The Center of Development Excellence is addressing the many issues that will impact the region as its population grows including, but not limited to, transportation, air quality, water supply, and the environment.
- Each of our major rivers has sections that do not meet water quality standards
- Storm water runoff from developed areas may cause flooding, stream bank erosion, and pollution of streams and lakes
- Approximately 70 local governments are required under state permits to address pollution in runoff from new and redevelopment projects
- Lack of natural areas with functioning ecological systems in developed areas
Issues related to transportation involve all aspects of a multi-modal transportation system, including financial constraint, regional growth and system performance, air quality, sustainable development, safety and security, congestion management, regional rail, the roadway system, freight and aviation, and the environment.
A major challenge facing the region is a lack of funds to build and maintain an effective transportation system. The state and federal gas taxes have remained unchanged for over a decade, and high gas prices have contributed to unwillingness among politicians to increase them. Plans are underway to develop a new long-range transportation plan, Mobility 2035. However, the financial crisis has affected transportation funding. Mobility 2035 will provide recommendations for an expanded 12-county planning area, but with limited state and federal funds coming in to the region, we can expect fewer roadway and rail improvements.
With respect to regional growth and system performance, the cost of congestion is expected to increase significantly as the region’s population swells to more than 8.5 million by 2030. The following performance measures, based on the current long-range plan, Mobility 2030 – 2009 Amendment, indicate some of the expected changes:
- Congestion will Cost the region $6.5 Billion in travel delays in 2030
- From 1999 to 2009, vehicle miles traveled increased 30 percent
- During that same period, signal and congestion delay time increased 44 percent
- By 2050, based on population growth and water use, the Dallas/Fort Worth area will require 2.2 billion gallons per day (gpd)
- Currently available resources can provide 1.6 billion gpd, representing a 32 percent shortfall
- Satisfying demand will require:
- Development of a major lake in East Texas and/or purchase of developed water from Oklahoma or other Texas sources
- Increased reuse of treated wastewater
- Local programs to use water more effectively and efficiently
- Urbanized area of the region violates the federal health standard for ground level ozone
- Vehicles are a major source of nitrogen oxide emissions
- Transportation funding is dependent on air quality conformity
- Energy efficiency measures are needed to reduce point source emissions from power plants