With traffic issues increasing on the West Freeway, I have started to think about the possibility of potentially adding managed lanes to the I-30 corridor. NCTCOG does not have plans to study managed lanes on I-30 West, but with the suburban sprawl in Walsh Ranch the traffic issues will only get worse over the coming years. There are plans to widen I-30 from 377/Camp Bowie to Spur 580 (6->8 lanes from Camp Bowie to 820, 4->6 lanes from 820 to Spur 580), but the induced demand principle will mean that these improvements would soon become worthless, with congestion returning. Mass transit is one option, ideally commuter rail, but buses can also be considered, and buses would benefit from a managed lane facility. Managed lanes would, of course, also allow drivers to pay for congestion relief as we currently see with the North Tarrant Express on 820 and 183 in the Mid-Cities.
My idea would look something like this:
- 2 reversible managed lanes from University Drive to Walsh Ranch Parkway (inbound [east] in the morning, outbound [west] in the evening).
- Full reconstruction of the University/Rosedale interchange, including new bridges over the Clear Fork Trinity River, plus connections between Rosedale and the managed lane facility (for medical district access)
- A one-lane reversible managed lane connector to Downtown Fort Worth built along the north side of I-30 east of the Clear Fork (would connect with Cherry Street inbound and Macon Street outbound)
- Access to University Drive (slip ramps with left entrances and exits from/to the mainlanes near Ashland [westbound onramp, eastbound offramp])
- Deck park between Ashland Avenue and Hulen Street (across from Arlington Heights High School)
- Deck park between Horne and Bryant Irvin
- Access between managed lanes and SH-183/Spur 341 (slip ramps with left entrances and exits from/to the mainlanes; one set near Bryant Irvin [eastbound onramp, westbound offramp], and the other set near Las Vegas Trail [eastbound offramp, westbound onramp])
- Full reconstruction of the I-820/I-30 interchange on the far westside of Fort Worth into a 5-level stack with frontage roads intersecting on second level. Traffic exiting one freeway to turn both left and right would now use a single ramp (like with the new 820/35W interchange in North Fort Worth), instead of the current ramp configuration with left moving traffic exiting first, then right moving traffic exiting second. A wishbone ramp on the east side of the interchange (eastbound onramp in morning, westbound offramp in evening) would connect with new ramps to and from 820. Furthermore, a dedicated reversible managed lane ramp could connect the inbound (morning) managed lanes with northbound 820, reversing this movement in the evening (but there could be a wishbone on the west side of the interchange instead of a dedicated ramp). This new interchange would take up less space than the current one.
- Access between managed lanes and Chapel Creek Boulevard (slip ramps near Alemeda, with left entrances and exits from/to the mainlanes [eastbound onramp and westbound offramp only])
- Access between managed lanes and Walsh Ranch Parkway (wishbone ramp: eastbound onramp in morning, westbound offramp in evening)
- Slip ramps at ends of managed lanes (Walsh Ranch and University) to allow I-30 mainlane traffic to enter managed lanes or permit managed lanes traffic to merge into the I-30 mainlanes at the end of the facility
Examples of ideal lane configurations, not including frontage roads and acceleration/auxiliary lanes:
- 4-2-4 from University Drive to 820 (example, I-35E in Lewisville; this example demonstrates a slip ramp but has narrow lanes and no inside shoulder which would not be ideal on I-30)
- 3-2-3 from 820 to Walsh Ranch (example, I-35E in Carrollton; see above caveat about lane width and shoulders)
- 3-3 from Walsh Ranch to I-20 merge (existing configuration with no managed lanes, but would include a short merging lane on westbound I-30 as managed lane traffic rejoins the mainlanes in the evening)
- Number of free lanes would be the same as with the NCTCOG proposal along I-30
- Little to no new right-of-way needed between University Drive and Bryant Irvin Road
- Further west on I-20: 4-4 from I-30 near Aledo to US 180 in Hudson Oaks, 3-3 from US 180 to Ric Williamson Memorial Highway (just west of Weatherford).
Such a configuration would probably only be needed if Walsh reaches full buildout and there is major growth near Weatherford. Hopefully it would never be needed.