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City of Dallas Awarded Grant for Smart Transportation Upgrades to S.M. Wright Corridor


Irving, Texas. January 14, 2021

The City of Dallas has secured a $4 million federal grant for transit and bicycle-pedestrian improvements intended to improve comfort, safety and reliability in the S.M. Wright corridor, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced.

“The City of Dallas is thrilled to receive this critical transportation funding from the federal government at this time,” said interim Director of Transportation Ghassan Khankarli. “We are grateful for our partners who assisted us in obtaining this grant, and we are committed to providing continuous improvement using state-of-the-art technology when it comes to mobility, safety and reliability.”

A series of smart signals to be added at intersections along S.M. Wright will include technology extending green lights for transit vehicles, allowing transit passengers improved reliability through the area. The current six-lane divided highway and access roads are being replaced by a six-lane arterial street.

Buses using this corridor will be equipped with bicycle and pedestrian warning technology, which strategically places camera-based smart sensors around the buses and intersections. This technology monitors the driving environment and warns the bus drivers of pedestrians and cyclists with visual and audible messages. As an additional benefit, the warnings and alerts issued can help identify areas in the corridor where transit vehicles are involved in hot spots.

The technology will be paired with new sources of data to transform the corridor across multiple transportation modes. Dallas plans to use the existing Advanced Traffic Management exchange between the city and regional operating agencies. The integration of data sources will allow optimization of multimodal system performance and testing of new technologies, which will be scalable toward future expansion and sustainable to the continually evolving industry.

The City of Dallas is partnering with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to bring the transit and bicycle-pedestrian improvements and technologies to the corridor. The Regional Transportation Council and the City of Dallas will contribute an additional $4 million toward the project.

The Texas A&M Transportation Institute and private-sector partners are also involved in this effort.

“Safety and reliability are essential to an effective regional transportation system,” said Natalie Bettger, NCTCOG’s senior program manager, congestion management and system operation. “The innovative solutions provided as part of this project will enable the S.M. Wright corridor to efficiently serve residents who live and work in the area. We appreciate the U.S. Department of Transportation and the work of our valued partners who made this possible. We look forward to the implementation of technologies in the corridor to test for other deployments throughout the region.”

Among other planned improvements are air quailty sensors, broadband communications and sidewalk freight delivery technology. The enhancements will pave the way for connected vehicles and more-efficient freight delivery. The surrounding communities will see improved bicycle and pedestrian safety, as well as opportunities for economic expansion and neighborhood revitalization. Through the creation of a more pedestrian-friendly corridor, surrounding neighborhods will be able to more easily access resources that are currently across the highway.

The S.M. Wright grant was one of 10 Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment grants the Department of Transportation awarded earlier this month. They were selected from among 46 applications.

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