Last edited by jsoto3; 12 July 2003 at 01:54 PM.
Many many thanks, jsoto -- Now that I can actually see the latest plan, I will be able to pontificate more effectively, I hope, in a couple of days.
Last night I found these links to two intensely pro-highway business associations, below for those interested:
Stemmons Corridor Business Association
(Check out the full membership list.)
Last edited by Gen5Dallas; 13 July 2003 at 07:02 AM.
According to the renderings...there will be more pedestrian access points than there are vehicular! And the parking lots/garages are in the back of the buildings! Hallelujah!
I found this on the Trinity Association website:
April 16, 2003 --- Dallas City Hall --- Trinity Toll Way Briefing
"In an unexpected move during the briefing this morning, the Regional Transportation people announced that they were again looking at using Industrial Blvd. as part of the means for diverting approximately 60,000 cars a day as part of the "reliever road" system needed in conjunction with the Mix-Master renovation and Project Pegasus. Councilman Oakley moved quickly and called some of us to come downtown and be ready to refute any design that would put a toll way or high speed boulevard down Industrial. We were assured by "planers" after the meeting that this resurrection of the Industrial Blvd. plan was a surprise to everyone and they assured us it would have a short resurrection. In any event, it just shows you how quickly things can revert and how much we need Councilman Oakley returned to the Council, even if it means being from District 3."
If Councilman Ed Oakley, chosen last month by Mayor Miller to head up the city's Trinity River task force, is so closely tied to this, and probably other, pro-highway business groups -- a same-day call to sound the alert?!! -- you can bet the highway will be the first priority of this project. I'm probably being seduced by the pretty pictures that I'm so grateful jsoto has provided, but for the first time in several years I'm tilting back in favor of this project, highway and all. Still, it's a morsel of information I thought might interest the environmentalists and other anti-tollroaders here on the board.
Check this out too:
Oakley Touted Bond Projects Near His Land
Council member says improvement wouldn't affect property values
May 1, 2003 -- [Though the story was written by a DMN reporter, the link is to the Denton Record-Chronicle website, since they do not require viewers to endure multiple, mind-numbing attempts to register and enter their archive.]
And here's a little eye-opener from the Stemmons Corridor Business Association:
"Do you have a large pothole in front of your business or some other problem? You can contact Bernice Limon at the City Managers Office directly at:
blimo[-- email provided here@ --]il.ci.dallas.tx.us
or by phone at 214-670-3300. You can also contact the SCBA office at 214.631.5151."
Why bother going through the
stooge councilperson you elected
when you can go straight to the source
of the real power at Dallas City Hall?
Rouging the Corpse
Miller wants to pretty-up a stinker on the Trinity River deal
BY JIM SCHUTZE
John Sewell helped kill the Spadina Expressway in Toronto. The city flourished, and the people elected him mayor.
I'm working on a new joke. I've been working on it all week, but I can't come up with the punch line. Maybe you can help. This is as far as I've gotten:
Dallas Mayor Laura Miller walks into a bar. There's this guy sitting at a table with big horns growing out of his head, a red tail, a pitchfork in one hand and a split tongue. He says, "Look, Mayor, I want to build a toll road along the Trinity River so I can help speed your lovely constituents on their way to a certain destination I have in mind for them [wink-wink]."
Miller hems and haws, shakes her head, looks dubious. Then she says: "Would it have pedestrian promenades with scenic outlooks?"
That's as far as I can get, then I can't think of anything funny. I get too angry.
The river-bottom land interests are still pushing hard for a brand-new multilane superhighway jammed in along the banks of the Trinity River where it runs through the heart of downtown. Miller is very proud of the fact that she may be able to whittle them down from eight lanes to six, and she hopes to get them to agree to put in various "amenities." Think: portable toilets on the road to hell.
But wait a minute. It's our land. It's our money. Their superhighway will do a poor job of relieving our traffic congestion and a worse job of "creating new tax base" (not). And it will ruin the park we want to build there. So why is the mayor so proud of slicing the dime with them? What dime?
Why not just tell the road hustlers this: You've got a 1950s suburban sprawl idea; it's totally incompatible with truly urban life; we're out of money, and we're out of clean air; we need to concentrate on our very best shot, and that's parks, fountains, sidewalk cafes, peddlers on stilts and an urban zest the suburbs don't have. To make any of that work, we need to get more people out of their cars, not attract more people in cars into the urban core.
Of course, if this were only about mean greedy landholders vs. virtuous cosmopolites like myself, it would be a lot easier for most of us to make up our minds. The reality is that there are people of good intentions, bad intentions and OK intentions on both sides of the Trinity River toll-road thing. On the two sides we have very different but sincerely held worldviews, almost like vying religions.
On the one hand you have Michael Morris, transportation director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments, a bright man who talks passionately about Dallas proper slipping "farther and farther away from the center of things" if it fails to remain fluidly connected by roads with the rest of the metropolitan area.
On the other hand you have people like...well, me, for instance. As far as I can tell, most of the rest of the metropolitan area is made up of strip shopping malls, vast treeless housing developments that look like prototypes for the first settlements on other planets and phony-baloney music academies in metal buildings covered with brick veneer and Doric columns made of extruded foam.
So why do I need to be fluidly connected with that? And don't tell me it's because that's where the future is. If that's true, then why do suburban kids put on decal-tattoos and black clothes and come slipping into our downtown on the weekend? I say life is headed our way, not theirs, because their way is boring. No community, however excellent its highways, has ever succeeded in convincing its own offspring that sensory-deprived anesthetic torpor is a true high.
