For several weeks now, I've been working on a story about the evolution of Texas 114, which is now a hugely important economic corridor connecting Dallas, Irving, Grapevine, Southlake, Roanoke and far north Fort Worth ... to name a few cities. Along with the main story, I also put together a Storymap, which was fun and sort of a new way to tell a news story online and in mobile devices and tablets such as iPad. Let me know what you think.
Also, don't forget to join me at noon for a Twitter chat. I'm normally @gdickson but today I will be chatting @startelegram, which is the Star-Telegram's main Twitter account. I'll be using the hashtag #dfwtraffic, so send in some transportation questions. Thanks!
What are your transportation predictions for 2014? Star-Telegram aviation writer Andrea Ahles and I talk about a few prognostications in our latest episode of the Air, Land & Sea podcast ... and high-speed rail and toll roads are among them.
Brrrr! Star-Telegram aviation writer Andrea Ahles and I are talking about the region's week-long saga with icy roads - an event now known as "Icemageddon" - on the latest Air, Land & Sea podcast. Andrea also talks about the now-official American Airlines/US Airways merger.
As the Star-Telegram's Bill Hanna is reporting, a typical 20- or 30-minute commute could take two hours this morning because of treacherous, icy conditions. It's a far better idea to simply stay home today, if at all possible. DART is reporting that it has shut down its light-rail system in the Dallas area because the agency just wasn't able to keep the electrical components that powered it from freezing over. However, DART spokesman Mark Ball told KDFW Fox Channel 4 this morning that buses are being used as a shuttle service to connect the DART train stations. The Trinity Railway Express, a commuter rail line that is powered by diesel locomotives, is still running between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with delays. And, of course, many riders who normally use TRE to connect with DART's light-rail system are going to be frustrated when they get to Big D.
The winter storm is arriving a few hours early, and at 4:30 p.m. Thursday a steady stream of freezing rain pellets was falling in far north Fort Worth. A thick, slick coating of ice appears likely to greet us in the morning, and area residents should brace for nasty roads and school closures. (Yayyy!)
For those who ride public transportation or the Trinity Railway Express, the Fort Worth Transportation Authority advises that as it stands now all services are expecting to stick to a regular schedule tomorrow. TRE is using heaters to keep track switches and other important components functioning in sub-freezing temperatures, T spokeswoman Joan Hunter says.
The T is also revving up sanding trucks, to use on T bus routes, and also is making plans to use detours in certain areas if necessary.
Nonetheless, riders should be prepared for minor delays, just in case things are crawling in the mornin'.
How much do you spend on tolls each month? Is it a few bucks here and there, or is it more like another utility bill? I'm working on a story about TollTag use in Tarrant County, which today is a relatively small piece of the pie when it comes to raking in toll revenue in the North Texas region. But I'd also like to hear from some car owners in Collin, Dallas and Denton counties. How often do you use the toll roads in Dallas-Fort Worth, what sort of places do you go and how much does it cost you?
If you've got just a minute or two, post a quick comment to this blog item, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org ... and Thanks!