DART Zips to DFW Airport Just in Time To Attract Other, Better National Conventions

Categories: Transportation

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DART
The DART orange line will be stretching to DFW airport, with services beginning August 18.

OK, so we're a day too late on this latest effort to bolster local tourism. DART announced today that the highly anticipated DFW station would be opening four months ahead of schedule.

With an originally scheduled opening in December, the date has been pushed up to August 18. Oh, and construction costs have come in under budget. We'll pause here for you to recover from your shock.

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First DFW Tollway Became Toll-Free After Debt Was Paid Off. Why Not the Others?

Categories: Transportation

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J. P. Fagerback
Dallas North Tollway: Once upon a time, it was thought that this road would one day be free. Ha.

If you've been trolling Reddit anytime in the last week, you may have seen this article from June 2, 1968, in which Jack Davis, an engineer and manager for the Texas Turnpike Authority, was quoted in The Dallas Morning News. He spoke about the fledgling Dallas North Tollway project, just two years old, and its impermanence as a tollway:

"When revenue bonds for a project are finally paid off, however, the facility reverts to the state as part of its highway system, to be used free."

This little gem of a quote has all but remained buried for the last few decades. Recently, though, the online community of Dallasites has become enraged at what seems to be an unfulfilled promise.

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Dallas-Area Officials Hoping to Lure Tesla's Gigafactory to Dallas

Categories: Transportation

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Tesla
The conventional wisdom at the moment is that when Tesla Motors gets around to announcing details of its highly coveted, $5 billion battery gigafactory -- the type of economic development that gives red-state governors with ill-concealed presidential aspirations wet dreams -- it will land in one of two places: Reno or San Antonio. Or maybe both.

Dallas has never really been in the conversation, not publicly anyway, at least not until this week when the North Central Texas Council of Governments posted its agenda for Thursday's meeting of the Regional Transportation Council. There, buried in a PDF labeled "correspondence," was a letter from NCTCOG transportation director Michael Morris to Dallas County development chief Rick Loessberg.

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Congratulations, Texas, You've Killed the Dr Pepper License Plate

Categories: Transportation

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myplates.com
The Dallas Morning Newsbroke the news over the weekend that the state of Texas is planning to kill off its least popular specialty license plates, and we couldn't be more thrilled. Not because we take perverse pleasure in the notion that Highland Park ISD could only find 66 drivers to pay $30 per year, roughly 0.03 percent the value of one of their kids' Porsches, to stick a "Go Scots" on their bumper. We are happy because government works best when it's contracted out to a third party and run on free market principles.

Only the strong survive in Texas, and, hate to break it to you State of Texas Alliance for Recycling, you are not among them. Kapow. That's the invisible hand swatting you away.

We were, however, dismayed to notice that Dr Pepper is also on the chopping block.

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TxDOT Believes This 700-Pound Smashed Smartphone Will Make You a Safer Driver

Categories: Transportation

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Jeff Salzgeber -- TxDOT
This is your phone on drugs.

The Texas Department of Transportation really, like seriously this time, thinks it's time for you to stop using your phone while you drive. They would also like all of us to stop eating, grooming and reading -- although presumably not road signs -- while operating our various means of conveyance.

They -- and Derek Holland and Oprah and yes, even noted lover of safe behavior Justin Bieber -- have been telling all of us this for a while, but, according to statistics released by the agency, we haven't been getting the message. So this summer, the agency is bringing props.

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TxDOT Proposing Converting More HOV Lanes to Toll Lanes, This Time on 75

Categories: Transportation

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Federal Highway Administration

In a presentation to the Plano City Council Monday night, the Texas Department of Transportation outlined its plan to convert HOV lanes on U.S. 75 between Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway in Dallas and McDermott Drive in Allen to mixed-use toll lanes.

The plan would allow single-occupant vehicles access to HOV lanes by paying a toll. Drivers hoping to use the lanes for free by bringing passengers along would have to register their trip online at least 15 minutes before departure.

Initially the lanes would be called Express/HOV lanes. Single-occupant cars could pay one rate, no matter the time of day, to use the otherwise HOV lane.

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NorthPark Getting a Tesla Gallery Even Though the Company Can't Sell Cars Here

Categories: Transportation

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Steve Jurvetson
You can look, you can even touch, just don't ask about price or even think about trying to buy one.
An attempt to change state rules that require cars to be sold from dealerships was buried in a flood of Texas Automobile Dealers Association cash, but that's not stopping Tesla from opening its third Texas gallery today, this one at NorthPark Center.

Visitors to the section of the mall between Dillard's and Macy's will be able to chat with Tesla representatives, check out a Model S and see a stripped-down version of the car that exposes its electric powertrain, Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson said.

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Dallas Repeals Bike Helmet Law for Adults

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Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
Only required if you can't see an R-rated movie by yourself.

After a thankfully brief and largely unfocused debate this morning, the Dallas City Council amended city ordinances to allow bicycles in public buildings, remove unwieldy prohibitions against stunt riding and racing, and allow bicycle riders older than 17 to choose whether to wear a helmet.

Changing the helmet requirements was essential according Philip Kingston, because leaving the ordinances as is would cripple any potential bike share programs in the city.

Kingston was among those on the council who believed the helmet restrictions should be removed entirely, either because of the difficulty of enforcing age-based restrictions or the burden they might place on families hoping to ride together.

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LBJ Toll Lanes Expanding to the East

Categories: Transportation

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Andreas Praefcke
Smooth sailing near the High Five, something that's about to be even more of a rarity.

The Dallas City Council's Transportation and Trinity River Corridor Committee was briefed early this afternoon about plans that should make travel on the LBJ Freeway east of Central Expressway just as exasperating as commuting on the western side.

Matthew Craig, an engineer for Halff Associates, the firm charged with shepherding the LBJ East project, updated the committee on his firm's plans for the stretch of the freeway between U.S. 75 and Interstate 30. The primary changes to the road include the conversion of current HOV lanes to mixed-use toll lanes and the creation of continuous frontage roads to match the western half of the LBJ work.

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Avi Adelman Is on a Crusade to Squash DART's No-Pictures Policy, and It's (Sort of) Working

Categories: Transportation

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Avi Adelman
Moving away from Lower Greenville last summer, longtime neighborhood activist Avi Adelman could have turned over a new leaf. The camera he used to shove in the faces of drunk teenagers and public urinators could have been stowed in his closet. He could have quietly pulled the plug on Barkingdogs.org and traded the life of a semi-professional activist/troll for one of monk-like solitude on the leafy streets of Junius Heights.

He didn't. Adelman isn't really cut out for serene contemplation. And though his new digs are far from the strip of bars and restaurants dedicated himself to patrolling, the move has given him the freedom to lock on to other targets. Like Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

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