Below are years of extensive traffic study data, citizen input data and Weatherford General Plan data to explain how the project was developed and how it led to today's plan for the future of downtown.
Citizen Downtown Action Plan
A Downtown Action Plan was developed by the public and adopted by council in 2013. The document serves as the catalyst for efforts to energize downtown and reinforce traditional main street values and concepts. With a strategy in place, Weatherford announced funding for the design and construction of a northern by-pass for east/west through traffic on US Highway 180 March 9, 2018. Funding partners for the project include the North Central Texas Council of Governments and the Texas Department of Transportation.
2018 Weatherford General Plan
Planning is a basic and important activity for any person, family, business or community with a vision of the future they want to achieve. It is even more essential for those who hope to realize their vision but whose resources of time or money are limited. A city plans so it can be efficient in the way it uses its limited resources, particularly financial, and so it can be effective in creating the community its residents, businesses and taxpayers want. Planning creates the road map for the quality of life and economic vitality that keep a community successful. Weatherford’s General Plan describes the type of community today’s residents and stakeholders want to enjoy in the future. It presents the community’s vision for its future and establishes the overall principles the City will follow in making decisions that help realize that vision. Policies and criteria in the General Plan should be followed in City decisions on rezoning and development proposals, capital projects and public programs and investments. The General Plan also lists the priorities for short‐term action to implement the Plan’s policies. These statements – from the broadest vision to the most specific action step – give everyone in the community a shared approach to achieving Weatherford’s best possible future.
The 2013 Thoroughfare Plan (T-Plan) included special area planning and travel forecast modeling performed by the North Central Texas council of Governments (NCTCOG) that is based on land use and population growth for Weatherford and the surrounding area to the year 2035. The model indicates that traffic near downtown could be as high as 27,000 vehicles a day along US Highway 180 through downtown. Current traffic along US Highway 180 near the downtown area is 14,000 vehicles a day. The model also assumes that the complete outer loop is in place. The 2013 plan recommends providing a northern by-pass for east/west through traffic on US Highway 180. Adopted updates to the plan from 2019-2020 include a southern leg (phase 2) to the by-pass.
Transportation Plan Modeling
In 2013, Freese and Nichols assisted the City of Weatherford in the update of the Thoroughfare Plan. That Plan, which was vetted through the Transportation Advisory Board and a public hearing with the City Council, was unanimously adopted on April 9, 2013 (Ordinance 616-2013-10). Supporting documentation
and plan mapping was submitted prior to and presented as part of the public hearing.
The plan document contains supporting information to the derivation of the plan including; the issues affecting Weatherford transportation, thoroughfare goals and objectives, growth factors affecting projected network conditions, and thoroughfare planning. The study concluded with an economic benefit analysis defining value capture of specific corridors and a capital improvements program defining prioritized projects for implementation.