We are coming to the fundamental understanding that cars and highways are always agents of sprawl and always the enemies of urban life. Mass transit and urban density (people on top of people on top of people in big exciting buildings with lots of lights in the windows) are the jazz of life.
The single event most often credited with the renaissance of Toronto, Ontario--its emergence as one of North America's coolest cities today--was the killing of the Spadina Expressway project in the early 1970s. Ontario Premier Bill Davis made history when he said in June 1971: "If we are building a transportation system to serve the automobile, the Spadina Expressway would be a good place to start. But if we are building a transportation system to serve the people, the Spadina Expressway is a good place to stop."
John Sewell was a young lawyer and community organizer in Toronto in the 1960s. His role in fighting to protect old neighborhoods from "urban renewal" put him on the city council in 1969. His leadership in the fight to kill the Spadina led to his becoming mayor of Toronto in 1978. He's an author and a writer for an alternative weekly newspaper in Toronto now. I sent him an e-mail about the proposed Trinity River toll road last week, and then he and I spoke by phone.
Having lived through it and been a part of it, he feels passionately that the two most important elements in the modern history of Toronto have been the defeat of the road hustlers and the advent of mass transit. Roads--that is, big highways--just don't work in the city, he says.
"Part of the problem is that you can never have enough roads," Sewell told me. "The minute you build a road, it's always crowded.
"The other problem with roads is that they eat up an extraordinary amount of land. They pollute the air because of the things that go on them called cars. They cause health hazards in terms of accidents and so on."
Mass transit, on the other hand, he said, is cheap, efficient and provides "an opportunity for the people in the city to get to know each other.
"Toronto is known for its ethnic and racial diversity. We have numbers of different people from different countries, different languages, different cultures, all living together relatively peacefully. I believe it's because of the public transit system.
"What happens is you get on the bus or the streetcar or the subway, and you are forced to travel with a whole bunch of people that you don't know, and they are forced to travel with you. And you get to realize that there's nothing wrong with them. They look a bit weird, their kids look a bit weird, but they aren't scary at all."
By putting "lots of people in the same place at the same time," mass transit facilitates the fun part of urban life: sidewalk cafes, the simple art of strolling a crowded sidewalk.
"I think people like urban environments," he said. "They're fun. When you say, 'Let's go visit Toronto,' people don't go stay in the suburbs. You pay good money to go to Paris and London, not to be on the edges but to be downtown. Because it feels nice."
He cited his own son as a product of the urban environment he helped create in Toronto.
"My son is 27. He got the very first drivers license he ever had last week. His girlfriend does not have a drivers license. These are very hip people. My son has a very very popular band in Toronto. They are not lacking for money.
"They don't have a car. They just haven't wanted to do it. As they say, 'Well, most of our friends don't have cars either.'"
Michael Morris, you tell me how building "radial improvements" will help my son have a band and a hip girlfriend and no car in Dallas 10 years from now. Then maybe we'll talk.
When one thinks of what the city could do instead of building a multilane toll road along the river, some of the underlying assumptions in the toll-road plan are all the more disturbing. Here are some items I would be willing to bet our esteemed city council knows nothing about: Does the Dallas City Council, which is supposed to vote up or down on the toll-road project next month when it returns from its summer hiatus, understand that it will be expected to sign a "no-compete" agreement with the toll authority? I'm talking about an agreement by which the city would legally hamper its prerogative to build other roads downtown in the future.
A study of the proposed toll road completed in October 2000 by Wilbur Smith Associates, contractors to the North Texas Tollway Authority, included as one of its core assumptions that the city of Dallas would agree that "no competing limited-access highways will be constructed in the Trinity Parkway study area." I asked the tollway authority if they will demand the city sign a no-compete contract, and, after thinking about my question for three days, they conceded that some type of non-compete agreement would be needed.
And does the city council understand that all of the financial viability data for this proposed toll road assume and require that it will be eight full lanes of traffic, with a 55 mph speed limit but traffic allowed to travel at actual speeds of at least 60 mph? And the data assumes much less connectivity with other roads than what the council has been shown?
Let's say Miller does succeed in trimming it down to six lanes from eight. Maybe she keeps enough people happy that way and keeps enough political contributions rolling in to ensure her next office-seeking adventure. But her legacy in Dallas will be of greatness lost, for the city and for herself.
The punch line is something about the devil saying: "You can have all the pedestrian promenades you want, Madam Mayor, as long as I..." Nah. Can't get it. Whole thing makes me too mad.
dallasobserver.com | originally published: July 17, 2003
Last edited by Gen5Dallas; 17 July 2003 at 12:22 AM.
SCHUTZE has done it again. I just read this and was gonna post it as well.
I wonder when and if we'll ever see any of this come to frution?
We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.
Public Chimes In on New Trinity Plan
by Kathie Magers, Tribune Editor
Oak Cliff Tribune, July 3, 2003, p. 1
So far, public opinion on the new compromise plan for the Trinity River Corridor has been pretty evenly split, with half of those speaking at the two public meetings I attended -- in Oak Cliff and at City Hall -- saying it was a good idea, while the remainder are opposed to having a road inside the levees.
There were a number, especially at last Tuesday's meeting at the Ewell Townview Center, who also expressed concern about the lack of cost estimates for the project's components.
Karen Walz, executive director of the Dallas Plan, which conducted the meetings, said those figures were being worked on and would be ready for the City Council in August, when Council receives another briefing on the Trinity Plan.
Although there were less than 40 citizens at last Tuesday's meeting, there were more than 150 at City Hall this Monday night.
