Toyota’s expanding plans for its new headquarters in Plano are being met with traffic concerns.
Drivers in West Plano told NBC 5 they can see the effects of the booming North Texas job market in the crush of cars that pack the streets near State Highway 121 and the Dallas North Tollway during peak hours.
“In the last six months, I can see the difference,” said professional limo driver Herman Singh. “It’s already bad, and it’s getting bad every day.”
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Singh said he’s concerned about the effects an estimated 9,000 new people expected in the Legacy West development area over the next few years will have on traffic.
This week, plans submitted to Plano’s Planning and Zoning Commission revealed the headquarters is a 2.1 million square-foot design. Insurance company Liberty Mutual also recently announced plans to move 5,000 jobs to a consolidated headquarters nearby.
“It is a significant priority for Plano,” said Plano’s planning director, Christina Day, referring to the need to keep up with traffic demand. “People are concerned about the volume of traffic – how long it takes to get through intersections.”
Day said the city realizes that traffic demand will increase, but they’re hoping it does so in a balanced way.
As laid out in the city’s “Plano Tomorrow” 20-year comprehensive plan, Plano plans to start implementing a “high-tech traffic control system” to coordinate traffic lights.
The city also plans to work with businesses to potentially stagger work hours, give opportunities to work from home and, therefore, decrease the volume of traffic in peak hours.
Plano also plans to meet local housing demands for all the new jobs created, specifically to prevent people from living in outlying areas and driving into the city, increasing traffic.
However, Day said because right-of-ways are limited in the Legacy West area, it may be difficult to increase capacity on main roads like Legacy Drive.
Eventually, the city sees the Legacy West area as an urban center, where people will be able to live, work and play, plus take advantage of public transportation.