Tuesday, August 25, 2009

NCTCOG sticks its toe in the water when it should dive in the pool

The Transportation Department of the North Central Texas Council of Governments will present a briefing today to the Dallas City Council's Transportation and Environment Committee on the notion of keeping 18-wheelers out of the left-hand lanes of freeways with three or more lanes. The briefing will say, according to COG's pilot study, this is a great idea for safety, air quality and mobility; that it is embraced by the public; and that an overwhelming number of truck drivers obey these rules without being forced to by the gendarmes.

So far, so good. But then slide 11 says don't implement these restrictions on freeways where it's really needed. The way I read this slide, titled "Corridors Proposed for Near Term Truck Lane Restriction Implementation," COG is only recommending these restrictions on I-45 from the southern Ellis County line to the road's terminus in downtown Dallas; I-20 from Spur 408 in extreme Southwest Dallas to where it joins I-30 west of Fort Worth; and I-20 from I-45 to around the Dallas-Kaufman County border.

Hey, what about I-35E where the majority of trucks travel? How about North Central Expressway? How about I-30, especially heading east?

If you're going to do this -- and you should -- do it right and where it will do the most good. If this half-hearted attempt is all COG proposes, it will give Gov. Hair another reason to try to revive his Trans-Texas Corridor boondoggle.

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