Northbound I-35W will be reduced to one lane from Meacham to Western Center boulevards 10 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday. The ramp to westbound Loop 820 will be closed during that time. The closure is necessary for pavement repair, the Texas Department of Transportation says.
Interstate 35W in far north Fort Worth is no picnic, even when nothing
unusual is going on. Throw a smidge of construction into the mix ...
and, well, it just ain't a good place to be. Hey, at least it's not a race weekend ...
Texans apparently don’t have an appetite for customized license plates — not even hot pink ones — during tough economic times. My Plates LLC, a firm hired to market specialty plates and bring in a minimum $40 million to state coffers over five years, has ceased operations, company officials said in a statement Thursday. The most popular plate was solid pink. My Plates began its marketing effort Aug. 1 but sold only 1,296 license plates statewide — generating only $168,989 for the state general fund. Those plates will still be honored.
“While we are beginning to see increased public interest in our specialty license plates, due to the current economic climate, consumers continue to cut back on discretionary spending,” company president James Power said. “My Plates is simply not established enough to weather this economic downturn.” My plates sold for-profit specialty plates. More than 100 other types of plates that benefit charities, animal shelters and the arts will still be sold through the transportation department. My Plates lost $6 million trying to get the program off the ground, and forfeited a $100,000 performance bond, state officials said. Despite the failure, the Texas Department of Transportation created reflectivity and legibility standards to ensure that any new plate designs would not negatively affect law enforcement. Those standards will benefit police for years to come, deputy executive director Steve Simmons said. “My Plates brought an innovative idea to Texas and I’m disappointed that My Plates is unable to finish implementing this venture that would have brought additional revenue to the state of Texas,” he said.
If you bought one ...
Car owners who did business with My Plates can still use the plates for the length of their contract — which ranged from $40 for one year to $795 for 10 years.
Questions about plates already in your possession may be directed to the Texas Department of Transportation: 512-465-7611.
For unfilled orders submitted to My Plates, call the company: 877-769-7528.
FORT WORTH — Oilman T. Boone Pickens challenged bus and truck operators across the U.S. to follow the lead of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority and convert their fleets to compressed natural gas. “Heavy duty vehicles have to go to natural gas, and the Fort Worth T was very early in their decision,” Pickens, 80, said Thursday during a Fort Worth Chamber luncheon.
Pickens was the main speaker during a 25th anniversary celebration of the T, which operates buses and trains in Tarrant County. The T was created in 1983 after voters agreed to pay a transit sales tax. The agency began using CNG buses in 1990, T president Dick Ruddell said. Earlier this year, Pickens praised the T on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He expressed frustration that Dallas fleet operators were slow to embrace alternative energy — and quipped that he might move to Fort Worth. On Thursday, about 300 people attending the luncheon at the Ashton Depot cheered as that story was retold.
Pickens said he wants Swift, Wal-Mart and other large companies to switch their trucks to CNG. He said executives at those companies have agreed to look into it. “Thirty percent of transportation fuel is involved in the movement of goods,” he said. “You can cut dependence on foreign oil 30 percent in five years.”
Federal leadership — Pickens urged President-elect Obama to give the public monthly updates about consumption of foreign oil, and praise any reduction. Americans would get behind efforts to stop buying oil from enemy nations, he predicted: “I can tell you the people controlling the oil are not friends of ours. We are paying for both sides of the war.” The federal government should convert its fleet to CNG, and offer companies tax incentives to do the same. “This has nothing to do with politics. This has to do with us. It’s our money kept at home.”
Meeting Obama — “”I spent 30 minutes with him. He was relaxed ... a nice guy. He took a lot of notes, which I thought was interesting. and he asked a lot of questions. I told him I heard you say something in your speeches that makes me uncomfortable: That there will be 1 million plug-in hybrids in 10 years. He said, ‘Mr. Pickens, that’s a true statement.’ I said look out that window ... We have 250 million vehicles in America. One million ... is nothing. They’re making 60 million (automobiles) a year.”
Gas prices — Americans shouldn’t get comfortable with gas costing less than $2 a gallon in many places, he said. It’s a temporary dip, driven mostly by the horrid economy: “The price is going to go up. The price of oil will be back to $100 a barrel a year from now.”
No car bailout — Automakers should either present Congress with a plan to become competitive again, or sink into bankruptcy. “Until now, they’ve had a business plan that hasn’t worked. Until they come up with another plan, let them go the same way the airlines went.”
No free bus ride — On donating $1,000 to the T’s employee scholarship fund, after accepting a ride from Dallas to Fort Worth aboard a special bus: “I knew I was going to be asked who paid for the bus to come pick me up.”