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The Transport System in the City of Dallas Research Paper


Abstract

Transport within the city of Dallas is mostly by road. The preferred mode of public transport is the public bus system. The network is managed by the Dallas Area Rapid Transport. The report examined the effects of heavy capacity buses on the roads in the residential areas of the city. It was determined that such vehicles are to blame for the rise in the number of potholes in Dallas. Recommendations were made in efforts to resolve the problem. The report recommended for the improvement of the communication system between the citizens and the city authorities. In addition, suggestions were made to reduce the number of bus trips and to upgrade the roads within the area. The recommendations were made in a bid to improve the transport system in the city of Dallas.

Main Body

Over the years, the city of Dallas has experienced significant social and economic growth. Increased economic activities have led to numerous instances of discomfort on the part of the citizens. For example, there is an emerging problem with regards to the city’s infrastructure, such as roads. The current report will highlight the potholes problems in the city’s residential areas. The Dallas Area Rapid Transport (DART) system is flawed. It has heavy duty buses, which operate within residential areas. The presence of these machines, according to Fairbank (2012), is the major cause of the potholes.

The purpose of this report is to petition the city officials who are in charge of transport about the deteriorating situation in Dallas. The continued use of the said route is making matters worse in the city. Numerous complaints have been lodged by citizens. However, nothing concrete has been done towards alleviating the situation, which is hurting the city’s infrastructure. The report is addressed to the office of the mayor in a bid to arrive at an amicable solution.

A detailed account of the problem is provided by elaborating on the actual roads affected by DART’s heavy duty buses. An analysis of some of the solutions to similar problems is provided. The same forms the basis of the recommendations made to the city of Dallas. A schedule for the implementation of the proposal is also provided. The report concludes by acknowledging the importance of urban transport that takes into consideration local infrastructure. It is expected that the report will help improve the work of policy makers in the city. The information contained in this proposal was sourced from the local library, documents from the mayor’s office, and records from DART offices.

The Problem: Increased Potholes in Residential Areas

Residential Areas in Dallas

The city is home to many people from different walks of life. It is divided into residential, commercial, and industrial zones. According to Cramphorn and Davies (2004), such areas require a working road infrastructure. The infrastructure is expected to be sufficient to address the needs of the occupants living there.

The city of Dallas consists of 8 different locations, which make up the total population in the neighborhood. DART is forced to come up with enough buses to cover all these places. However, there are certain instances where a bus passes through residential areas. Apart from downtown Dallas, most of the other parts of the city are used as living quarters. When a bus has to access such areas, its capacity should correspond with the existing infrastructure.

Bus Schedules

DART is a public transport system that is fully funded by the city of Dallas. Most residents expect to be provided by a bus schedule to indicate how the network serves the entire city. The same is essential in ensuring that people are able to move from one point to another with ease. The existing bus schedules are structured to respond to prevailing traffic situations. Most of the routes are designed to move people from residential areas to the city. There are very few routes connecting residential neighborhoods.

DART operates different types of buses depending on the routes and distance between downtown Dallas and a given destination. There are instances where buses go all the way to Hamptons. They operate throughout the week. There are local, suburban, cross-town, express, and D-link buses. Each of these vehicles has a designated route that it is expected to operate within. The movement of these buses is determined by the volume of the passengers in the morning and late at night.

Potholes

Hull (2008) is of the opinion that city planning should factor in the disparities in the quality of roads between highways and access streets in residential areas. In such areas, roads are built for low capacity vehicles. Unfortunately, in Dallas, there is a surge in the number of high capacity buses passing through residential areas. An example is route 42. The most affected areas include the street joining Rugged Drive and Edgefield Avenue.

