Report Criticizes El Paso Interstate Expansion Plan

An independent review of TxDOT's proposed expansion of I-10 through downtown El Paso highlights several flaws and a price tag close to $800 million.

February 18, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

El Paso

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

A third-party review of the Texas Department of Transportation's plan to expand Interstate 10 through downtown El Paso "found expanding I-10 in the Downtown area would not reduce congestion, instead it would bring more short local trips onto the freeway," reports Jennifer Cuevas.

"For his review, Norman Marshall, president of Smart Mobility Inc., looked at traffic data, speed count and the TxDOT El Paso Regional Modeling Files for the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan." This doesn't surprise transportation planners who warn that building more lanes simply induces more driving and increased congestion. "Of the two additional lanes TxDOT has proposed, one would serve as a general purpose lane and the other as a transit-adaptive lane," Cuevas writes. "The problem with the transit-adaptive lane is TxDOT has not explained in detail what their purpose would be, according to Marshall."

"Rather than expanding, one of Marshall’s recommendations is to consider a street collector distributor concept to the west of Downtown." This approach would "keep the local traffic off the road, you keep it on the streets and therefore you let the freeway operate as an express facility," writes Marshall in the report. The report also adds that "The major issue with the I-10 Segment 2 Expansion Proposal review is it’s based on the Metropolitan Transportation Plan for 2045, instead of the MTP 2050 plan."

Thursday, February 17, 2022 in CBS 4 El Paso

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago


Opinion: Aging Population, Declining Fertility Requires Long-Term Investments

Faced with the dire consequences of a one-two punch of aging populations and declining birthrates, one writer has suggestions for how policy can help ensure a better future.

August 9, 2022 - Financial Times

People gather on a street with no cars during the L.E.A.F. Festival of Flowers in the Meatpacking District of New York City.

The Tide Has Turned Against Open Streets

Once a promising development for advocates pushing for a less car-centric future in cities, the open streets movement has ceded significant ground to cars since the height of the pandemic.

August 14, 2022 - The New York Times

Three blue Amazon delivery trucks at bays at a distribution center

Key Warehouse Centers Challenge Distribution Center Expansion

Communities near major e-commerce distribution centers are increasingly resisting new construction, citing air pollution and other public health impacts.

August 16 - Bloomberg CityLab

Yellow house on residential street in Atherton, California

Another Silicon Valley Enclave Resists Multifamily Housing

Ultrawealthy residents have blocked a proposal to build townhouse developments in one of California’s most affluent communities.

August 16 - The New York Times

Galveston, Texas

Flooding 210 Days a Year—No Storms Necessary

It no longer takes a storm to cause flooding in many coastal areas of the United States. Galveston, Texas could eventually face floods more than half the days of the year.

August 16 - Houston Chronicle

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

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.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.