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REPORT: Frisco's Roads Can Support New Universal Studios Park

Even with 20,000 visitors, the roads can adequately accommodate, traffic study says
Photo: Mia2you | Shutterstock

The proposed Universal Studios theme park caused controversy among residents, with concerns about safety and additional traffic. But a recent study showed that Frisco’s roads are well equipped for the extra traffic. 

Universal Studios Frisco would attract up to 20,000 visitors a day and more than 1,100 vehicle trips an hour during peak times, according to the Dallas Business Journal. But a traffic plan for the area can accommodate the added congestion, the analysis by the city showed.

The proposed site that sits east of the Dallas North Tollway and north of Panther Parkway “can be successfully incorporated into the surrounding roadway network,” a traffic impact analysis prepared for the city by engineering consultants Kimley-Horn and Associates read.

The traffic analysis showed the park is expected to attract 7,500 guests on an average day and 20,000 guests on peak days, such as holidays and summer vacations. 

At least 643 employees will work at the park and their shifts will be staggered. Employees mostly enter and exit the park through different avenues than park visitors in a way that minimizes the traffic impact, the study says.

The report also showed parking lots surrounding the theme park and a hotel at the center. Vehicles driven by people visiting the park will enter the parking lots from a main access point behind the park on Fields Parkway.

Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney spoke previously about the traffic impact on the city and believes the site will account for the same or less traffic than an H-E-B or other developments that could be built at the location.

“This is a 97-acre site,” Cheney said. “The anticipated traffic impact is actually less than what H-E-B does.”

As far as safety concerns go, the city does not expect crime to increase. ​​Universal’s parks are normally family-oriented, as well as adult-friendly, Cheney added, but the Frisco park will be targeted at young children from ages approximately 4-12, “which wouldn’t bear that same fruit as far as crime goes.” 

Frisco City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission are scheduled to vote today, March 7, on a zoning permit, a development agreement and potential economic incentives for the controversial park.

The Frisco City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission initially set to vote on Feb. 7 but postponed it to Feb. 22 — the vote was then rescheduled once more. Council voted to postpone the meeting, this time to March 7.