Came across this article in the DMN this morning and thought this would be a good way to start a discussion of some of the transportation issues we are facing / going to face in the immediate future for the Lone Star State that will affect our long term growth. Recently the local media has been reporting that TXDot is out of money for major highway projects. Personally I was a little taken back by the discussion in the article below of concentrating on the development of the outlying area connections rather than concentrating in the core areas. I feel we need to work on improving our current infrastructure and setting up some sort of 'urban boundary' to direct funds. Mobility is major source that helps attract development, corporate reloactions, etc. to our cities in Texas. I feel the outlined plan set by the mobility 2035 plan for DFW is a major step backwards, and only expedities the urban sprawl we have been experiencing for the past half century.
We have some major access points that need to be addressed IMO before moving on to develop outlying areas where the population is less dense. For example, in DFW we have the I-35 corridor in Ft. Worth, project Pegasus, I-30 west of downtown Dallas, and many other areas that are considered to have some of the worse congestion in the US. While these are expensive projects, I strongly feel these need to take precedents over providing new connections in the burbs or 'future suburbs' only because it is less expensive to solve those problems there than in the central areas. While there are employment centers in the suburbs they are not the size of the downtown areas. I feel it is more important to concentrate on promoting development or redevelopment of empty sites, underdeveloped sites, or abandoned sites in and around our core areas where the majority of employment and residential areas are before moving to the farmland. Mobility / access is a major player that promotes growth that inturn increases the tax base to support our education system, maintance of parks, basic services like trash maintence, water supply, and a mirad of other things that are already established by our current city goverenments. It has been studied, written and published that continued growth outward only hurts the older cities. In DFW it was first felt by Dallas, now you have places like Richardson, Plano, Carrolton, Garland, Arlington, North Richland Hills all trying to find creative ways to finance there now aging services and expand their tax base while having to compete with the Friscos out there. I have a feeling this will be the push by TX Dot in the future for Texas and would like to hear from others what your opinion is on this issue.
Interstates 35, 45, 10 carry Texas population growth in latest census
"This trio of roads — Interstates 35, 45 and 10 — links Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio and everything in between. Take a map and trace those highways with a heavy marker and you encircle two-thirds of Texas’ population, where 79 percent of its astounding growth took place over the last 10 years...."
"Dan Lamers, senior program manager for transportation planning at the North Central Texas Council of Governments, said the only way to add highway capacity is with toll roads, or small projects on public roads that improve critical connections and alleviate bottlenecks.
“We can’t build our way out of our transportation problems,” Lamers said. “And the scarce money we do have goes mostly to roads that contribute to being able to pay for themselves.”
The latest transportation thinking for the Dallas-Fort Worth region is called Mobility 2035, Lamers said. The plan minimizes new road construction and focuses on job creation in outlying counties — so people won’t have to commute..."