Five stories that have North Texas talking: About 50 people protested the Dakota Access pipeline Tuesday in Dallas; SMU climbed the highest among state universities in new U.S. rankings; Chief David Brown sings Leon Bridges; and more.
If you had to sit in traffic among Houston, Austin or Dallas, which would you choose? Before you answer, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently updated its list of the 100 most congested roadways in the state. If you were to focus on the top 10 roadways alone, Dallas might be the most favorable option.
Of the top 10 congested roadways, six are in Harris County and that includes No. 1. Drivers braving that one particular segment of I-610 in Houston collectively experience more than 1 million hours of delay per mile each year. So, that's definitely out. A Travis County roadway only appears once in the top 10, but it's the necessarily evil of I-35, and it has similar annual delay as Houston. Next.
So, Dallas has three congested roadways in the the top 1 percent of this list. I-635 ranks seventh and I-35 between State Highway 183 and I-30 ranks eighth. Finally, Woodall Rodgers Freeway between U.S. 75 and North Beckley Avenue is the worst congested road in Dallas at No. 4. If it's any consolation, the annual delay was only 748,546 hours per mile. Here's how TxDOT determined the results. [TxDOT]
- About fifty people protested in Dallas Tuesday against the Dakota Access pipeline. Demonstrators lined the sidewalks at the corner of Preston Road and Forest Lane, chanting and waving at the occasional driver who honked in support, The Dallas Morning News reports. As a “national day of action,” protesters rallied around the country against the Dallas-based company behind the project, Energy Transfer Partners. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota says the pipeline will cut through sacred sites and have a negative impact on drinking water. The tribe's effort to temporarily block construction near its reservation was denied on Friday. [The Dallas Morning News]
- Dallas Police Chief David Brown sang Leon Bridges' "River." On Tuesday, Shelly Slater of WFAA asked soon-to-be-retired David Brown to sing a song to celebrate the end of his 33 years on the Dallas police force. Brown, known to love Stevie Wonder, obliged and sang a few verses of 'River," a ballad by Fort Worth phenom, Leon Bridges. [WFAA]
- SMU climbed the most spots among Texas universities in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report college rankings. The private university ranked at No. 56, five notches better than last year. The school is tied with the University of Texas at Austin as the second-best school in the state. Rice University in Houston prevailed at No. 15, up three spots from last year. Overall, Texas’ private universities performed better than public universities, which all dropped in their rankings from last year. Texas Tech University had the biggest fall, dropping eight spots to 176. [U.S. News and World Report, The Texas Tribune]
- Paul Quinn College in Dallas was featured by PBS Newshour for turning its football field into a farm. Nine years ago, the historically black college in southern Dallas wasn’t winning its football games; it was facing a financial crisis, and its graduation rate was 1 percent. So, President Michael Sorrell took a life-saving risk and transformed the unaffordable football field into an organic farm that that generates more than 20,000 pounds of organic vegetables every year that are used in high-end restaurants and the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium. [PBS Newshour]