Transit Policy Proposals
Creating, supporting, and improving a multimodal transportation system would be a top priority for me as Mayor of Fort Worth. This would include multiple actions aligned with the mission of Tarrant Transit Alliance, including educating, empowering and mobilizing our community to promote transit. One top action would be to ensure we are prepared to take advantage of the current Federal administration's $2T funding for infrastructure projects, including mass transit, especially rail. Fort Worth needs a piece of that, and we can’t let another opportunity to provide improved transit options slip through our fingers. A multimodal transit system that offers options and choices for residents and visitors of the city is what residents and visitors to any world-class city expect. This is not about forcing any one mode on people; it’s about choice and opportunity.
While personally I believe the main benefits of a multimodal transit system involve issues of safety, equity, and environmental quality, the financial/economic benefits are also persuasive. For every $1 invested in public transportation, approximately $4 in economic returns are generated. For every ten million dollars of transit investment made, business sales increase by thirty million dollars. In addition, residential property near high-frequency transit service is more valuable, which means cities reap greater tax revenues. Transit agencies also employ people themselves, as well as help people get to their jobs. I support transit-oriented development and infrastructure that supports transit and transit-oriented development in appropriate locations. All of this benefits existing businesses and the potential growth of these businesses, as well as attracting new businesses to our city. More and more businesses looking to relocate will include the availability of public transit as an important criteria in their move decision. For example, the Amazon 2 Headquarters decision.
In addition to economic benefits, public transportation reduces air pollution, increases aggregate fuel efficiency, reduces congestion, saves money, increases mobility, frees up time and is safer. These factors also improve equity in our community, providing mobility to our neighbors who need access to jobs and educational opportunities.
Complete Streets / Vision Zero
The recently adopted Complete Streets and Vision Zero policies are right on target - they're moving us in the right direction towards improving our transportation system. Fort Worth has a pedestrian fatality rate of 2.8/100K. By this measure, we are the 44th most dangerous place to walk in America (of the 200 largest cities). We can and should do better. I support the Safe Systems approach to street safety. We must have the foresight to design our streets to accommodate ALL users, be they on foot, in their vehicle, on a bike or utilizing public transit.
We should strive to create as many walkable neighborhoods as possible, where residents are within a 15-minute walk to employment, healthy food, medical care, education, entertainment and leisure activities. With these policies in place, we can build new streets, rehab existing streets, and incentivize land uses and development with a multimodal transit design that further realizes the necessary components to develop a system that serves all.
Fort Worth is the 10th most sprawling city in the country. Sprawl forces us to drive farther for less, which in turn, adds pollution, reduces greenspace, and encourages us to walk/bike less. Many neighborhoods in Fort Worth have been hollowed out by sprawl-inducing highways. I support targeted investment and increased density in key areas to create walkable communities, especially around TRE and TexRail stations for those who desire a more urban living environment. I support reinvesting in existing communities where we already have good infrastructure and let the proceeds accrue to residents, particularly in areas where we can prioritize access to rail options.
Mayor Price embraced cycling, as such, we now have an impressive and growing network of bike lanes. Our bike lanes must adequately protect our citizens who use them. I want to take cycling to the next level and create greenways that touch every neighborhood in town. I want it to be possible for all of us to hop on a bike and catch a bike path or park within a reasonable distance.