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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The City of El Paso is concerned with the fast growing northwest area and the proposed roadway
improvements by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on Loop 375 between IH-10 and Paseo
del Norte. This report has been prepared to present the traffic impact that the Westside Master Plan will have
on the proposed crossing points along Loop 375, in particular Paseo del Norte, Plexxar, and the surrounding
roadway network. Phase 1 of the study included traffic impact analysis using the existing land use proposed
in the Westside Master Plan and was submitted as a separate report. The City of El Paso approved the
Smart Code Ordinance in 2008 in order to encourage mixed use development and discourage automobile
dependent development by creating accessible land use patterns that introduce and encourage transit,
pedestrian, and cyclist oriented development. Phase 1B of this traffic study will use the same alternatives
included under Phase 1, except a 20% reduction in trip production and trip attraction for the Westside
Master Plan traffic analysis zones will be applied in the TransCAD model as an estimation of what is
expected to occur if smart code principles are applied in the Westside Master Plan.

The two alternatives considered in this study are:


• Alternative 1, which includes a full signalized diamond interchange at Paseo del Norte and a stop
controlled interchange at Plexxar on Loop 375. TxDOT schematic designs of these two interchanges
were provided to Walter P Moore.
• Alternative 2, which does not include an interchange at Loop 375 at Paseo del Norte and
incorporates Plexxar as a signalized interchange with an east-to-west turnaround. In this option,
Plexxar will extend south of Loop 375 and will connect with Paseo del Norte Rd. In addition, Loop
375 will have ramps east of Plexxar to allow traffic to enter or exit from Loop 375.
Both alternatives include the 2025 full-build forecasted conditions for the study area based on the land use
seen in the Westside Master Plan.

Because smart code land use is currently not coded in the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s TransCAD
model, the technique used for Phase 1B included a 20% reduction to the trip production and trip attraction
factors in the traffic analysis zones for the Westside Master Plan area. Furthermore, the 20% trip reduction
factor that was used for Phase 1B is an estimation of what is expected to occur with smart code
development based on research. TransCAD calculated the traffic volumes for the intersections in the study
area, which was then imported into Synchro to obtain intersection levels of service for the study area.

The approach in this study is not to state that we can achieve any specific reduction in trip production and
trip attraction at the regional level. Instead, the study is a what-if scenario for a level of trip reduction that may

Westside Traffic Impact Analysis – Phase 1B


El Paso, Texas Page 1
be achievable if a combination of smart code and aggressive demand management is used in the Westside
Master Plan area.

The pros and cons of each alternative are presented in the following summary table.

Alternative 1
PROS CONS
Provides north-south connection of Paseo del Norte Requires grade separation for Loop 375 at Paseo del
at Loop 375 Norte interchange
Provides important alternate north/south roadway in Traffic generated from the use of the Paseo del Norte
the Westside Master Plan to relieve future traffic on interchange will require left and right-turn bays along
Resler and Northwestern as the area develops Paseo del Norte throughout the corridor for added
capacity
Provides connection from IH-10 to Loop 375 without Traffic prefers to use Paseo del Norte as the main
using the IH-10/Loop 375 Interchange arterial to arrive/depart from the study area and
Resler is underutilized
Provides north-south circulation without the use of The intersection of Paseo del Norte at Loop 375 will
any freeways or frontage roads have high vehicular traffic and will operate above
capacity regardless of the trip reduction
The freeway design will remain as proposed in the
TxDOT Schematics. No additional right-of-way will
be required
The freeway design in this alternative includes
frontage roads that will provide access to the
proposed commercial areas adjacent to Loop 375
The grade separated intersections will allow traffic to
move freely with fewer interruptions and less conflicts
between traffic movements which will reduce the
capacity for accidents.
Provides an entrance and exit ramp between Resler
and Paseo del Norte for both directions of travel
The Paseo del Norte roadway alignment can be built
with minimal impact to geological features and
arroyos, as studied in the Westside Master Plan
The majority of the intersections along Paseo del
Norte in the Westside Master Plan area will operate
below capacity and some at capacity
No significant change is seen between Phase 1 and
Phase 1B for this alternative

Westside Traffic Impact Analysis – Phase 1B


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Alternative 2
PROS CONS
Traffic disperses among all north-south connections The alignment of Plexxar south of Loop 375 may
east of IH 10. This behavior allows most intersections have a negative impact to the arroyos and difficult to
to operate below capacity build. This analysis did not study the location of
arroyos or other geological features
All intersections inside the study area operate below Plexxar will have to be designed as a full interchange
capacity due to the expected trip reduction applied to function at acceptable levels of service.
through the use of smart code
Paseo del Norte traffic coming from IH 10 splits at its Additional right of way will be required to
intersection with Resler. Some traffic continues on accommodate the interchange footprint.
Paseo del Norte and some use Resler causing both
roadways to operate at capacity.
Overall roadway level of service improves. Distance between the Resler Interchange and
Plexxar does not meet required standards to allow
entrance and exit ramps in each direction of travel.
There will be an eastbound entrance ramp and a
westbound exit ramp between Resler and Plexxar.
Vehicles will have to exit at Resler to get to the
Plexxar interchange traveling east on Loop 375
There will be no frontage roads east of Plexxar.
Proposed commercial areas fronting Loop 375 will
not have access. Alternative access routes to these
areas will need to be provided
Because of the distance between Resler and
Plexxar, the freeway structure will be mostly
elevated.
North-south through movements for the area must
use Northwestern, Resler, or Plexxar
Future development along Resler will generate
additional traffic and cause Resler to operate at over
capacity.

As land use changes and growth occurs in the study area, the TransCAD model will need to be reviewed.
Any socio-economic data or changes in the proposed land use will impact the results shown in this study. It
may be appropriate to repeat this study with an equivalent scope if any of the projected data in the
Metropolitan Planning Organization model is modified and updated.

This methodology of this study was to reduce trip production and attraction based on the existing land use
map. A shift to Smart Code would likely result in significant revisions to the land use map. Any such
revisions should be modeled using the current regional transportation planning model.

Westside Traffic Impact Analysis – Phase 1B


El Paso, Texas Page 3