Transportation Component

Transportation is a critical component of city planning that lays the foundation for the physical design of a community. While vehicle traffic in Plano is increasing, there are limited opportunities to expand the existing roadway system to provide greater capacity. As the DFW region grows, the City must look for new solutions to accommodate a variety of transportation options and improve traffic flow.

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  1. Roadway System
    Background: Plano’s street system is determined by the Thoroughfare Plan, a component of the Comprehensive Plan. There are many users of the city’s roadway system, including vehicles, public transit, bicycles, and pedestrians, all competing for the same space. Vehicles will likely remain the primary means of transportation; however additional opportunities should be provided for other modes of transportation to create a safe and efficient system for all users.

    Multimodal roadways, common throughout the US, are designed to provide space to accommodate bicyclists and mass transit while improving pedestrian safety through increased distance from vehicular traffic. To prepare for future traffic demands, Plano will develop a multimodal transportation system to improve safety and efficiency of the roadways for all users. Future multimodal accommodations should be strategic and meet the needs and priorities of Plano residents, businesses, and institutions.

    Increasingly, technological innovations are being utilized to mitigate traffic congestion. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) monitor traffic flow and provide real-time information to drivers of possible delays and alternative routes. Innovative projects such as smartphone traffic apps, solar panel roadways and trails, and automated vehicles are changing traffic conditions and will likely affect future mobility.
  1. Bicycle & Other Micromobility
    Background: Plano has three major off-street, shared-use paths along with 168 miles of on street marked routes for Plano’s active cycling community. While Texas statutes allow cyclists use of roadways, dedicated bicycle lanes may improve safety and increase ridership. Additionally, trails and routes need to connect residential neighborhoods with more commercial and employment activities for the bicycle to serve as a more practical transportation alternative. To provide a viable option for travel to destinations accessible to all users, Plano will enhance and maintain a safe regional bicycle system.
  1. Public Transit
    Background: In 1986, the City of Plano joined the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system and receives public bus transportation and light rail services. Plano residents desire more east-west transit connections and the city looks towards new solutions, such as Bus Rapid Transit to fulfill this need. Utilizing a dedicated service lane on a major thoroughfare or unused railroad rights-of-way, additional bus, light rail or commuter rail options could encourage new riders for public transit services within the city. Trolleys can also be used to transport residents within and between employment and commercial centers. Plano will provide access to a convenient transit network focused on increased travel options to local destinations.
  1. Transportation Demand Management
    Background: Transportation Demand Management (TDM) utilizes public private partnerships to reduce peak hour travel. Plano currently partners with the Plano Independent School district (ISD) for staggered hours of operation that disperse school personnel and students during peak travel time. With major employers in multiple business parks, there are numerous opportunities for further TDM partnerships through ridesharing, tele-commuting, and varied work hours. Plano will utilize TDM measures to reduce travel time to work and mitigate traffic congestion.
  1. Pedestrian Environment
    Background: The current arrangement of Plano’s sidewalks, organization of land uses within the city as well as major thoroughfare crossings make walking, from residential neighborhoods to commercial and retail areas, a challenge. Pedestrian-oriented developments typically, have wider sidewalks, street trees and furniture, as well as narrowed street intersections to reduce the crosswalk distance and slow vehicular traffic. The design principles that encourage walkability in popular locations could also be utilized in redevelopment of existing retail centers and enhancement of neighborhoods. Plano will pursue an accessible, well-connected pedestrian system that promotes walkability.