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Friday, March 03, 2006

More Wright Amendment Push-Polling - This Time By Mail

(Refer to my earlier post on a pro-Wright telephone poll.)

A reader sent me a PDF file (size: 720K) of a recent survey mailed out to Dallas residents by MASTERPLAN, a local firm that, as stated here, "provides professional consultation to businesses, individuals, utilities and government agencies in all matters relating to land use, including zoning, subdivisions, building permits and other development approvals."

The accompanying "Wright Amendment Background" sheet lists negative aspects of expanded flights to and from Love Field that fall within the consulting firm's domain of expertise - specifically, expected increases in both noise levels and traffic congestion. The quiz itself has five questions. Two inquire about driving habits. The other three are:

  • If additional vehicular traffic congestion is a result of changes to the Wright Amendment, which three alternate routes would you use to avoid congestion on the major thoroughfares in the Love Field Airport area?
  • The Institute of Transportation Engineers calculates that each commercial flight per day results in 150 trip ends on a typical weekday. Do you believe the thoroughfares can accommodate the resulting increase in airport related traffic? Additionally, do you believe the benefits of additional destinations from Love Field justify the increase in additional traffic?
  • In 2001 representatives from Love Field area neighborhood groups, airlines, general aviation operators, City of Dallas officials and others developed the Love Field Master Plan. This document was based on the premise that the Wright Amendment would remain intact. Now that the Wright Amendment has been altered and compromised the validity of the Love Field Master Plan, would you favor the City of Dallas adopting a new master plan for the airport?

If killing the Wright Amendment means less air traffic for DFW and more for Love Field, then if MASTERPLAN's prognostications are correct, that means more noise and traffic for the Love Field area in Dallas and less for the suburbs that border DFW: Euless, Grapevine, Coppell, a tiny sliver of Fort Worth, and my native Irving. Nobody's polling me about the impact of federal aviation regulation on my work commutes.

The fears of increased traffic directly to Love Field assume that the additional customers would be parking at the current parking facilities. MASTERPLAN doesn't consider the possibility that remote parking away from the Love Field area could be built. (As this map shows, Love Field has no direct freeway access; remote parking on the freeway would be a good idea now, if it doesn't already exist.) Nor has it factored in the (probably small) percentage that would rely on Dallas Area Rapid Transit to get to Love and require no parking at all.

Take another look at that map. You'll notice that Texas Stadium is only four miles west of Love. In a few years Jerry Jones will have built his new stadium in Arlington. Maybe Love could appropriate some of that parking space?

Update: MASTERPLAN's client list includes American Airlines. But not Southwest Airlines.

The firm's home page has a direct link to a propaganda letter issued by Dan Garton, Executive Vice President of American Airlines. For a differing opinion, here's Southwest chairman Herb Kelleher's testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee's Subcommittee on Aviation (November 10, 2005).

Update: Welcome Virginia Postrel readers!

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