DART Severely Cuts Service Due to Bad Weather, Is an Embarrassment to Us All

Categories: Transportation

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Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Icy DART power lines in December 2013
In advance of the thundersleet-bearing storm that's currently causing a minor inconvenience throughout North Texas, Dallas Area Rapid Transit put its new winter weather contingency plan into effect for the first time.

It was fitting capper to AIA Dallas' car-free week: Dallas' already suspect public transit system significantly cutting service just in time for the type of day that could most benefit from there being fewer cars on the road.

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Dallas Woman Gets Her Towed Car Back, Minus $1,400 She Had Inside

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The last time we wrote about Excalibur towing, the person whose car had been towed wondered if someone broke into her car to rip off her parking sticker, possibly causing her car to be towed -- assuming the sticker went missing before her car was hauled away instead of after. "The only explanation I have is that it either fell off and I didn't notice it or someone took it off," the woman said.

Now, a different person whose car was recently towed by Excalibur says that $1,400 she had in her car disappeared somewhere along the line before she got it back.

See also: A "Missing" Parking Sticker, a Bus Ride and a Miscarriage: A Dallas Towing Nightmare

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Former State Senator John Carona Joins PAC Supporting I-345 Demolition

Categories: Transportation

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Matthew Rutledge via Flickr
When word came down Tuesday of a new PAC intended to support getting rid of Interstate 345, the freeway bridge that cleaves downtown Dallas from Deep Ellum and connects I-45 to U.S. 75, one of the most interesting names listed among the PAC's supporters was former state Senator John Carona.

Carona, who was ousted by a primary challenge from the Tea Party-backed Don Huffines, has stuck his neck out on the Trinity toll road as well, changing his mind on a project he'd long backed. We gave Carona a call to ask him about I-345 and his change of heart.

"If we don't take a much broader look at economic development and planning in the city, the day will come, I'd argue sooner rather than later, when people simply can't afford to live in Dallas anymore and the continued migration to the suburbs only accelerates," he says.

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Whatever You Do, Don't Take I-30 Through Oak Cliff Friday Night

Categories: Transportation

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Google Maps
Artist rendering of I-30 Friday night.
Lest you consider, not that you would, heading to Arlington for any pre-Valentine's Day fun via I-30, Unfair Park has a few words of advice: Don't. Unless you don't care if you actually make it back to Dallas.

TxDOT will be closing the two left lanes of the eastbound side of the freeway between Westmoreland Road to Loop 12 in Oak Cliff so the agency can "change the traffic pattern" of that stretch of Tom Landry Freeway.

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Meet the Beetles: DFW Customs Agents Keep Finding "the World's Most Destructive Insect"

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U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Gross. Khapra beetle larvae.
The khapra beetle, considered the world's most destructive insect, has popped up in DFW luggage screens on five different occasions in recent months. In each instance, the beetle has been found in dried food a passenger was attempting to get past customs, despite not declaring the packages of rice, dried beans, coriander seeds or fava beans on customs forms. The packaged food originated in India and Sudan.

The beetles present a tremendous threat to the United States' food supply if they were to enter the country in large numbers. According to Customs and Border Patrol Port Director Cleatus Hunt, the "consume and contaminate stored grains like rice, wheat and oats.

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Sites Selected for Potential Dallas-to-Houston Bullet Train Station

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Texas Central Railway
The first potential site, completely south of Interstate 30.
Texas Central High-Speed Railway, the private company backing high-speed rail that, potentially, would provide service from DFW to Houston in 90 minutes, announced two preferred sites for its Dallas hub as well as a development partnership Friday morning.

The preferred station sites, part of a list of seven submitted to the feds for environmental evaluation, are both located just southeast of Union Station downtown. The first is an undeveloped tract of land just south of I-30 in the Cedars. The second connects a portion of that area to the area surrounding the convention center and the Omni by bridging I-30.

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DART's New Idea to Seduce Suburbs Includes, You Guessed It, a Toll Road

Categories: Transportation

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Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Coming to Fairview?
Another train line through a bottlenecked downtown. Increasing bus and train frequency, even a little. Late-night service, even if it's just on the weekends. These are the things DART riders want, at least according to the long-term survey the agency has commissioned as it plans the next decade.

Those things are not the only things the DART board is talking about. No, at the board's most recent retreat last Friday, according to reporting from The Dallas Morning News' Brandon Formby, the board discussed building North Texas' favorite fetish object, a toll road.

The proposed turnpike would connect Dallas to Allen, Fairview and McKinney and help pay for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to run along the same route. The BRT is important because, in the thinking of the board, it might induce the northern suburbs to join DART.

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City of Dallas Finally Partners With ParkMe to Abate Your Parking Woes

Categories: Transportation

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ParkMe.com
Who says there's no parking downtown?
Finally getting what Austinites have enjoyed for a while now, people looking for parking in the city of Dallas can get real-time data about prices, what spaces are available and even, depending on the space they want to park in, reserve it in advance.

The city manager's office, as it would, praised Dallas getting on the ParkMe train.

"This is a great step in making travel around the city easier for our citizens and visitors," A.C. Gonzalez says in a press release. "This app is an asset to drivers in Dallas."

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Hell Is the Dallas North Tollway This Weekend

Categories: Transportation

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NTTA
Representation of the tollway this weekend.
Not content with bleeding us dry one toll at a time, the North Texas Tollway Authority plans to squeeze traffic to a near standstill in and around downtown this weekend.

Starting at 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday, two lanes on each side of the tollway will be closed to allow for bridge repair at Lemmon Avenue and Maple Avenue at Knight Street. The authority is replacing concrete on the bridges' decks.

NTTA spokesman Michael Rey told The Dallas Morning News what anyone masochistic enough to take the DNT over the weekend could expect.

"We do expect delays with the repairs, I will say this," Rey said. "But it's work that has to be done. It's the type of project where you can't do a little bit and come back. We do the weekend closures for a reason. You saw some of it late last year. We're hoping to get it wrapped up this weekend."

Dallas Police Toughen Charges Against French Defense Contractor Accused of Punching Cyclists

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Screengrab
A photo of Sebastien Blain from his Google Plus profile, which has since been deleted.

In late December, two cyclists with heavy bruising on their faces said they had been punched by a random, angry motorist driving behind them on Turtle Creek Boulevard. Despite the serious accusations, the Dallas police who came to the scene that night didn't appear to try too hard to get to the bottom of what happened. Instead, they gave both the driver and one of the cyclists each a ticket for a class C misdemeanor assault, a low-level charge handled in municipal court. Then they let the driver go without a sobriety test.

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