Dallas readies for big traffic challenges with NCAA crowds
City officials tell transit officials to expect 100K people a day
DALLAS — They always say everything is bigger in Texas, and with the NCAA Final Four taking place in Arlington this week, the traffic jams will likely also be bigger.
“Traffic is pretty ornery in Dallas,” said Mark Ball, a spokesperson for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
Most every day, a half a million cars use the highways in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This week that number will be higher because of the visitors in town for the Final Four.
There are also 13 other large events taking place in the area that will place an even greater burden on transportation. Three large concerts, a NASCAR race, the state’s largest beer festival and eight other large events take place at the same time.
“We think we’re prepared for 100,000 people a day. The city of Dallas is telling us to expect 100,000 people,” Ball said.
In response, DART is asking people to utilize public transportation. DART has built the largest light rail system in North America. Used in conjunction with bus and shuttle services, officials hope the impact will be lessened on highway traffic.
“For this particular weekend, knowing it is a four-day event, DART is adding additional trains. We’re putting additional cars on each of our trains. We are also extending our service beyond midnight, and then we have also incorporated shuttles,” Ball said.
He is confident the infrastructure is in place to handle a very big week in the Big D.
“Texas does have that can-do spirit, and things are bigger, including our interchanges and our largest light rail system,” Ball said.