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I-30 West Freeway reconstruction with reversible managed lanes


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#1 bclaridge

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:50 PM

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.


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I'm a psychology major, but I have a hobby interest in urban design and planning.


#2 renamerusk

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:08 AM

1. 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.....

 

.2. ..... only be needed if Walsh reaches full buildout and there is major growth near Weatherford.  Hopefully it would never be needed.

 

1. A better solution would be "reversible housing" meaning promote development of new and renovated neighborhoods within existing infrastructure over the next 50 years instead of repeating the 1950 model of suburban sprawl brought to us by the automobile/petroleum/highway triad.  With greater density, two things can happen: (a) demand for public transit systems will be generated; and (B) important wildlife and plant ecosystems can remain undisturbed.

 

 

2. Cease enabling Walsh Ranch type developments.  The costs of living in remote areas should be entirely borne by those who choose freely to live there. From the onset, I have been critical of WR and it would not make me sad to see it struggle to gain traction.



#3 bclaridge

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 12:08 PM

 

1. 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.....

 

.2. ..... only be needed if Walsh reaches full buildout and there is major growth near Weatherford.  Hopefully it would never be needed.

 

1. A better solution would be "reversible housing" meaning promote development of new and renovated neighborhoods within existing infrastructure over the next 50 years instead of repeating the 1950 model of suburban sprawl brought to us by the automobile/petroleum/highway triad.  With greater density, two things can happen: (a) demand for public transit systems will be generated; and ( B) important wildlife and plant ecosystems can remain undisturbed.

 

 

2. Cease enabling Walsh Ranch type developments.  The costs of living in remote areas should be entirely borne by those who choose freely to live there. From the onset, I have been critical of WR and it would not make me sad to see it struggle to gain traction.

 

 

I agree completely.  If FWISD schools (other than Tanglewood-McLean-Paschal) started to catch on with those who would otherwise consider the suburbs then one of the factors encouraging families to move to the suburbs (schools) would be less of an issue and that could help discourage suburban sprawl as well.  The redevelopment and improvements made to the Near Southside/Fairmount/Ryan Place area over the recent years is a great example of this, but there are still issues with getting families into this area because of the public school situation (the area does feed into Paschal, but the elementary and middle schools, aside from Daggett Montessori, could be better).  In my opinion, one of the only reasons you get high performing schools (like Tanglewood and the Carroll ISD, excluding magnet programs) arises from factors related to high socioeconomic status, and teachers are less of a factor than you might think.  There are great teachers in schools with a lower SES student population, but family and parent factors likely have a negative effect on the kids' academic performance, except in the case where parents motivate their children to succeed in spite of their circumstances.  That said, the average academic performance of the student body does set teachers' expectations on what to teach and how to teach it.  Change the socioeconomic composition of a student body and you would likely see academic improvements; for example, if everybody in Monticello and Crestwood started to send their kids to North Hi Mount it would probably start to resemble Tanglewood more (you would probably see improvements at Stripling and Arlington Heights too, but as the secondary schools draw from a larger area the improvements would probably be less).

 

And with regards to the costs of people choosing to live in suburban developments, heavy traffic (or choosing a tolled managed lane) can be a part of that.  This is part of the reason I am glad that the 820 and 35W improvements added no new free lanes (well, at least not initially), so that those living in the suburbs have to "bear the cost" of living where they do.  But many of these areas are higher income and the people there can afford to use the managed lanes frequently, though $9 for a hassle-free commute twice daily might even make someone who can afford Southlake flinch a bit.  That said, we do need to focus our development efforts in the city rather than in the suburbs.  Improving the schools (including their perception) will be a big part of this, of course.


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I'm a psychology major, but I have a hobby interest in urban design and planning.


#4 RD Milhollin

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 12:52 PM

Any new major highway rebuild projects in urban and adjacent areas should be mandated to include right of way for future passenger rail transit tracks and stations. If that space could be used for bus rapid transit (BRT) now that would be a step in the right direction.



#5 renamerusk

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 02:16 PM

I agree completely........  If FWISD schools......And with regards to the costs of people choosing to live in suburban developments.....

 

Without repeating word for word, excellent points; all of them.

 

The most cost effective way to manage traffic and demand is to control its patterns.  Plan future cities to dismantle freeways and build neighborhoods that include local shopping, recreation, health facilities, etc.  Making them safe and interesting.  Excellent schools can be a reality when genuinely prioritized.  All of this is possible using the existing infrastructure and without the need to create it new.



#6 Electricron

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 05:49 AM

Why rebuild a freeway that was just rebuilt around 10 years ago? 