Environmentalist Ned Fritz started off the public comments at that meeting, saying a road between the levees is a terrible idea and would cause increased emissions and noise.
But Stevens Park resident Lisa Burns said building a roadway was the only way to get necessary funds, and she would rather see a park with a road than no park at all.
Oak Cliff resident Bruce Fogarty suggested allowing small commercial areas for things such as bike rental and/or miniature golf inside the corridor. He also called for small pedestrian bridges across the river.
Campbell Reed said he opposed the new plan with a 55-m.p.h. road, instead of the earlier version, which had the speed down to 45-m.p.h. adjacent to downtown.
Another Oak Cliff resident, Carol Twitmeyer, said that her only objection was about the small amount of potential development shown on the Oak Cliff side as opposed to downtown, a point also expressed by some Council members at their June 18 briefing.
That question also came up at last Tuesday's meeting.
Jeanie Fritz said she understood the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had indicated that a road on top of the levees would not be feasible because of vibrations.
Fritz also said she didn't know how the Council could make an intelligent recommendation in August when several Environmental Impact Statements have not been completed.
Rick Sheridan said he would like to see a couple of major swimming holes that would allow tubing, and perhaps a 'Mark Twain' riverboat going up and down the Trinity.
A North Dallas resident said the road would mess up the whole concept of an inner-city park, noting she hadn't voted for a highway project.
Another Oak Cliff resident, Stan Aten, expressed concern about the road inside the levee because of ozone levels, and cautioned about expecting money for roads from the Texas Department of Transportation, which has none. Aten also suggested planners go to Fort Worth to look at their concept of combining the river with roads and parks.
Sierra Club representative Joe Wells of Oak Cliff spoke at both meetings, and on Monday said he was concerned that the new concept still did not address the Dallas Floodway Extension.
He also said trees being destroyed for the work should not be considered trash trees, and suggested the City Council needs to think about the direction the city is going for the next 30 to 40 years.
Last week, Wells said he couldn't imagine going to elected officials asking for an approval of a project without cost figures.
Oak Cliff resident Bob Doss questioned the continued debate over the project, noting this proposal looks much like the original except for moving the roadway all to the downtown side. Doss said he thought the continued debate was intended to make the whole issue disappear.
Most of last week's meeting in Oak Cliff dealt with questions like the size and depth of the lakes.
Just a question about a different issue.
Let's assume the small lakes and the river are built. Will it be navigable for small boats, say, 25-35 feet in length?
I mean, ultimately navigable to the Gulf of Mexico?
In Europe's canal system, you can boat up and down the continent on their canal system. It would be great if we could have something like that for the space between Texas' two principal cities (urban areas).
Mixmaster traffic not so bad, data say
By VICTORIA LOE HICKS / The Dallas Morning News
"On average days, there is bumper-to-bumper traffic for more than six hours ... with average speeds of approximately 20 mph." That was the Texas Department of Transportation's 1998 description of congestion near the downtown mixmaster and the rationale for building a $600 million toll road beside the Trinity River.
But two sets of data compiled since 1998 found that, except for backups caused by accidents, conditions on Interstate 30 and Interstate 35E near the mixmaster aren't that dire.
For one hour a day in the I-30 canyon and one hour on lower Stemmons (I-35E), the average speed on some freeway segments is about 20 mph, according to a 2000 study by the North Central Texas Council of Governments.
During other "peak" travel hours, speeds on most segments are better than 35 mph, the study said. A 2002 study by the Texas Transportation Institute documented average speeds of 36 to 49 mph during peak periods.
"It's hard to believe it comes out to more than 30 mph," said Tim Nesbitt, the Transportation Department's chief planner on the Trinity toll road project. "From personal experience, I know that [traveling through the mixmaster] your foot is on that brake pedal."
The department's 1998 Major Transportation Investment Study of the Trinity corridor, which concluded that only building a new highway could adequately unsnarl the mixmaster, did not present the underlying congestion data. It was based on a Council of Governments' model that predicts traffic based on population and employment patterns.
The model looks at how many people live in the region, where they live, where the jobs are and a host of other variables, then predicts how many vehicles will use a given road during given hours on an average weekday.
The results are validated in several ways, primarily by spot-checking the predictions against actual traffic counts. Over time, the model has proved to be extremely accurate, said Michael Morris, the council's director of transportation.
The council's 2000 study of commuter traffic took a different approach; it was based on observation. Researchers used aerial photography to document the number of vehicles on Dallas' freeways at various times of day over several days, then counted the number of cars per lane per mile.
Using a formula, they calculated the speed at which traffic on each highway segment was able to move. The greater the density, the slower the speed: 20 cars per lane-mile translates to about 55 mph; 80 cars equals about 20 mph.
The council's photos found no densities as high as 80 (corresponding to 20 mph) in either the canyon or mixmaster. In several spots, photos showed peak-period densities of just 45 cars per lane-mile, corresponding to 50 mph.
However, narratives accompanying the charts generally estimated speeds as being somewhat lower than the numbers alone would indicate. Mr. Morris said the difference may lie in the roads' lousy geometrics.
In layman's terms, they're twisty, convoluted and confusing, forcing drivers to slow down regardless of how much or little traffic there is. Those problems will be improved but not eliminated by a reconstruction now on the drawing boards.
Based on the densities and calculated speeds, each highway segment was assigned a letter grade A, B, C, D, E or F for each hour from 6:30 to 9 a.m. and from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The grading system was developed by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Under their grading curve which uses 70 mph as the standard for freeways, regardless of the legal speed a road gets an F whenever traffic can't move faster than 49 mph. At that point, the freeway is officially congested.
