It is going to be very difficult for those shilling the Trinity Toll Road to fall back on the argument they have rallied behind over the past months, namely, that the Trinity Toll Road is an act of gratuitous social justice because it better connects southern Dallas commuters to jobs in the north of the city. The Dallas Morning News reports that a federal traffic study shows that while the Trinity Toll Road will reduce some congestion in the Mixmaster, it will also increase traffic on other major highways, making it more difficult to commute from parts of southern Dallas:
Regional traffic estimates referenced in the federal approval documents show that by 2035, the $1.3 billion toll road will increase the number of motorists driving major highways and roadways to get in, through and around downtown by about 10 percent, or 206,000 drivers.
The payoff: a reduction in the collective average daily number of drivers using the Canyon and Mixmaster by about 3 percent, or 10,000 motorists.
That decrease is about one-fourth the number of drivers the toll road will add to U.S. 175 east of S.M Wright Freeway, a major artery for people from South Dallas, Southeast Dallas and Pleasant Grove. . . .
Also, the estimated average of 117,000 motorists who will drive Trinity Parkway each day doesn’t fully account for the increased number of cars on adjacent roads. A collective average increase of about 89,500 drivers also will use other nearby highways and thoroughfares that traffic estimates suggest wouldn’t be there if not for the toll road’s planned existence.
When analyzed, the data in the federal documents makes clear what for years has hardly been talked about: Trinity Parkway isn’t just a traffic reducer, it’s also a traffic creator.
In short, there is virtually no justification left for this road.