The FHA is not going to refund work on this freeway for another 20 years. The FHA expects highway projects to be planned to meet projected traffic for the next 30 years. 

Now, I-30 East of downtown Fort Worth is another matter, because it's been over 40 years since it was built and is riped for FHA funds for a major rework. If Managed Lanes are included or not will depend upon the results of a future EIS. 



#7 JBB

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:26 AM

What was rebuilt 10 years ago? 30 between Summit and 287, which is not what the original poster was talking about, was completed in 2002 or 2003. 30 between Bryant Irvin and Summit was rebuilt in the very early 90s.

#8 youngalum

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:46 AM

Yep--they were working on I-30 west of university when I was at TCU in the late 80's to early 90's



#9 renamerusk

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 12:21 PM

Why rebuild a freeway that was just rebuilt around 10 years ago? 

 

 

What was rebuilt 10 years ago? 30 between Summit and 287, which is not what the original poster was talking about, was completed in 2002 or 2003. 30 between Bryant Irvin and Summit was rebuilt in the very early 90s.

 

Yes, the 10 years ago comment is an "alternative fact" which caused a "huh?"

 

I thought like JBB that the original post was about manage lane; and not about a rebuilding of I30/West Freeway.  The grass median inside of I-30 was set aside for future expansion when or if needed.  Managed lanes with be a toll project that would likely be funded principally by the NTTA and not TXDOT.

 

The issue is whether or not building additional lanes is wise. There is a suggestion that the median be used as a corridor for mass transit.  Another suggestion would be to maintain the status quo with the result being an incentive for curtailing X-urban development by making the choice to live many miles from the central core reflect a greater cost in energy and time.



#10 bclaridge

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 02:12 AM

Why rebuild a freeway that was just rebuilt around 10 years ago? 

The FHA is not going to refund work on this freeway for another 20 years. The FHA expects highway projects to be planned to meet projected traffic for the next 30 years. 

Now, I-30 East of downtown Fort Worth is another matter, because it's been over 40 years since it was built and is riped for FHA funds for a major rework. If Managed Lanes are included or not will depend upon the results of a future EIS. 

 

With regards to I-30 in Fort Worth, I've always felt that I-30 west of downtown Fort Worth was worse traffic-wise than I-30 east of downtown, but as I live on the west side, I might be a little biased.  Traffic is starting to get bad especially during the evening rush hour where there is the bottleneck around the westbound Camp Bowie exit, but some of that might just be from traffic entering westbound I-30 from Hulen that has to jump over two lanes within 1/4 mile to stay on I-30.  I've also noticed issues past there as you move from Camp Bowie towards Ridgmar Mall, and once again at 820 west where I-30 narrows from 6 lanes to 4 lanes.  And with regards to your comment that I-30 was rebuilt 25 years ago, the segment between Bryant Irvin and Las Vegas Trail is older than that and could use an upgrade to eliminate issues with inadequate geometrics (short on- and off-ramps) and low bridge clearances.  NCTCOG suggests that upgrades to I-30 should take place in this area, and the Mobility 2040 plan calls for added mainlane capacity between 820 and Camp Bowie.  As a full reconstruction would be needed from Las Vegas Trail to Bryant Irvin to accommodate the added capacity, I think TxDOT should look into the possibility of managed lanes in this area -- or at least building the freeway to where managed lanes could be added in with little additional construction -- to deal with the demand that Walsh Ranch and other developments further to the west could place onto the I-30 corridor.  But at the same time, the act of widening the freeway would likely induce demand itself.

 

Adding new lanes will induce additional demand to use a freeway, whether that be through new developments or those now electing to drive the widened freeway over another route, but managed lanes do allow for some traffic relief for those willing to pay for it (and buses could always use the managed lanes too).  The best way to reduce induced demand upon freeways, in my opinion, would be through the expansion of mass transit, as well as the addition of managed lanes (toll and/or HOV) on freeways where congestion exists, rather than simply adding free lanes (unless those added lanes are to reduce bottlenecks).  Added capacity does pose the problem of promoting suburban sprawl; with the sprawl, plus other users now enticed to use the freeway, traffic issues will eventually return to their pre-widening congested state (like we saw with the Katy Freeway in Houston, a few years of traffic relief, then it was back to congestion).  Of course, if it became very expensive to purchase fuel, widening roads would probably not induce demand as they currently do (provided that gasoline- and diesel-fueled cars were still the predominant vehicles driven, instead of electric cars).

 

While off-topic, with regard to I-30 east of downtown, I think that freeway is getting bad once you get outside of 820 (Cooks Lane and Eastchase areas), even more so once you cross over into Arlington. 


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I'm a psychology major, but I have a hobby interest in urban design and planning.





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