That means the canyon is congested whenever traffic must slow to 6 mph below the legal limit of 55 mph. Put another way, the canyon gets an F when traffic is able to move at 89 percent of the posted limit.
On I-35, where the posted speed is 60 mph, a segment is graded F when traffic is able to move at 82 percent of what's legal.
Those are the standards the Transportation Department and Council of Governments are using when they say the freeways around the mixmaster are congested.
City Council member Lois Finkelman, who is on the council's transportation committee and participated in the 1998 investment study, said even public officials may be hazy about what highway planners mean by "congestion."
As a result, she said, "our discussions may be a whole lot less valid than they ought to be."
Ms. Finkelman, who serves on the Council of Governments' Regional Transportation Council, said she's surprised that 70 mph is the standard for all freeways especially given that no freeway in Dallas has a posted speed of 70 mph.
"We could have some discussion about whether that is an acceptable base rate, or if it should be ratcheted down," she said.
More broadly, she said, it's valid to ask: "What's an acceptable level of congestion during a rush-hour period? Some people would argue that if you can travel at 40 or 45 mph, that's pretty good."
In a perfect world, with unlimited money, Mr. Nesbitt said, highway planners would add enough lanes so that every freeway, during every hour of the day, achieved what he called "ideal, driver-preferred conditions," meaning you never have to hit the brakes.
In the imperfect real world of downtown Dallas, they are willing to accept an F during four hours of the day. The toll road along the Trinity supplemented by improvements to existing freeways, more mass transit and other strategies is supposed to make sure that's still the case in 2025.
"We know we can't design a perfect system, but we want to design the most efficient system we can," Mr. Nesbitt said.
Mr. Morris said that even if the Transportation Department could add enough lanes to I-30 and I-35E to handle additional vehicles and it can't, he said having a second highway is a better solution.
Having one freeway is like having one hose, he said. If an accident clogs it, you've got no alternative route.
"The Trinity is the second hose," he said.
Great sound off! Have you left yours?
Here's what other people are saying:
If these idiots running Dallas think anybody is going to pay good money to drive around the stinking Trinity river in Downtown Dallas, they are just plain ol' nuts. The first good frog strangler in any given Spring should wash away any investments these goofball engineers will have made. When will they wake up. You have to have a Dam upriver to control the flooding. The folks doing this are complete fools and are not looking at any of the Trinity basin flood history of the past 100 years. Again, in a word,... NUTS.
I think this is THE most insane suggestion I have ever seen. Can you imagine trying to merge six more freeways lanes into the mess that is there already?
It won't have any effect whatsoever because it will never get built. The whole concept of using the river corridor for anything beyond flood control and limited park use is just too rediculous for anyone other than a greedy bond selling politician to consider. The USArmy Corps of Engineers are not going to let anybody fool with or build on the levee's. The land between the levees is a flood zone and it would be just plain stupid to build anything taller than a soccer goal because it will be submerged some of the time and probably washed away every few years. The Trinity river swells to it's levees every year this reality won't change. If anything the flood potential of the river increases as the speed of the runoff increases by the paving of the river basin. The Trinity River corridor is just the latest dream packge designed by politicians willing to promote the most preposterous plans to sell bonds so they might gorge themselves at the public trough. This plan has less merit than than the Washington Public Power Supply plan simultaneously building five nuclear power plants ( of differing design ) in an area that has so much excess hydroelectric power that they hi-line electricity all the way to southern California. It was the worst bond failure in history. Wake up, it was just a dream. The pictures of a Town Lake ala Austin won't work in Dallas. If the basin was filled with only three feet of water that would diminish flood control capacity to the point that the levees would be over run, every year, it would be a manmade disaster waiting to happen and it would happen every year.
hmm after reading this article - looks like someone wants some state and citizen fundage...
If it's built on the river, it will be a blight like the freeway seattle built right on its waterfront area. And worse, we'll be stuck with it.
Why not spend same money building light rail down the middle of the interstates, with park-and-ride lots (or kiss-and-ride, as they have in the Wash, DC area)? Why not put light rail down middle of 35 to I-30? Right now, I-635 between I-30 and I-35 need light rail more than we need freeways next to our mistreated River.
We have air pollution to prevent, congestion to eliminate and ugly freeways are the solution. The whole south Dallas Trinity river park area is not easily accessible, nor is it marketed as a natural preserve. Let's make something out of it.
Let's make the whole Trinity river basin a large park and just build a good bridge from Woodall Rodgers to I-30 at Sylvan.
Thanks - Dean Olson
I refuse to drive on toll roads...Why take a double hit for road maintenance when it is already part of tax packages and state funds?
The proposed Trinity toll road won't make a dang thing better. It will make things worse. When Houston flooded people died. Now we want to put a road down the middle of the river? We will be creating the same situation right here in Dallas. Let's make it a park! Not a road.
Who cares about downtown? I do know that it will destroy any park that we build. That is for sure. Only in Dallas would someone build a highway in our best asset. The stereotypes are true!!!
It is only the landowners off of Industrial and Irving Blvd. who are forcing this awful tollway on us!
I think the idea is great but the starting and ending of the road is faulty it is tying into freeways that are already overflowing and this will just add more problems, the end of the tollroad should have gone over to Rockwall and connected to 205 and down to I20 thru Terrell this is one of the fastest growing areas in the metroplex, the other end should have tied into the airport freeways they are not thinking of the future.
