As Plano's $3 Billion Legacy West Grows, City Officials Want Car Usage to Shrink

Plano’s $3 billion Legacy West is driving big business and thousands of new jobs to the growing city.But that growth -- as it's doing in much of the rest of Collin County -- is also steering more traffic to Plano as well. Lots more.In an effort to ease congestion around the mixed-used development that is now home to companies such as Toyota, Liberty Mutual and JPMorgan Chase, Plano city officials are looking for ways to get residents out of their cars.Last month the city wrapped up a traffic study that took officials more than a year to complete. “That area historically has been very low-density,” said Matt Tilke, the city’s senior traffic engineer. “Before we turn into gridlock, which we don’t want to have happen, the study is intended to look at the pieces and what causes congestion and look at ways to mitigate that and prevent it.”The number of people living in the Legacy West corridor at build out, which city officials expect to happen in the next 10 years, is expected to be somewhere between 6,000 to 8,000 residents.And while widening the roadway may be an an option to relieve congestion, there’s only so much that can be done because right-of-way space is limited. So the city is also turning to the businesses to work together to encourage employees to pursue alternate transit options.“When we think about solving transportation, we think about what are the things we can do. More roads? More buses? Mass transit? All the things we can physically do, but I think it really comes down to behavioral [changes] and the question was how do we get people out of their cars? That was pretty striking to me," Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said earlier this month. “Our message will be talking about changing that mindset of getting out of cars and it means a lot of different things."   Continue reading...

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