The road has buckled under the pressure of the heavy capacity buses using this route. Cracks and potholes start to develop. Most motorists complain about endless swerving to avoid hitting the said potholes. The situation is compounded by the frequency with which the buses use the streets. The public service vehicles make approximately 30 trips daily along these streets. Whenever high capacity vehicles use roads in residential areas, damages like potholes are inevitable (Hull, 2008)

Effects

The potholes resulting from the high capacity buses have ruined many roads in the area. The cracks and potholes, as already cited, are some of the physical effects of this unregulated use of roads. Information from the mayor’s office reveals that the pothole problem has a ripple effect on the larger community. For example, motorists spend many hours on the highways due to accidents and traffic jams. The dust emanating from these potholes may lead to an outbreak of respiratory diseases in the area. Many residents have made such complaints to the city’s transport office. Unfortunately, no solution has been provided so far.

Solutions

Regardless of the magnitude of a problem afflicting a society or an organization, there is always a solution. The situation in the city of Dallas is not unique. There are potential solutions to address the issues. Considering the numerous complaints made by the residents, it is important for the city authorities to come up with ideas to address the situation. The only way to come up with a solution is to develop an all-inclusive program for the city. Dialogue is one way of bringing together all stakeholders (Banister, 2008).

According to Hull (2008), the city officials should call for a stakeholders meeting. In this case, the interested parties include leaders (like the mayor), professionals, and the general public. The officials at the mayor’s office may argue that it is not possible to bring all the stakeholders together given their diverse interests. However, this can be resolved by engaging all of them directly.

Cramphorn and Davies (2004) argue that the stakeholders in the industry can agree on suitable routes. As such, officials can come up with a route that respects the size of the roads in residential areas. The same would require the city authorities to develop less frequent traffic schedules, especially for areas where the streets are narrow. Caution, however, is necessary with regards to the temptation to halt the operations of high capacity buses. Such a knee-jerk reaction can be costly owing to the value of the fleet of buses. Phasing out buses should be a gradual process.

The management at DART should consider making contributions to the road levy. The funding for roads is currently sourced from taxes imposed on the pump stations. However, since the money is mostly used to construct new roads, the city should consider deducting a given amount from DART’s income to repair the roads (Banister, 2008). DART may object this move, citing that the roads are under the care of the city’s authorities. However, the agency should be reminded that it is responsible for most of the damages witnessed. Such a recommendation is made against the backdrop of inclusivity. The same implies that fares should be adjusted to meet this intended comfort.

Hull (2008) is of the opinion that urban areas should have a wide array of transport options. Thus, the city of Dallas should consider other modes of mass transport like trains. Such an endeavor would reduce the number of passengers who rely on buses. In addition, the move will reduce traffic on the road. Opponents may argue that this is an expensive venture. However, in such situations, it is important to enlighten members of the public on the long term benefits of the plan (Cramphorn & Davies, 2004).

Recommendations

Infrastructure is a vital aspect of any given society. As such, mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that roads and other infrastructures are maintained to serve the citizens well. The report appreciates the efforts made by DART to enhance transport in the city. The agency ensures that people are able to move from one part of Dallas to the other. However, the authorities should not ignore the road network in carrying out their mandate. The recommendations made here are meant to provide the mayor and the city’s transport department with ideas on how to minimize road damage in residential areas.

Improving Communication

The picture illustrated by the neglected residential roads and the pothole problem is enough proof of poor communication. Banister (2008) points out that an effective transport policy is one that brings together the citizens and the city authorities. As such, dialogue and effective communication is one way of improving the transport sector. Consequently, this report suggests that the city authorities should come up with an efficient communication network.

Most of the suburban roads are aged. What this means is that complaints made by the citizens with regards to road maintenance are not heeded by the council. The streets are easily damaged by high capacity vehicles. Improved communication between the authorities and the citizens will ensure that issues to do with maintenance are resolved quickly. The same would reduce instances where roads are left for long without repairs. The mayor’s office may complain that it is expensive to set up a communication network. However, the expense cannot be compared to a situation where roads get damaged beyond repair.