What about the city placing a conservation easement on it and just leaving it the way it is. Its certainly better off now than building it with a highway running down it.
Study Looks at Several Water Sources for the Trinity Lakes
by Kathie Magers, Tribune Editor
Oak Cliff Tribune, August 21, 2003, p. 1
One of the questions that remains to be answered on creation of the three lakes proposed as part of the Trinity River Corridor project is the source of the water to create those lakes.
During a series of meetings last week, the city's Trinity River Corridor Project office, and Dallas consultant CDM, presented preliminary concepts to the public on design improvements to the floodway, including the lakes, river channel, ecological restoration, recreation and flood protection.
During the meeting last Thursday night at City Hall, Greg Ajemian, an executive coordinator with the city's Trinity office, said there will be two off-channel lakes next to downtown that drain into the river -- one an urban lake, one more naturalized -- with a split river channel forming an island thatcould serve as a third lake.
There also would be two types of wetlands created: a headwaters wetland for a continuously fed habitat, and a stormwater wetlands for intermittently fed habitat.
The urban design study also calls for creating a more natural Trinity River by recreating some of the river meanders.
Another lake, adjacent to West Dallas, would be a natural off-channel lake.
Consultant Dr. Robert Brashear told about 30 or 35 people at the meeting (the largest audience of the four meetings, the Tribune was told) it would be too expensive to maintain on-channel lakes, because of the sediment and debris found in river water.
He also said that by raising the lakes above the floodway floor, they would be able to keep the lakes from being flooded 99 percent of the time.
Brashear said off-channel lakes also would pose less risk to cost-sharing with the Army Corps of Engineers, which doesn't like to see the impounding of rivers.
As for water sources for the off-channel lakes, there are four sources, said Brashear -- reclaimed water, groundwater, water from the Trinity River and stormwater.
Other considerations are the amount of water required, water rights, water quality and costs.
A flowing lake system, Brashear explained, would provide environmental, recreational and aesthetic benefits, and there are two sources for the water -- either reclaimed water from the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant, which could be pumped up the floodway into the lakes, and would be a reliable source of water during dry periods as well as a good source of water for parklands. [NOTE: I think there was a section cut out here -- I can't determine from the article what the second source of water would be.]
There are three options being studied for water delivery, said Brashear.
The first would deliver the water upstream of Continental, flowing by gravity through the lakes in the same direction as the river -- but it would be the most expensive in terms of infrastructure and energy costs.
The second option would deliver the water upstream of Houston, where it would flow by gravity in both upstream and downstream directions. This option has moderate costs.
The third option would deliver the water downstream of I-35 and allow it to flow by gravity through the lakes, but would require the natural lake to be higher than the urban lake, and would be counter to the natural flow of the river. The lower urban lake also would reduce visibility and affect revitalization, but would be the least expensive and would provide a four-mile boat loop system.
Dallas Water Utilities currently is looking at these various options.
[NOTE: In the 10th paragraph, the writer mentions four sources of water, so perhaps the error was in pasting in everything since my previous transcription note in blue -- ?]
Pumping water from the Trinity also could provide a flowing lakes system, but could affect water quality and increase operation and maintenance costs for silt removal. This proposal could also pose a challenge, Brashear said, in obtaining water rights.
Using either groundwater or stormwater for lake water would allow full but non-flowing lakes with reduced infrastructure costs, but would not allow waterfall features or boat chute opportunities.
Using groundwater pumped from wells into the Trinity Aquifer is the least expensive, but no one is sure whether this option would provide sufficient water, especially in drought conditions -- although it hasn't been pumped since the 1930s or '40s.
Using stormwater could cause water quality and water rights concerns, and would not be sufficient to maintain lake levels during dry periods, he said.
Brashear said more mast-producing trees are needed in the floodway to increase habitat value and aesthetics, but they must be managed so as not to increase flood flows -- perhaps planted in clusters and with opportunity for grasslands.
Results of this study will be presented to City Council, probably in late October, before going to the Corps of Engineers for inclusion in its Trinity EIS.
Last edited by Gen5Dallas; 22 August 2003 at 02:29 PM.
The Friends of the Old Trinity Trail is holding a reception and presentation this Thursday evening, August 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. at the Infomart in Dallas, 1950 Stemmons Freeway at Oak Lawn, top floor, room 7001.
Join the "Friends" in the "Hollerith Studio" where Bowman-Melton Associates, in association with HNTB Urban Design & Planning Group, along with the dozens of volunteer professionals from the American Institute of Architects - Dallas Chapter (AIA-Dallas), the North Texas Section of the American Planning Association (APA) and the Dallas Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) will present the results of last week's visioning charrette. These talented and creative volunteers worked diligently for 3 days capturing and illustrating a variety of potential landowner visions for the Old Trinity River ("The Meanders") from Stemmons Park (Oak
Lawn at Stemmons) to the channelized Trinity River and to the Dallas Hospital District.
Come see photos of the planning process and architects' illustrations of the stakeholders' visions for potential redevelopment of the Old Trinity Industrial District with a trail along the old river meanders and "living streets" along unused rail spurs.
I meant to go but didn't make it.
Did anyone attend? I would like to hear about the plans and renderings.
Park price swells
Council told Trinity greenbelt's water flow to cost extra $12 million
08:43 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 17, 2003
By VICTORIA LOE HICKS / The Dallas Morning News
How many greenbacks does it take to make a greenbelt?
That's what the Dallas City Council has been asking for months about the new, more ambitious plan for a Trinity River park. That plan promises to add some combination of wetlands, waterfalls, river meanders and rapids as well as lakes between the Trinity levees.
