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DALLAS-As the Texas Transportation Commission gets its hands on the Department of Transportation’s proposal to limit construction of frontage roads on some future projects, the Dallas real estate industry braces itself for the commission’s response to this very sore subject. Issues of access and congestion are the major points of contention for those involved.

The Department of Transportation contends its proposal is designed to improve the ease of driving on state highways, as well as enhance safety for drivers on those passages. “The plan would not affect existing frontage roads,” department spokesperson Gaby Garcia tells GlobesSt.com.

“Our position is you shouldn’t have a one-size-fits-all policy,” North Central Texas Council of Governments transportation director Michael Morris says. “Maybe in rural areas, you may well want to restrict frontage roads, and on toll roads we restrict access, but it’s wrong to that they’re never a positive thing. That’s what we’re trying to sort out.”

Skeptics are concerned the proposal would lead to greater traffic snarls down the road, and limited access to hot commercial properties. And detractors are seeking details on areas in which these frontage roads will be restricted, and how much flexibility the proposal will allow for planned but not-yet-constructed roads.

“Frontage roads help access,” explains Bill Becker, senior director for the Dallas office of real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. “If you do away with them, it could negatively impact development in those areas.”

Eliminating frontage roads is a sore subject in the real estate industry, he concedes. “It’s something that people in commercial real estate don’t like to discuss a lot because it could potentially effect the value of land.”

The Dallas Chamber of Commerce is still crafting its stance on the proposal’s potential passage. “The Chamber really doesn’t have a position on that yet,” director of media relations Brandon Gallop says. “It’s fairly new–it’s only been out there for about a month, and we have not developed a position statement on that yet.”

If the Transportation Commission approves the proposal, it will then conduct a series of six public hearings in January. After those hearings, it will either amend the proposal veto it, or make it a policy.

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