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The Texas Department of Transportation, along with the City of Dallas and Dallas County, has released the results of its Dallas City Center Master Assessment Process (Dallas CityMAP). The goal of the 15-month study was aimed at assessing major urban interstate corridors immediately surrounding and entering the urban core of Dallas and how they can best integrate with the future vision of Dallas. 

“HNTB was thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking opportunity that will help shape the City of Dallas and how it connects citizens and infrastructure in the future,” said Mike Hegarty, PE, HNTB Dallas office leader and vice president. “By working closely with a variety of stakeholders and engaging the public, we have set a new standard for the role of holistic urban design and stakeholder engagement in shaping the future of urban transportation infrastructure that can be modeled around the country.”

HNTB led a multi-disciplinary team of consultants for TxDOT to deliver the CityMAP process. This included implementing a public engagement process that included conducting more than 80 one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders as well as organizing multiple public workshops and the creation of a website outlining the CityMAP process (www.dallascitymap.com). 

“CityMAP is the result of an unprecedented effort by TxDOT to gather public input about the future of downtown Dallas corridors and to lay out the 'art of the possible' even before any formal studies are started,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “An effort of this scale and scope has never been attempted before. In particular, I hope that it provides the impetus to reconnect southern Dallas neighborhoods that have been divided by poor transportation decisions in years past. It is time to rectify those divisions.”

HNTB provided scenarios exploring the “art of the possible” for future Dallas highway infrastructure with associated development opportunities to show how and where TxDOT, the City of Dallas, Dallas County and other stakeholders could direct monetary resources in order to make the freeway system a more functional part of the urban fabric and to create a more livable 21st century city for Dallas’ rapidly growing urban population. 

“CityMAP was about people, process and product,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Victor Vandergriff. “HNTB’s James Frye, Brandi Crawford and Dan Chapman led this extraordinary work and did so under intense pressure. They had to capture all of the competing interests and roads and we’re incredibly grateful for their work.”

Dallas CityMAP will ultimately be used to deliver key scenario alternatives for the development of future transportation and public and private infrastructure improving city connectivity and to evaluate funding priorities for TxDOT, the city and their partners. 

“I want to commend TxDOT in its new approach to operating in the urban environment,” said Dallas City Council Member Lee Kleinman. “This is not just about mobility through urban areas, but about how transportation can spur economic development, social equity and so much more.”

The project also will be used to help identify and guide future transportation, urban design, environmental planning and policy decisions by local, state and federal elected officials and other decision makers responsible for these corridors running through and around the urban core of Dallas.

“It has been an honor to work with TxDOT’s leadership and staff at all levels, the City of Dallas political leadership and staff and various stakeholders to gain input and help create a unique and innovative process to deliver a vision for the City’s urban corridors,” said James Frye, HNTB vice president and landscape architect. “We believe Dallas CityMAP responds directly to a wide variety of requests made by partner agencies, stakeholders and Dallas residents, and will help guide decision makers in deciding the future of Dallas’ urban freeway corridors through an open and  comprehensive approach.”

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Phil Armstrong rejoins HNTB as Central Division business development officer

Armstrong to help expand client service across 11 central and western states

 

Phil Armstrong, PE, has rejoined HNTB Corporation as Central Division business development officer and senior vice president. He returns to HNTB’s Dallas office, where he previously spent 13 years.

Armstrong has more than 37 years of industry experience, having managed or designed more than $1 billion in major highway improvements for departments of transportation and toll authorities over the course of his career. He also brings a comprehensive understanding of the toll industry and more than a decade of public-private partnership experience.

“We all feel very fortunate that Phil has rejoined HNTB. He will be a key leader in our continued focus on diversification of our services in Texas and throughout the firm,” said Tom Ellis, PE, HNTB Central Division president. “As HNTB continues to design, manage and provide financial assistance for infrastructure projects throughout the Central Division, Phil’s expertise will serve as a key component of our clients’ success.”

Armstrong’s focus includes expanding HNTB’s client service in multiple markets across central and western states. He has supported multiple projects in HNTB’s Central Division during his prior employment, including the design-build IH-35E Managed Lanes and SH 183 Projects in the Dallas area.

Most recently, Armstrong served as a senior vice president and senior program manager for another consulting firm. Armstrong earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kansas.

About HNTB
Named 2015 Design Firm of the Year by ENR Texas & Louisiana, HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure solutions firm serving public and private owners and construction contractors. With more than a century of service in the United States and Texas, HNTB continues to grow in size and service offerings to clients from nine office locations, currently employing approximately 400 full-time professionals in the state. HNTB understands the life cycle of infrastructure and addresses clients’ most complex technical, financial and operational challenges. Professionals nationwide deliver a full range of infrastructure-related services, including award-winning planning, design, program management and construction management. For more information, visit www.hntb.com.

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Americans overwhelmingly favor changes in land use and zoning regulations that encourage transit oriented development

HNTB America THINKS survey also shows Americans willing to pay higher mortgages and rents to live in transit-oriented areas

 
Nearly three in four Americans (73 percent) would support changes in land use or zoning regulations in their community that encourage transit oriented development, according to a new America THINKS national public opinion survey by HNTB Corporation.
 
The survey, “Transit Oriented Development in America,” found that more than half (55 percent) of Americans so value the ability to get to work and play without using a vehicle that they are willing to pay more for their mortgage or rent in order to have this option. This is especially true among millennials* who are much more willing to pay more each month than older Americans (70 percent versus 49 percent).  