Complete estimates won't be forthcoming until November, but some outlines began to emerge at a council briefing Wednesday.
It would cost about $12 million, council members were told, to pump enough treated wastewater upstream to create the flow necessary for a full complement of "water features." That's $12 million in addition to the $31 million voters approved to build a park and lake in the 1998 Trinity bond election.
"The operative word here is we 'desire' it,' " said Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan. "We can't really afford it in this first phase."
Unless, she added, the city can come up with the extra money.
Ideally, Ms. Jordan and other staff members said, the money would come from some combination of state and federal sources, foundation grants and private donations. Failing that, City Hall might have to go back to voters for a new infusion of bond money.
The council did not rise up in dismay at the news.
"It may be worth $12 million," said council member Sandy Greyson, one of the few members to voice an opinion before the council hurried on to matters related to next week's vote on the 2004 city budget.
Supplying the lakes with water from a source other than the river keeps them from filling up with sediment, which reduces operation and maintenance costs.
A previous design by Halff Associates envisioned splitting the river into two channels, with one long, 235-acre "off-channel" lake in the center. It would have been fed primarily with groundwater from wells.
The more recent design, by Hargreaves Associates, would create a new, snaky channel for the river along the Oak Cliff side of the floodway. Two lakes, totaling about 170 acres, would run along the levee on the downtown side.
In the absence of additional money, those lakes, like the one designed by Halff, could be fed with groundwater, which could keep them full but not moving. The additional water as much as 50 million gallons a day could be introduced later, when money becomes available to add the necessary pumps.
Other features of the Hargreaves plan also drive up the cost.
One consequence of shifting the lakes from the center to the east side is that storm water entering the floodway from downtown can't flow naturally into the river the lakes get in the way. The city would have to build three concrete culverts beneath the lake, at an estimated cost of $9.4 million, to get the runoff into the river.
The Hargreaves plan also would raise the downtown and Oak Cliff levees by about 2 feet to increase flood protection. The Halff plan envisioned doing that at some later point; the estimated $5.8 million cost to the city was not included in the 1998 bond request.
More than anything, council members said Wednesday, they're interested in knowing the full story on costs.
Said Mayor Laura Miller: "We're waiting with bated breath."
We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.
Show Me the Lake!
City Hall talks fast, hides lake up sleeve
BY JIM SCHUTZE
I'm sitting here at City Hall, listening and chewing my ball point pen in half while the city council gets briefed on what the new downtown lake will look like when they actually build it. Steam is coming out of my ears.
Look, I don't have an MBA from the Wharton School. Everything I learned about finance, both public and private, I learned riding the Woodward Avenue bus to work in downtown Detroit.
There was always at least one card game on the back bench of the Woodward Avenue bus during rush hour. Up around the middle of the bus, guys played the shell game--the real thing--with pieces of cardboard balanced on their knees, walnut shells and dried peas. This was back when con men still had pride of craft. And then up toward the front, people sold drugs.
Over time and with effort, even a slow student like myself could learn a few basic principles of Woodward Avenue Bus Finance. For example, one very important rule: Never ever under any circumstances, no matter how amazingly sweet the deal, buy a diamond on the Woodward Avenue bus.
Another rule: Strangers never really want to give us their money. It's a trick. And here is the rule that took me the longest to master: Never play the other man's game.
In 1998, when the city borrowed $246 million to pay for the Trinity River plan (which you and I have to pay back), Mayor Ron Kirk said we would get a beautiful lake downtown that we could go sailing on, with fancy restaurants and parks all around it. The brochure for the bond campaign said: "If you've ever taken a stroll down San Antonio's bustling Riverwalk, sat by a lake in New York's beautiful Central Park or driven along Austin's scenic Town Lake, then you know how valuable these recreational areas are to the city."
Today at this briefing, they have the same kind of picture up on the wall: sailboats at a dock next to a municipal boathouse next to a long promenade beneath dramatic steps leading up to an amphitheater next to a thing that looks like a band shell or maybe a casino or a nightclub.
But I'm also looking at Slide No. 54, which they sort of shuffled by in a hurry in their PowerPoint presentation. I have a copy of it here in the briefing papers. It shows that the money they said they were going to spend on the lake and parks when they briefed the council on it last March was $48.3 million. Now at this briefing, preparing for next month when the council will commit to dollars and cents, they are talking about spending $15.9 million on the lake.
Huh? How can you cut the money for the lake and parks to a third when you have to build all those casinos and amphitheaters and promenades and jazz like that? Oh, it begins to dawn: They're not really going to do any of that. But why?
One council member, Gary Griffith, looks up at the picture on the wall and asks a few questions: "I don't believe, when we finish, we are going to have the promenade in basic phase one," Griffith says very politely. "We are not, is that correct? So that picture you are showing there, you would have to chop off the bottom part?"
The consultant says: "You would see that the bottom, rather than having this kind of a wide pedestrian promenade with the railings and the landscaping and all, you would have a very simple path."
Wait, wait, wait. Mentally, I'm back on the Woodward Avenue bus. A path? Don't talk for a second: Did you say a path?
Because, see, I can't tell you how important this is to me. I'm a simple person. I didn't go to Wharton. I still remember getting clipped pretty bad on the Woodward Avenue bus a few times, and it still stings, and I'm breathing kind of hard here. Trying to sort things out. I see a picture on the wall of sailboats and docks and boathouses. It looks like Paris and Vegas and San Francisco all rolled together. But what they said just now: They said it's a path?
