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Growing Travel Options
Mobility is key to keeping Legacy West competitive
Within two years, more than 15,000 people will be working in Legacy West, making the entire Legacy Business Park one of the largest employment centers in the state. Traffic is already a major issue in West Plano and the city predicts it will get worse.
Toyota Motor North America's new corporate headquarters and regional headquarters for both Liberty Mutual and JPMorgan Chase are all due for completion later this year. Developer Gaedeke Group has built One Legacy West, a 14-story office tower, and The Karahan Companies is creating the mixed-use Legacy West urban village.
Study assessed traffic conditions
Plano, DART and Collin County collaborated to fund the Plano Legacy Business Area Mobility Study to better understand the challenges that come with this growth. Consultants from Kimley-Horn researched both traffic conditions and commuter opinions. They found that most of the people in the Legacy business area are office employees commuting by car to work.
DART's March 2017 bus service improvements in the Legacy Business Park are one tactic to help reduce the number of vehicles on the roadways. To complement that step, Plano's Transportation Engineering division is retiming the traffic lights citywide to synchronize traffic flow and reduce the number of accidents that cause backups and delays.
The city is actively promoting greater use of DART's bus and rail services, as well as other traffic management strategies like staggered commute times, vanpools and car sharing. But these proposals will require buy-in by employers and employees alike.
"As Collin County continues to grow, it is imperative that businesses continue to encourage employees to seek transportation solutions through public transit, ride sharing or a multimodal approach. Businesses in Plano have been leading the charge in this area," said Jamee Jolly, president/CEO of the Plano Chamber of Commerce.
Commute matters when attracting talent
Jolly said she believes that good public transportation and walkable communities will play a large role in attracting the next generation of employers and employees to the city.
Justin Roche, general manager at The Shops at Legacy, echoed those sentiments. The tremendous job growth is increasing competition for quality employees, and, according to Roche, DART's expanded bus service will allow shops and restaurants to draw from an employee pool made larger by more transportation options.
"Improvements to the public transit system means that more people - customers, visitors, employees and residents - can easily enjoy all that The Shops at Legacy and the Legacy area have to offer," Roche said.
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