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From the Desk of Andy Eads

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Andy Eads, Denton County Pct. 4 Commissioner
Andy Eads, Denton County Pct. 4 Commissioner

“Two Steps, One Sticker” started March 1

Texas is changing the way Inspection and Registration Stickers will be issued. As a result of HB2305 passed during the 83rd Legislative Session, Texas will no longer issue an inspection sticker. Instead, the motor vehicle registration sticker will serve as both the registration and inspection.

On March 1, 2015, Texas began the “Two Steps, One Sticker” vehicle inspection and registration program. The inspection will still be required to be performed on the vehicle; however, the owner will receive a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) in lieu of an inspection sticker. Once the vehicle is inspected, the owner will renew the registration as usual. They will be issued the registration sticker which serves as the combined proof of registration and inspection.

During the first year, Texas will “sync” the registration and inspection from March 1, 2015, to February 29, 2016. Provided the inspection is not expired at the time the registration is due to be renewed, the owner will renew their registration as usual. The registration sticker will serve as the combined inspection and registration sticker.

For example:
Registration Sticker expires March 2015
Inspection Sticker expires December 2015

 

The owner will renew their registration in March 2015 and will not be required to have the vehicle inspected again until March 2016. At that time, both the registration and the inspection will be “synced” and will expire at the same time.

There is an exception to this rule. If the inspection expires the same month as the registration, the owner will be required to have the vehicle inspected prior to renewing their registration.

The inspection fee will be the same; however, the way in which it is collected will change. The inspection station will collect their portion of the fee at the time of inspection. The state’s portion of the fee will be paid at the time of vehicle registration.

It will be very important to retain the VIR for proof of inspection. In the event the inspection cannot be electronically verified at the time of registration, the owner will be required to present their VIR before a registration sticker can be issued.

For more information, please visit http://tax.dentoncounty.com and select www.TwoStepsOneSticker.com.

Denton County Historic Park

Last month, the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum opened a new exhibit featuring watercolors by Dorothy Bertine. Dorothy Bertine, a native of Southern Oklahoma, is an artist known for her works in watercolor. Her art follows the California Watercolor School of painting developed in the first half of the 20th Century, and her studies in watercolor include nature scenes and historic houses.

Dorothy Bertine received her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from Texas Woman’s University and she resides in Denton. Her work is inspired by the architecture of the historic homes in Denton, and many of these pieces are featured in this exhibit. It’s worth the trip to Denton to see these beautiful works of art.

And while you’re here, if you’ve never visited our Denton County Historic Park, take advantage of the upcoming spring weather to head on over and take a glimpse back into Denton County history. Walk through the Bayless/Selby House with our amazing staff as they share stories of the families who once called this Victorian beauty their home, then make your way next door to the Quakertown House for a history lesson on the African-American community of Quakertown.

Originally purchased in 1884 on Myrtle Street by Samuel Bayless, the Bayless-Selby House was updated in 1898 to a two-story Queen Anne-style home. A year after Samuel’s death in 1919, his wife Mary sold the house to R. L. Selby Sr. The Selby family retained ownership until 1970. The house was donated to the county in 1998 and opened in 2001 to tell the story of Victorian-life in Denton.

The Quakertown House was built in 1904 in the African-American community of Quakertown in Denton. It was purchased by C. Ross Hembry in 1919 and relocated in 1922 to the east side of Denton on East Hickory Street. The house was donated to the Denton County Historical Commission in 2004, and was dedicated as a museum devoted to Denton County African-American history in 2008.

The Denton County Historic Park is located in Denton at 317 West Mulberry Street, and the homes are open to tour, at no cost, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lecture Series Continues

On Wednesday, March 18, from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. in the Courthouse-on-the-Square Commissioners Courtroom, Shaun Treat will discuss how the Civil War and Reconstruction affected Denton County.

The year 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the end to the Great War Between the States, a conflict that divided America and still evokes much debate. The role of Texas takes center stage in this talk by Dr. Shaun Treat, with particular focus on the contradictory and contested history of Denton County within the American Civil War and its aftermath. Past lived experience and present research scholarship yields some new insights into Denton’s unique history, from the downtown Square’s construction a mere three years before the war to the emergence of Quakertown as a post-war haven for African-Americans.

