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Planning and Environment Linkages


Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) represent an approach to transportation decision-making that considers environmental, community, and economic goals early in the planning stage and carries them through project development, design, and construction.

This can lead to a seamless decision-making process that minimizes duplication of effort, promotes environmental stewardship, and reduces delays in project implementation.

With increased emphasis on transportationís role/impact on the environmental, community, and economic well-being of the region. The continuous introduction and consideration of environmental topics such as climate change emphasizes the important linkages between the long-range transportation planning process and environmental planning.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is working to implement PEL efforts in consultation with resource agencies. Consultation efforts are conducted at Transportation Resource Agency Consultation and Environmental Streamlining or TRACES meetings that offer both transportation and environmental planning professionals a forum to develop consensus on environmental and transportation aspects of long-range transportation plans.

This site is designed to provide information, gather feedback, and establish a forum for communication and collaboration to enhance the consideration of environmental impacts during the transportation planning process.


The Regional Transportation Council recently established the Environmental Stewardship Program to involve residents and businesses in an endeavor to improve the quality of life for all of North Texas.

The RTC set aside $1.6 million to begin the stewardship program and is seeking help from the private sector to raise an additional $1.6 million. The program would fund wetlands, tree planting and environmental stewardship efforts in North Texas, a region where ten counties are in nonattainment for ozone pollution. This fact means transportation planners must balance environmental concerns with mobility issues when pursuing improvements to the transportation system.

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The public can assist in this effort by taking a short survey seeking information on priorities and potential funding opportunities.
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The initial projects are:

  • Engineering for Southwest Water Gardens in Dallas, a project that could enhance flood control along the old Trinity River channel while providing a public amenity.
  • Trees for the Neighbor Woods Program, a partnership with the Texas Trees Foundation to enhance the tree canopy in Dallas.
  • Effort to plant more trees in the Lancaster/Hemphill-Lamar corridor in Fort Worth, thereby easing the potential heat-island effects of urban development.
  • Engineering assistance for wetland design at Lake Worth.
  • A regional education campaign for the Environmental Stewardship Program.
  • A regional map-based tree inventory to be developed by NCTCOG and available for public use.


Program Goals
Legislative Basis
PEL Resources


Recent TRACES Meetings:

June 17, 2015


Resource Agency Coordination:

Resource Agency Coordination and Consultation


Ecosystem-Based Planning Projects:
Implementing Eco-Logical - Next Phase of REF Development

Regional Ecosystem Framework Development and Final Report

Transportation Plans:

The Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP)

Regional Tolling Analysis



Program Contacts: Sandy Wesch, P.E., AICP, Project Engineer

                                   Kendall Wendling, AICP, Senior Transportation Planner


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 North Central Texas Council of Governments | 616 Six Flags Drive P.O. Box 5888 Arlington, TX 76005-5888
 Main Operator: (817) 640-3300 | Fax: (817) 640-7806