Smart City Boost: Agency Adds Broadband to its Transportation Solutions Toolkit

Brookings Institution noted that metro traffic congestion was cut in half after COVID-19 hit in 2020, attributing it largely to employees working virtually from home, and more flexible work schedules (though government stay-at-home orders figured prominently as well).

The think tank has also reported that 18 million households in rural and urban America are without broadband internet service, which allows streaming of data for smart devices.

Considering those factors, the DFW region’s metropolitan planning organization recently informally adopted the policy of funding projects that extend access to broadband internet to underserved communities, while lessening traditional traffic flow.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments transportation director Michael Morris took a moment to note that in its March 10 vote, the Regional Transportation Council wasn’t just funding six projects for $11.3 million: It was endorsing a larger idea.

“If you approve this today, you are creating a legal foundation that technology is a transportation mode and should be defined as such” by federal law, Morris said.