No. No. In 1998 when they asked me to vote for this, they did not say a path.
What they are calling for now is an isolated mud hole walled by a roaring, stinking freeway, filled with stagnant water, snakes and mosquitoes. If this plan is allowed to go ahead the way they are talking about at this briefing, the idea of a beautiful park downtown will be dead forever.
Which is what the road hustlers want. The park is in their road. Let me tell you exactly what this plan really is: This is a plan to kill once and for all the concept of a Trinity River park and put the money instead in the new highway.
Slide No. 54 again, please! Last March when they were still diddling us on this, they said the road portion of the plan would cost $535 million. Now, eight months later, they say the road part will cost $786.6 million. Wow. It went up $251.6 million in eight months! Annualized, I believe that would make an inflation factor of 71 percent.
Well, just a second. Let's take a closer look at Slide No. 54. Turn back again, OK? Oops, hey, what's this? Never saw that on the list before: $80 million to rebuild Industrial Boulevard through the Trinity industrial district, where all the road pushers own their land. That wasn't here at all last March. The assistant city managers explain at the briefing that they just sort of realized recently we need to do that.
Oh, puhleeeease! They just now noticed that they have to spend $80 million redoing Industrial Boulevard? This town is famous, infamous, notorious for having terrible cracked-up potholed streets all over town. I thought that was the issue that made Laura Miller mayor. The city's total budget this year for streets and thoroughfares, with money drawn from three prior bond campaigns, federal funds and other sources, is $194 million. And in just the past few months they sort of looked up and noticed that we need to spend $80 million lavishly refurbishing a crapped-out backwater thoroughfare in a crumbling 1950s warehouse district that virtually no serious big-box shippers even use anymore?
I'm sitting here, and I am telling myself in the very sternest tones possible that it's their shell and their pea and their cardboard, and this is my lunch money. I still have my lunch money, right? OK. I must not play their game.
But I have to check out just one more thing about the shells. The $16 million they now say they are going to spend on the lake is actually for all kinds of things that are not the lake, like "gateway parks" and "Elm Fork Levee improvements." So we voted in 1998 for $31.5 million for the lake. How much money--American greenback cash--is actually going into the lake now?
That's on Slide No. 26. It's $1.6 million. Put me in the damn game! I'm not getting off this bus until I see what's under that shell right there! After the briefing, I call Rebecca Dugger, the city employee who is director of the Trinity River Corridor Project, and I ask her how the city possibly can build a $31.5 million lake for $1.6 million.
And, oh, those shells start their magical hummin' and singin': Dugger tells me on the phone that digging the lake will be cheap because the city has a deal to sell the dirt from the lake to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers so that the corps can use it for making the river levee embankments higher downtown to add more flood protection.
"They will do it with dirt out of our lake," she says, "so raising the levees helps us build our lake. So that's how we are able to put money...we are going to build our lake, we are going to use some of this money to dig out our lake, and then we're going to turn around and give this dirt to the corps, so that's our contribution to raising the levee."
Time out!!! I call the Corps of Engineers in Fort Worth. They tell me they don't have a project to raise the levees in downtown Dallas. They don't have any authorization from Congress to do a project like that. They haven't asked for any authorization. They say they can't ask for such an authorization before 2007.
Later, Dugger and Chief Assistant City Manager Mary Suhm show me numbers to prove, they say, that no money has been taken out of the lake. I feel like they're selling me a time-share. I keep thinking, "The picture doesn't show a path."
I'm watching these shells, and I'm listening to the sing-song of the bus wheels, and I'm starting to nod: Gonna pay for the lake with the levees and the levees with the dirt and the dirt with the money from the money for the lake and the money for the lake is the money from the levee, but the levee's not ready, so you find the pea!
Stop! Don't play! Where's the lake?
Where is the lake with the sailboats and the promenades and the parks and the stuff they showed us when they asked us to foot the bill? Point to the picture. Point, point, point: Where is that lake? That lake right there. Not a mud hole. The lake in the picture. Because if they don't make that lake in the picture with the money we voted for, then...I have to get off the bus.
Hey! I thought you said I still had my lunch money
Thank you, Councilman Ed Oakley and his fellow landowners in the Trinity Industrial District.Originally posted by boozo
Which is what the road hustlers want. The park is in their road. Let me tell you exactly what this plan really is: This is a plan to kill once and for all the concept of a Trinity River park and put the money instead in the new highway.
Well, just a second. Let's take a closer look at Slide No. 54. Turn back again, OK? Oops, hey, what's this? Never saw that on the list before: $80 million to rebuild Industrial Boulevard through the Trinity industrial district, where all the road pushers own their land.
These are the people who have destroyed our park and replaced it with a landscaped highway!
Is there anyone honest in our city government?
I like Jim Schutze. He is a helluva reporter. That article just pisses me off. Time to start blasting miller and friends again down at city hall.
We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.
in an email i sent to the publisher of d magazine about a week ago titled Trinity River Fiasco:
"A native Dallasite that actually voted for the Trinity River Project back in the day, I am horrified at what a mess it's becoming. I love and respect D Magazine, and feel it has had great political pull (perhaps I'm naive) on specific Dallas issues in the past (new arena). Are you guys doing any investigative stories about how the money is actually being spent on the
Trinity project? This article from the DMN made me cringe: Trinity study redirects $32 million in funding
By the way, keep up the incredible work at D!
here is his response:
Thanks for the note, Craig. I'm not sure yet it is a fiasco. The engineering on this thing is incredibly complicated, because we're not dealing with a real river, we're dealing with a gulch that turns into a flood plain. The reason that no Town Lake has been built in a 100 years of talking about it is that it is so expensive to bottle up nature. However, I am well aware
that if it is capable of being botched, the city will manage to do it. We'll keep a careful watch on it. All the best, Wick Allison
***it appears as though the city has found a way to botch this project...
You know what pisses me off about this whole thing. Its the lack of publicity. Every news stations, every radio station, every newspaper, every local magazines and every local news website should be making this one of their big headline stories.
