Is Dallas finally getting smarter about transportation policy? Maybe. It is, at least, planning to introduce new technology to help make some streets more complete and pedestrian-friendly. Here’s a good read from upstairs at Dallas Innovates, one of our sister publications, on the city’s plan to test out these “smart streets.” A sample:
One day, Dallas streets will be lit with diodes and loaded with sensors that detect pedestrians and cyclists, allow buses to bypass stoplights, and might even be able to charge electric vehicles as they whisk by.
That day might not be too far away for a few Dallas neighborhoods.
Michael Rogers, director of the City of Dallas’ Department of Transportation, said that new technology and design approaches will likely be finding its way to two projects this year.
“It’s just a matter of prioritizing,” he said.
Rogers’ staff is currently identifying five parts of town where workers will weave smart city technology into street rehab projects. These rehabs — called “complete streets” — make streets narrower, incorporate crosswalks, and often add dedicated lanes for public transit, so it can take priority in traffic. The “smart” aspect could take numerous forms.
One of the more cutting-edge features the city of Dallas is considering is a section of road that would charge electric vehicles as they move. Another under consideration is a dedicated path for autonomous shuttles.
Battery roads and self-driving cars sound very sci-fi, very neat. But I’d be content with bigger sidewalks, more crosswalks, and any bike lanes.