other data tells a slightly different story. According to TomTom, another company that collects and analyzes traffic data, congestion in North Texas is less severe than in many regions across the US. TomTom, which factors in the increases in travel times with respect to free-flow traffic, rates Dallas-Fort Worth traffic at No. 34 nationally, better than Houston, Austin or San Antonio.

Map showing travel times from DFW Airport.
Linked to a larger image


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 North Central Texas Council of Governments | 616 Six Flags Drive P.O. Box 5888 Arlington, TX 76005-5888
 Main Operator: (817) 640-3300 | Fax: (817) 640-7806