Imagine a DFW With Significantly Eased Traffic Congestion. In, Say, The Year 2035. Maybe?

Categories: Transportation

2035congestion.jpg
North Central Texas Council of Governments
Think traffic is bad now? Click to embiggen the infographic of the future.
Speaking of mass transit ...

Today the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments met with the local citizenry at a public meeting at the pleasantly named Center for Community Cooperation on Live Oak. Much of the conversation picked up where Robert's chat with Dallas Area Rapid Transit spokesman Morgan Lyons left off, after Lyons said DART sure would like to move forward with the 62-mile Cotton Belt Regional Corridor train project as quickly as possible ... should funding ever become available.

DART's own wallet is quite thin, too thin to begin financing the train project, which would potentially run through Dallas, Collin County and Tarrant Counties, according to Tom Shelton of NCTCOG, who spoke at today's public meeting. Shelton said DART could not commit to funding until 2035. Nevertheless, he insisted: "The overall effort in the region is to make the project occur sooner rather than later." He also stressed the importance of remaining smart about capital funding and long-term funding and sourcing it in non-traditional ways, such as public-private partnerships, an enhanced smart card system, selling off naming rights and working with land developers who would benefit from more streamlined public transportation.

Cotton Belt implementation could cost up to $1.8 billion and involves nearly as much negotiation as funding. Shelton pointed our that "partnership" is a key word -- the rail project involves negotiations with DART, the Fort Worth Transit Authority, as well as other area railroad and land-holding bodies. So, while transportation inforgraphics with their vibrant hopeful lines make our heart swoon, perhaps our dream for future transit will seem more or less real when NCTCOG releases its final report on the project sometime around September.

Citing the 2010 census, Shelton said projections indicate that people will continue moving to northeast Texas in droves -- and, hence, will clog our highways more than they already are.

Even with the Cotton Belt project -- not to mention the myriad other transportation projects discussed at the public meeting, including the Regional Outer Loop highway system that would circle DFW and the long-term general transportation plan known as Mobility 2035 -- there is no way our area could become vehicularly decongested in the foreseeable future. Improved, yes, but not cured.

"Our regional transportation needs far exceed our ability to pay for them," said Elizabeth Whitaker, also of the NCTCOG. A complete cure for our traffic woes would take billions more than even what is hypothetically available for these huge public projects. But then what excuse would we have for being late, anyway?

At the conclusion of today's meeting about these massive seemingly dream-fulfilling projects, Michael Morris of the NCTCOG joked with the crowd that the stock market is doing great, adding, "It's 68 degrees outside ... and your family loves you."

Today's handouts are below. I took some notes for you.

NCTCOG Transpo Updates


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9 comments
Social Engineering
Social Engineering

The pipe dreamers at NCTCOG never cease to amaze me with their idiocy.  Two years ago it they were trying to shove light rail down the throats of North Texas citizens and now... wow they are still trying to do it.  We don't have the money.  Instead get rid of some of these so called "planners" and put their salaries towards real improvements.

SteveT
SteveT

No need to worry; there won't be enough affordable gasoline (or hybrids or electric vehicles either) for very many of us to drive by 2035.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

No need for anxiety.  Local bureaucrats are correct on these matter about as often as the Cowboys win the Stanley Cup with a bottom of the ninth inning, base clearing penalty kick.

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Yet another reason not to leave the cozy confines of Lakewood.

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

I hope Arlington shows little congestion in 2035 because the Rangers have moved to downtown Dallas by then.

Guest
Guest

I know just the river we can put a nice road in.

Jim
Jim

I like the BIG Blob over DFW. How can you have severe traffic in the middle of the largest airport in the world (based on acerage)?

Also, looks like no economic/residential development will happen South of the Trinity.....ever........

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