The city has begun the second phase of its long-percolating mobility plan, asking residents to (broadly) select their priorities for how Dallas invests in its transportation system. Some of the survey’s questions are a little vague—for instance, do you prefer sinking money into “big projects” or spreading it out across “smaller projects.” But the thrust of it is clear: do you prefer your tax dollars to go toward adding infrastructure for bikes, pedestrians, and public transit, or do you prefer to continue to focus on the vehicle?
The survey kicks off by asking you to select your priorities: equity, housing, safety, environmental sustainability, economic vitality, and innovation. Then it asks you to pick your tradeoffs: you have finite money, so do you prefer spreading out transit dollars evenly across Dallas or focus on neighborhoods where “the economic need is greatest?” From there, you get to apply one-to-five stars to your preferred scenario: invest locally, adding hundreds of new miles of bike lanes and transit space; invest regionally, adding more ways to get out of Dallas; or keep things basically as they are.
The results currently are a rather small sample size; about 75 people have taken it so far, according to the log. But the majority are siding with improving Dallas’ transit system to accommodate safe, alternative ways for people to get around without a car. And most respondents want the money prioritized in neighborhoods that haven’t received the same amount of love and attention from City Hall. That could obviously change once a few hundred more people take the survey.
Called “Connect Dallas,” the mobility plan wants to use transportation as a way to connect housing and economic opportunities. Its hope is to be equitable and use technology to move people around safely and more efficiently. It cites Census data that shows somewhere around 46,000 households have no access to a vehicle and charges itself with finding ways for those residents to “get to work, school, healthcare appointments, and to complete daily errands,” in its words.
It wants to identify projects that can achieve these goals. And then it wants to offer up a five-year plan to achieve them.
It has a lot of work ahead of it. So take the survey and consider attending the public meeting about it, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on February 27 at the Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center at Fair Park.