Reduced Bus Trips

The high capacity buses make frequent trips in any given day. In some cases, they can make 30 trips in a span of 24 hours. Considering the poor state of the roads, the risks of damage are high. As such, DART should consider reviewing the number of journeys made to residential areas. Consequently, this report recommends that the number of trips be reduced from 30 to 15. Reduction in the frequency of high capacity vehicles on the road is a sure way of minimizing damage like potholes and cracks (Edvardsson, 2009). To achieve this, the bus company should concentrate on ferrying people during the rush hours.

Upgrading the Roads

The high percentage of cracks and potholes on the said roads is partly due to their age. Most roads in Dallas are old. The damage is worsened when high capacity buses use them. Such a situation calls for upgrades on the road network. To this effect, this report recommends that the city of Dallas should carry out a major upgrade of all the roads in the residential areas. The city officials should consider the construction of roads. According to Edvardsson (2004), such roads can easily withstand damage.

Other Forms of Mass Transport

Considering the expansion of the population living in Dallas, the city should adopt other forms of transport. Vehicles have a wear and tear effect on the road. However, if high capacity machines like buses are gradually phased out, this wear and tear would reduce. One way of achieving this is through the use of alternative means of public transport. It is recommended that the city should consider the introduction of trains and other forms of transport. Mass transport systems like trains are characterized by few trips with high numbers of passengers (Banister, 2008). Consequently, pressure on the roads would be eased by the infrequent use by high capacity buses.

Schedule

Road Upgrade: 5 years

It is not possible to carry out the suggested upgrade in one phase. As a result of this, this report proposes a schedule for the implementation of this recommendation. The authorities should take one year to create public awareness about the plan. After this, the city should be subdivided into four regions within which upgrades will be carried out at intervals of one year. Such a move would make sure that within five years, all the roads in Dallas meet the required standards.

New Rail System: 5 years

The recommendation of setting up an alternative means of transport is made with the assumption that the new system will complement the bus transport network. It is an expensive undertaking. As such, it is advisable to introduce the trains in phases. The current report proposes that the city should come up with a working plan and start seeking out investors. That process should take one year. Once a deal is struck, feasibility studies should be carried out within 1 year to settle on the right route. The construction should take a maximum of 3 years

Conclusion

The city of Dallas is home to many people who directly rely on its infrastructure. Roads are the preferred means of transport. However, the increased inflow of high capacity buses to residential areas has resulted in severe damage to the roads. The existing potholes are an indication that the road policy in the city needs to be addressed. The recommendations made in this report acknowledge the need for reforms in the city’s infrastructure. The potholes continue to affect motorists. They also impact negatively on the economy at large. If the recommendations made in this report are implemented, the city of Dallas will be the largest beneficiary.

References

Banister, D. (2008). The sustainable mobility program. Transport Policy, 15(2), 73-80. Web.

Cramphorn, B., & Davies, R. (2004). The social impact of roads. Australian Planner, 41(3), 46-47. Web.

Edvardsson, K. (2009). Gravel roads and dust suppression. Road Materials and Pavement Design, 10(3), 439-469. Web.

Fairbank, K. (2012). Heavy DART bus worsens pothole problems on aging residential street. Web.

Hull, A. (2008). Policy integration: What it will take to achieve more sustainable transport solutions in cities. Transport Policy, 15(2), 94-103. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, May 29). The Transport System in the City of Dallas. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-transport-system-in-the-city-of-dallas/

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"The Transport System in the City of Dallas." IvyPanda, 29 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-transport-system-in-the-city-of-dallas/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Transport System in the City of Dallas." May 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-transport-system-in-the-city-of-dallas/.


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IvyPanda. "The Transport System in the City of Dallas." May 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-transport-system-in-the-city-of-dallas/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Transport System in the City of Dallas." May 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-transport-system-in-the-city-of-dallas/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Transport System in the City of Dallas'. 29 May.

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