The local news reports today are full of information about the population growth throughout the North Texas region according to new data just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to reports, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area experienced the third greatest increase from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013, gaining an additional 108,112 people over a twelve month period as a result of a combination of births, and both domestic and international migration to the area.
Tarrant County alone actually had the eighth-largest increase in the nation (30,000 people).
Over the past three-year period, Tarrant County grew by 5.6 percent (102,004 people), Dallas County grew by 4.8 percent (112,695) percent, Denton County grew by 10 percent (66,195 people), and Collin County grew by 9.3 percent (72,437 people).
Of course, as the population in the DFW area increases, so too will the number of motor vehicles on our already-congested roads. Inevitably, this means the number – and severity – of auto collisions in DFW will also likely experience a significant increase. Data collected by TxDOT which corresponds with the population increase over the past few years demonstrates this.
In 2010, there were 3,060 deaths on Texas roads, but this had increased to 3,067 in 2011. In 2012, there was a significant increase of 10.82 percent (3,399 deaths). Motor vehicle traffic fatalities data for 2013 has not yet been published.
What does this mean for all of us currently living here in North Texas? Expect more congestion, more road construction designed to eventually (hopefully) ease that congestion, and more and more likelihood of being involved in a car wreck.
Based on the Census data, it seems unlikely that the number of people that call North Texas home will plateau or decrease any time soon. If that’s the case, then we must wonder whether the multi-year construction projects currently underway around the metroplex can really help to ease the congestion on our roads. Or will they need to start working on new improvements just as soon as the current projects are finally completed?
Maybe it is time for the powers that be to begin seriously considering a major public transport system that not just connects downtown Dallas and Fort Worth, but also the numerous suburbs that are home to commuters working in our cities. Surely that is the most efficient way forward to ease congestion, cut down on pollution, and make life a little bit more convenient for all of us.