The survey also found that the desire to live near public transportation has increased in the last five years among 29 percent of Americans. Millennials again take the lead with 36 percent who want to live near public transportation today more so than five years ago versus 25 percent of older Americans.

“The desire to more fully integrate lifestyle with mobility options is causing Americans to rethink their priorities about where they choose to live, and how they travel to work and play,” said Mike Sweeney, PE, HNTB senior vice president. “The willingness of people to pay more to live in a particular area in exchange for enhanced lifestyle and mobility options sends a clear message about the growing interest, value and importance of transit-oriented development. This fact will directly impact future decisions about the location and modes of transportation options that respond to these emerging trends.”

According to the Transit Oriented Development Institute, TOD is a compact development within easy walking distance of transit stations that contains a mix of uses such as housing, jobs, shops, restaurants and entertainment. They are centered on high quality train systems, which greatly reduce the need for driving and energy consumption by up to 85 percent.

The America THINKS survey found that more than four in five (83 percent) of all Americans were as or more interested in living near accessible public transportation than they were five years ago, including 76 percent of Americans living in rural areas.

Proximity is key. 
According to the survey, over half (51 percent) of Americans agree the availability of good public transportation increases their interest in moving to and living in a particular area.  Millennials are more likely to base their residence decisions on public transportation availability than older Americans (57 percent vs. 48 percent).

Similarly, almost half (47 percent) of Americans say being in close proximity to public transportation impacts choices about where they live, work and play. This is especially pronounced among millennials versus older Americans (54 percent vs. 44 percent).

The survey also found Americans believe numerous benefits result from transit-oriented development. These include reduced dependency on driving (57 percent); allowing residents to live, work and play in the same area (46 percent); reducing the area’s carbon footprint or negative environmental impact (44 percent); access to better life services and stimulating the local economy (both at 43 percent);  better access between urban and suburban areas (42 percent); access to better entertainment or recreational services (39 percent); access to better jobs (37 percent); and revitalizing urban areas (30 percent).

“Public transportation agencies as well as state and local governments are at the front line of responding to these changes. With thoughtful planning and creativity that could include private sector partnerships, they will have the ability to create exciting new opportunities that will enhance peoples’ lives and build new communities for the future,” Sweeney said.

Click here to download a related factsheet.


*Millennials:        Ages 18-34
Gen X    :        Ages 35-49
Baby Boomers:    Ages 50-68
Seniors:        Ages 69+
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Thandav Murthy joins HNTB as group director – federal services for North Texas

Murthy will brings technical expertise and leadership experience to HNTB

 

PLANO, Texas (May 14, 2015) – Thandav “RT” Murthy, PE, has joined HNTB Corporation as vice president and group director – federal services in the firm’s Plano office. He will guide HNTB’s team working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, General Services Administration and other federal agencies.

Murthy has more than 20 years of technical and leadership experience supporting civil engineering and program management projects across the United States, including award-winning levee projects in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

 “Our multidisciplinary North Texas team is committed to enhancing and revitalizing the region’s aging infrastructure,” said Mike Hegarty PE, North Texas office leader and vice president. “RT’s wide range of industry expertise with the federal government will provide our team with additional insights and practical knowledge to solve the region’s complex infrastructure needs.”

Prior to joining HNTB, Murthy served as infrastructure manager for the North Texas office of another engineering firm leading design, construction management, program management, environmental, alternate financing and advisory services.

Murthy earned two Master of Science degrees: one in geotechnical engineering from The University of British Columbia and one in structural engineering from the Indian Institute of Science. He earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Bangalore University.

About HNTB

HNTB Corporation is an employee-owned infrastructure solutions firm serving public and private owners and construction contractors. With more than a century of service in the United States and nearly 60 years in Texas, HNTB continues to grow in size and service offerings to clients from seven office locations, currently employing approximately 385 full-time professionals in the state. HNTB understands the life cycle of infrastructure and addresses clients’ most complex technical, financial and operational challenges. Professionals nationwide deliver a full range of infrastructure-related services, including award-winning planning, design, program management and construction management. For more information, visit www.hntb.com.

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Townview Students and HNTB Engineers Collaborate on Katy Trail Project

For the fourth year, HNTB engineers have partnered with DISD’s School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center to design solutions for the firm’s current Dallas infrastructure projects. During the 2014-2015 school year, engineers mentored students as they developed presentations, drawings, renderings and models of the newest Katy Trail segment. The resulting project – Katy Trail Phase VI: Trail and Mockingbird Lane Pedestrian Bridge – introduced high school students to careers in the Architectural, Engineering, and Planning (AEP) industry while also reinforcing academic STEM curriculum. 

 

(From L to R: Arely Alcantara, Emmanuel Edeko, Diego Lara, Jonathan Moreno, Beverly Balasu, Julia Kemper, Calvin Graham, Townview Science/Engineering Teacher Calvin Boykin, HNTB Graphic Designer Chas Foreman, HTNB Project Engineer Kyle Riley, HNTB Structural Engineer Michelle Browning, HNTB Director of Business Diversity & Development Audrey Andrews, HNTB Design Engineer George Cisneros.)

(From L to R: Arely Alcantara, Emmanuel Edeko, Diego Lara, Jonathan Moreno, Beverly Balasu, Julia Kemper, Calvin Graham, Townview Science/Engineering Teacher Calvin Boykin, HNTB Graphic Designer Chas Foreman, HTNB Project Engineer Kyle Riley, HNTB Structural Engineer Michelle Browning, HNTB Director of Business Diversity & Development Audrey Andrews, HNTB Design Engineer George Cisneros.)