By Jack Fink

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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Petals, A Florist in Plano has seen its business blossom over 15 years.

But so has the traffic, which impacts deliveries. A co-owner, Juli Allison says, “Used to be the drivers would get done at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Now, they get done, it is already dark. They could be done now at 5 or 6 o’clock. Sometimes, we have to wait for the drivers to get back.”

As in any business, Allison says time is money.

“Dollar-wise, it probably cuts the amount of the deliveries we can get done in a certain time. A lot of our customers, everything is timed. In our business, that’s just the way it is. So we have to prepare everything much earlier.”

Traffic is set to increase along with the population. It will double in Collin County, from nearly 780,000 people in 2010 to nearly 1.6 million in 2040.
The state will spend more than $8 billion on transportation projects by 2040, but county leaders say the county needs $11 billion in projects.

County commissioner Duncan Webb says, “I don’t think the state has enough for the region and that includes Collin County, absolutely.”

The county’s priorities include widening U.S. Highway 380 and State Highway 78, building a new north-south arterial between Central Expressway and west of Lake Lavon, allowing drivers to use the old HOV lanes on Central Expressway from LBJ in Dallas north to Allen, and building an outer-loop that extends from I-35E at the Denton County line in northern Collin County to eastern parts of the county, and south perhaps to I-30.

But the route isn’t finalized.

Commissioner Webb says, “What people don’t realize is that Collin County has grown so rapidly these last 20 years that developers are building on property we should have put in some infrastructure to handle the growth.”

Juli Allison has a message for the state. “They need to come drive around the city and see how crowded it is.”

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