NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 25, 2008

Hammered by highway congestion, North Texas cities could soon pass city ordinances to pressure large employers to cut the car trips their employees take to work, in exchange for getting major highway construction on adjacent roads, says the Dallas Business Journal.

Urban planners at the North Central Texas Council of Governments hope to see such city ordinances in place by 2009, says the Journal. 

How the city ordinance would work:

  • Companies with 100 employees or more would be asked to commit to reducing their employees' single-occupancy vehicle trips by anywhere from 5 percent to 10 percent.
  • Employers would be expected to provide incentives to encourage employees either to use mass transit, car pool or walk or bike to work, or work from home or compress the work week when major improvements or new construction is planned or under way.
  • The ordinance would apply to about 89 percent of the region's employees, the Council of Governments estimates.
  • Planners calculate there are about 4,500 employers located on the region's major highway corridors, with about 1.32 million employees.

Traffic in the Dallas-Fort Worth (D-FW) area is routinely ranked among the nation's worst, says the Journal:

  • A new study from Washington-based Inrix found D-FW fifth worst for congestion nationwide, behind only Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
  • Motorists waste 60 hours annually from traffic congestion in D-FW, and roads here are congested 66 percent of the time.
  • The Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University said in January that congestion costs D-FW some $2.75 billion annually.

Source: Margaret Allen, "Texas Cities Could Restrict Car Traffic," Dallas Business Journal, June 23, 2008.

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