Shaun Treat is a former UNT Assistant Professor, writer, and history enthusiast who has been researching Denton’s colorful history for almost a decade.

All Courthouse Museum exhibits and lectures are free and open to the public.  The Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum is located in the historic Denton County Courthouse at 110 W. Hickory in Denton.

Denton County Transportation Authority Launches “Where’s My Ride” Tracking Tool

In January, the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) launched Where’s My Ride, a vehicle tracking tool that provides real-time travel information to passengers, allowing them to obtain predictive arrival information for a Connect bus or A-train at a particular stop location via phone, online and mobile devices.

Unlike a mobile application, Where’s My Ride is an integrated Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) developed by Strategic Mapping that uses accurate location data provided by a GPS device that is mounted inside each DCTA Connect bus and A-train railcar. Users can receive notifications of bus or train arrival time, call in to hear arrival times and track vehicles in real time with Where’s My Ride, which integrates location, route and bus/train information with schedules and maps to provide passengers with the most accurate arrival predictions possible.

“Where’s My Ride allows DCTA’s passengers to track the A-train and Connect bus while en route, and provides them with real-time predictive arrival information that makes it easier to use DCTA services,” said Raymond Suarez, DCTA Chief Operating Officer. “In addition, this new passenger tool will provide DCTA with internal data that will help us better schedule routes and times for services that will greatly benefit passengers.”
Main features of Where’s My Ride include:

Text Messages
Passengers can receive SMS text messages using the text stop prediction feature of Where’s My Ride. It’s simple – text your stop ID to 98458 to receive the estimated arrival time of your bus or train. Stop IDs can be found on bus stop signs and on the schedules at A-train stations. This convenient feature allows passengers to reduce their wait time for a vehicle, or simply find the next bus or train at their location.

Online Portal
Where’s My Ride’s online portal feature enables passengers to access real-time bus and train location data from most web-enabled devices. You can select and watch your bus or train progress along its route. In addition, you can select specific stops, search by address or input your stop ID to find the nearest bus or train and its arrival time.

Travel Alerts
This feature allows passengers to subscribe to a wide range of DCTA notifications in their preferred format of email or text. You can choose the days and times to receive alerts for specific Connect routes and the A-train. In addition, you can set up stop prediction email notifications that will alert you when the vehicle is due to arrive at your stop within your specified time window.

Voice
Similar to text stop prediction, Where’s My Ride’s voice stop prediction feature allows passengers to dial in for an up-to-the-minute prediction of a bus or train at a chosen stop. Call 940-243-0077, enter your stop ID and receive real-time information on the next bus or train scheduled for that location and its expected arrival time.

For more information about Where’s My Ride, visit www.RideDCTA.net.

35Express construction update

With the shift of all I-35E mainlane traffic east between Post Oak Drive and Corinth Parkway, work on the new mainlane bridge over Corinth Parkway has begun. Crews are currently removing the former southbound mainlanes and installing new drainage.

The new I-35E entrance ramp north of Swisher Road and the new connector road linking Turbeville Road and the southbound frontage road are open and traffic on the north and southbound I-35E mainlanes near Turbeville Road have shifted east to allow work on the permanent southbound mainlanes of the interstate.

Work on the new Garden Ridge Boulevard bridge over I-35E continues with the installation of drill shafts and the placement of columns and caps. Crews are removing the median of Garden Ridge Boulevard west of the southbound frontage road in preparation of a traffic shift for the bridge construction.

Column and cap work is ongoing for the new interstate bridge at FM 407, as well as the State Highway 121 Business bridge over I-35E.

Crews are removing the concrete barrier in the median of I-35E from Sam Rayburn Tollway to FM 3040/Round Grove Road. When this work is complete, the area will be graded and paved with asphalt.

A shift of all I-35E mainlane traffic west at Whitlock Lane/Sandy Lake allows for work on the east side of the interstate bridge. The demolition work on the bridge will require full nighttime intersection closures.

The placement of columns and caps for the new interstate bridge over Belt Line Road is continuing, and work is progressing on the southbound frontage road both north and south of Belt Line Road.

Check out the project website at www.35express.org for detailed information and detour routes, as well as regular updates on lane and road closures and upcoming construction. In addition, access to traffic cameras along I-35E is available.

If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you. My email is andy.eads@dentoncounty.com and my office number is 940-349-2801.

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