Where the hell is the local media, besides the Observer? This royally pisses me off. I want to turn on the news and the local Fox 4 reporter is standing at the Mayor's desk asking the questions that the Observer's Jim Schutze is asking. I want to see Kid Kraddick calling and pranking Laura Miller or something. I want to here 570 KLIF make this a huge issue.
Dallas is getting screwed. And its hurts bad.
If i was a citizen of Dallas, I would be so royally ticked off.
They need to scrap the whole thing. Give the people's money back. Have start a new project called the Trinity Tollway Project. I would have less pissed about being told the truth than having it shoved up my ... with a lie.
Last edited by mikedsjr; 13 November 2003 at 03:26 PM.
Unbelievable. I have completely given up on this. The powers that be are going to get just what they want. It makes me sick really, that the representatives of the people could be so full a shit. They don't represent anything but themselves. Oh and excellent point about the lack of investigative reporting on this by the local media. What a joke. Dallas is a great city and will continue to get better but the sad thing is, the bitch of it is, it will never be anywhere close to what it potentially could be, because of crap like this. Sorry for the rant, just frustrated that's all.
Seriously guys, you really need to email the city council and the other folks responsible about this stuff. The project will soon be re-named "The Trinity River Joke"
We shape our Cities, thereafter they shape us.
I have emailed the city so much I think they just add them to the pile.
I mailed Jim Schulze instead.
I sent him the wonderful links provided by Gen5Dallas that show how this project is being manipulated by Ed Oakly and his fellow landowners.
Hopefully he can write a big expose about that!
I emailed Fox 4 News too. Hopefully someone is smart enough to pick this story up and make it a major issue.
i emailed the editor at the DMN, and sent a lengthy message to WFAA...
City Council brief for meeting on December 3, 2003 is available in pdf.
The good news: The I-30 design work $$$$ for the Calatrava bridge is awarded. woo-hooo!!!
The bad news: The new toll-road on top of levee with sound wall option is officially added to the existing options.
WHEW!! . . .
Boozo, your bad news post is misleading. I thought that you were saying that a new option to put the tollroad at the very top of the levee is now on the table. That is not the case, just that the alignment we have been seeing or the last few months (embanked into the levee, riverside) is now the official alignment. Why is this bad news? This is the best alignment, short of none, of them all.
This is a travesty. I can't help it that every time i read something else about this Trinity River i feel like the life force is being driven out of Dallas towards Fort Worth.
Having learned much in here, i can truly see the destruction that the loop and the multiple highways have on the city of Dallas. And maybe this is why Dallas seems so much like a fast paced city. It has nothing to do with the people. It has to do with the highways. I used to think the highways around Dallas where a blessing. Now i truly understand that the loop is a curse. And placing a tollway on the trinity is going to add to the curse. Fort Worth doesn't have that curse. And i can see how it can make a feel of a city better.
I just don't see how this is the best alignment.
The other side of the levee is a ditch! Better to ruin the river view than the ditch view?
If that's where the high-density urban stuff is gonna go, who wants to have a balcony over a highway? Duh.
And they are gonna build a barrier to shield the highway from the river.
Well no wonder the lake doesn't get any money. Were building a huge wall! Was a wall included in the original estimates?
This project has gone from a park and lakes to a tollway with a huge wall.
Man, Dallas is gonna win some urban design awards with this brainchild.
I agree that putting the tollway outside of the west levee on top of the sumps is better than inside the east levee, but such an alignment isn't one of the options. Or is it? I may be wrong. Even then, that would ruin the opportunity for development on the west side of the river. As proposed, this is a no win situation. Atleast in the current alignment there is the opportunity (but low likelihood) of decking portions of the tollway where urban design sensibilties warrant. I'm pissed to no end that this damned tollway is happening at all, but since it is I think the direction it is going now is the best of the available official options.
I don't understand why the highways are a curse.
I'm not saying that all the highways are a curse. I'm saying the loop with all the near convergances is a curse. And add on to this the Enviromentally unfriendly Tollway to the mix and you have a mess.
The hallucinogenic maze known as the loop is dangerous. I have had more near misses around downtown highways than every other area in the city combined. Instead of putting money into building another tollway, they need to update I35 all the way to Irving, destroy Woodall Rogers, and do something with 30 and both of its interchanges. The whole thing needs rework.
Building the tollway is only going to create a larger mess in and around Downtown Dallas. Its not going to eleviate anything. Its just going to add more chaos. This is not a Dallas highway, IMO. It has nothig to do with benefiting Dallas. Its about what NTCOG want for the region. They do alot of good things, but this one is wrong.
Well said mikedsjr!! I agree. I'd love to see Woodall Rodgers replaced by a beautiful, six lane, 35-mph, wonderfully landscaped boulevard. With streetcars running in the middle two lanes.
This is a horrible, horrible mistake, the whole business. I wish that we as citizens could veto this tollway. We obviously don't want it, but it's being forced upon us. Goddamn burocracy.
I am glad they awarded the money for the bridge, I hope it actually gets built.
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)