Jun 7, 2023 - Transit

Dallas could get $90M from DART for sidewalk and road projects

Illustration of Dallas City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Dallas could receive $90 million from Dallas Area Rapid Transit's excess tax revenue to spend on key transportation projects in the city, including sidewalk and road improvements.

Why it matters: The combination of increased tax revenue and federal COVID-19 relief money is giving many North Texas cities the funding to tackle long-delayed maintenance.

State of play: Dallas is missing 2,000 miles of sidewalks, and about half of its current sidewalks need updating. And the city lacks adequate curb ramps to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

  • City officials say they need about $54 million to add the curb ramps. The city is missing more than 1,700 necessary ramps.

By the numbers: Most of the DART money would go toward adding the ramps, per city staff. Also:

  • $10 million would go toward the priority projects in the city's sidewalk master plan.
  • $6 million would increase the annual budget for traffic lane markings.
  • $2 million would go toward a bike lane pilot program.

What they're saying: Improving infrastructure is key to drawing development to areas that desperately need more housing. But many of the city's neighborhoods, particularly in Southern Dallas, lack basic necessities, such as lighting and sidewalks.

  • "When a developer is looking to build housing, they're going to have to pay for that infrastructure for sidewalks and streets and lights and water and wastewater, and that's expensive," Real Estate Council president Linda McMahon tells Axios.

Timeline: It will be years before the effects of the excess tax revenue are seen.

  • Proposed projects should be submitted to DART for review by Jan. 31.
  • Construction and design contracts must be awarded by Feb. 28, 2025.
  • The projects should be largely finished by Jan. 30, 2026.

What's next: The City Council will be briefed on the excess tax revenue today.

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