Traffic Will Continue to Get Worse in Dallas-Fort Worth

It's not your imagination – traffic is getting worse in Dallas-Fort Worth.

"The level of investment for a region like ours, which is growing so fast, is not keeping up with the growth," said Michael Morris, director of transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Despite the billions of dollars being spent on new road construction, traffic congestion continues to build.

"As an overall region, when you're growing at a million people a decade and the revenue constraints we have, the best we're going to do is mitigate congestion. We're not going to be able to solve congestion," Morris said.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Plan for North Central Texas, prepared by the NCTCOG, the greater Dallas-Fort Worth 12-county region will need $431.5 billion by the year 2040 to eliminate the worst levels of congestion.

But only $118.9 billion will be available, meeting less than 30 percent of the region's transportation needs.

"The region needs to work on the really hard problems to get the next benefit of gain," Morris said.

"In the corridors where we're spending lots of money and attention, those corridors will greatly improve" Morris said. "Most corridors we're not going to be able to get to, so you're going to continue to suffer. Other corridors we don't have enough money, and that construction is going to feel like it's taking a decade."

As the region grows to 10.6 million people by the year 2040, the time drivers spend stuck in traffic will also grow.

The NCTCOG estimates that delays caused by congestion will rob each person in North Central Texas of 114 hours in the year 2040 alone.

"We got to get sidewalks, transit systems, bicycle systems, roadway systems and railway systems acting like systems," Morris said.

"We have a lot of people that have really short trips but take their car," Morris added. "They would love to take a bike or walk, but there's no system for them to do so. So you got to get to these abilities of creating the right combination of transportation for the right areas."

The NCTCOG's transportation plan, called Mobility 2040, is available here.

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