Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Dallas-Fort Worth Closer to High-Speed ​​Rail

By meerna Jul11,2024
Dallas-Fort Worth Closer to High-Speed ​​Rail

A high-speed rail line connecting Dallas, Arlington, and Fort Worth would be a great solution for North Texas, but it would need to make sense both economically and with respect to the form and function of the planned cities.

The previous plan wasn’t right for Dallas. But at today’s Regional Transportation Council meeting, officials will discuss a new plan that could be a starting point to get the conversation back on track. If it doesn’t involve cutting through the downtown lanes with something like an overpass, as the previous plan did, the Dallas City Council should take a closer look.

Earlier this year, the Council rightly resisted pressure to approve an elevated light rail line that would have impacted valuable land in downtown and west Dallas while preventing the creation of the open, fluid urban center we desire.

The line would create an unacceptable physical barrier along the western edge of downtown — a part of the city that has seen a significant amount of work being done to demolish highways that have long divided neighborhoods.

Details of the new plan are not yet available, but our colleague Everton Bailey Jr. reported that the planned line would bypass the Reunion area by going over Interstate 35E to avoid the section between the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and the planned $5 billion development south of Reunion Tower.

A spokesman for the North Central Texas Council of Governments contacted Wednesday would not confirm details of the plan.

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Of course, any plan would need to include a seamless connection between the Dallas-Fort Worth line and the planned Dallas-Houston line. It appears that the new plan would not change the location of the proposed train station in the Cedars neighborhood south of downtown, so that may be feasible.

The region needs better transport options to move more people more efficiently between major urban hubs. But this will be very expensive and it is crucial that this high-speed rail line is done properly. If it is done, it could bring significant benefits to the whole region.

It could, for example, help alleviate the traffic nightmare that has fueled the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s rapid growth over the years.

Residents and tourists alike waste time on the congested Interstate 30 between Dallas and Fort Worth. In addition to the millions of area residents, D-FW sees about 75 million visitors a year, most of whom visit one of the three largest cities, according to recently released results from tourism leaders in Fort Worth and Arlington.

Having a high-speed rail network that bypasses traffic jams can make it easier to get to sports matches, concert halls and great restaurants.

This initiative is the kind of regional planning we need to address broader mobility issues that cannot be done in individual cities.

Just building more roads is not the right long-term solution. But accepting any cost in exchange for a rail line is not the right solution either. Our region needs high-speed rail. It simply has to work for the cities it touches.

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By meerna

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