Regional planners and Dallas officials aren't confident that the area's highway-centric worldview (and budget) will change anytime soon. The city's competitiveness in the national job market may be on the line.
While Dallas has taken some steps to build out its transit grid, the region as a whole is still firmly situated in what one city councilman calls "transportation planning right out of the 1950s." Here, Brandon Formby discusses why North Texas' transportation planning seems stuck in a mode that favors intensive road construction.
Despite aiming to "give people alternatives to driving everywhere solo," the North Central Texas Council of Governments' Mobility 2045 plan is heavy on the highways. "Less than 3 percent of the $42.9 billion in traditional federal and state transportation revenues in the plan goes toward projects built for pedestrians and bicyclists; less than 1 percent goes toward public transit."
One prevalent problem is the fact that current behavior must be used to predict future needs, even when it's impossible to know how people will want to get around thirty years from now. Are young people driving because they want to, or because they "have had to etch out their lives atop metropolitan areas that were built around the automobile long before they were born?"
Meanwhile, "with no major geographic barriers like mountain chains or an ocean on the North Texas landscape, there are few natural obstacles to restrict the region's sprawl." Officials expect the familiar pattern of road construction and suburban development to continue.
Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects
Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.
The Unceremonious Death of a Freeway Expansion Project
The end of an Oregon freeway project didn't get much fanfare, but the victory is worth celebrating.
Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’
A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?
Kaua’i County Uses Long-Range Models to Mandate Resiliency Standards
The county requires builders to assess potential flood risks using models that account for sea level rise projected as far out as 2100.
California Governor Vetoes Autonomous Truck Ban
Gov. Newsom called the new law unnecessary, citing existing efforts by state regulators to develop new rules around autonomous trucking.
Low-Barrier Motel Shelter Is a Success—But Not an Easy One
Many guests at Motels4Now are on their second or third stays—but staff say that's doesn't equal failure, and the numbers bear that out.
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This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.