It's that time of year when bombs burst in the air, Willie Nelson plays at Billy Bob's - and traffic grinds to a halt.
There will be fireworks at Panther Island Pavilion, movies at the Coyote Drive-In, a baseball game at LaGrave Field and all kinds of partying at Sundance Square. That's a lot of fun packed into just a couple of square miles!
As a result, police are planning to make some pretty major traffic changes, beginning Friday afternoon. (Independence Day falls on a Friday this year, meaning the Fourth of July celebrations across the Metroplex should be extra festive.)
Here's a quick rundown of information you may need to know:
Still not sure about which route to take? Check out the FWPD's Fourth of July Traffic Plan page.
Roughly 143,000 people are expected to attend the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club this week in Fort Worth. To deal with the traffic, club officials and Fort Worth police have blocked off 10 adjoining streets - and some motorists and residents are thrown off by the new traffic plan.
Posted at 12:19 PM in I-30, Southwest Parkway/121T/Chisholm Trail, Current Affairs, Driving, Food and Drink, Fun, Games, Gas prices and gas guzzlin', Mobile phones, cell phones, texting, talking and driving, No Car. No Problem., Sports, Traffic, Trains, buses 'n such | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Drones and other unmanned aircraft are exploding in popularity, and the FAA is scrambling to come up with some regulations for them.
This is one of the funnest stories I've worked on in awhile. I met some interesting people at the North Texas Drone User Group and also the folks at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi who are leading the effort to test the next generation of unmanned aircraft.
While my lead talked about the concept of having a hot pizza delivered to your doorstep by a drone, and some people might scoff at that notion, I do think there is something to this technology. We essentially already have the know-how we need to deploy unmanned aircraft for whatever needs (and wants) we see fit. There are a few kinks. The machines need to be equipped with the ability to detect and avoid each other, and manned aicraft need the ability to do the same. But, to me, it seems the cost of overcoming those hurdles is minimal compared to the potential benefit. So wherever this trend goes, I think it would be wise for transportation writers such as myself to pay close attention.
In our latest podcast (link below), Fort Worth Star-Telegram aviation writer Andrea Ahles talks about what travelers can and can't bring aboard during holiday trips. (Hint: TSA frowns at carry-on cranberry sauce.) Also, I talk a little bit about the effort to slow down drivers at Ranger Hill on Interstate 20, a very busy (and sometimes dangerous) place for holiday motorists about 80 miles west of Fort Worth.
Thanksgiving revelers are hitting the highways for a long, festive holiday week. For those who venture along Interstate 20, if you feel a bit safer traversing Ranger Hill about 80 miles west of downtown Fort Worth, you can think the folks of Eastland County who fought for a lower speed limit after eight deaths this year.
LEIPZIG, Germany - If a pizza were delivered to your home by a drone, would you leave a tip?
The question may be absurd, but people in the U.S. and throughout the world may soon be using unmanned, remote control aircraft for all kinds of basic deliveries.
"We believe we can build a new paradigm of transportation," Andreas Raptopoulus, founder of a company known as Matternet, said Thursday during a presentation at the International Transport Forum in Leipzig Germany.
The use of drones by the military overseas, or police in U.S. cities, is highly controversial. But Raptopoulos thinks the unmanned aerial devices can save lives.
He has formed a company, Matternet, that aims to launch a fleet of drones around the world that can haul small amounts of freight by remote control, using tracking software to cover distances of several miles.
For example, he envisions soon being able to haul lab samples for HIV/AIDS testing in areas of Africa not served by good roads - and he says the remote control technology can haul a load of more than four pounds a distance of six miles for about 24 cents.
Raptopoulus didn't specifically suggest his innovation could be used to ship pepperoni pies across town. But he did acknowledge that the universe of uses for unmanned aircraft was seemingly endless.
His presentation, which was part of a panel discussion on innovative new ways to pay for transportation, drew accolades from the audience of about 200 people for its creativity.
Raptopoulus, who is based in Palo Alto, Calif., acknowledged that his concept faces hurdles in the U.S.
There are concerns about security, such as whether a drone deployed for an honest business opportunity could be hacked or sabotaged. Raptopoulus acknowledges those concerns, and says the key to keeping his system safe would be to protect the takeoff and landing sites, since the machines takeoff vertically like a toy helicopter.
The FAA is currently working on these issues, as its seeks to comply with a federal law calling for the agency to incorporate unmanned aircraft into the nation's airspace management by 2015.
There could be as many as 30,000 drones in the air by 2020, according to one FAA estimate. The result could be a $90 billion industry.
Drones are already used by police agencies across the U.S. Arlington police recently received FAA permission to fly a 58-inch drone for public safety purposes, including search and rescue missions and other eye-in-the-sky work. Arlington's unmanned aircraft is capable of moving 40 mph.
During the discussion, drones were held out as an example of a technology that, while controversial today, could soon win favor with politicians and the public because of their ability to do more good than harm.
Another panelist, Jonas Eliasson, a professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, used city bicycle programs as an example. Eliasson said elected leaders might oppose efforts to make more room on the roads for cycling, but that sentiment can change once the bikes are on the road.
"Things seem worse before you've tried them," Eliasson said. "The benefits look smaller. The losses look larger."
Gordon Dickson, 817 390 7796
Photo: Matternet founder Andreas Raptopoulus shows a slide image of one of his drones, which could be deployed to haul small amounts of freight in cities or jungles. (Photo by Gordon Dickson/Star-Telegram).
Dallas has become a hoppin' place for New Year's Eve celebrations - and, for those who want to drink, there are ways to get there without climbing behind the wheel.
The Trinity Railway Express will operate on a regular schedule this evening, and will supplement those usual trains with additional trains running westbound. Those additional trains will begin leaving Dallas 20 minutes after the fireworks end in Big D.
All transit services offered by the TRE and Fort Worth Transportation Authority (the T) will be closed Tuesday in observance of New Year's Day.
For more information, visit the TRE website.
Safety advocates, armed with statistics showing that sobriety checkpoints would decrease the number of drunk drivers on the road, will once again ask the Texas Legislature to give police authority to stop traffic for DWI checks. Here's a rundown of the issue from colleagues Anna M. Tinsley and Susan Schrock.
*******************p.s. from @gdickson