My Take on Officer Powell’s Actions

I don’t know that there’s much more to add about the DPD incident in which an officer (Powell) prevented a man (Moats) from seeing his dying mother-in-law in her last moments. I am so glad this was captured on video so there is no question about what happened. The self-control Mr. Moats displayed is amazing. I don’t know if I could have reacted with such a level head in the face of that kind of cruel, irrational behavior.

Some people have questioned whether this incident is reason enough to fire this officer. The fact is, it is an incredible responsibility to be a police officer. The authority and power that comes with it require considerable restraint and good judgment, neither of which was displayed here. Continue reading

Plan B Clarification: Connecting I-20 to Loop 12 Via Walton Walker

I’ve gotten quite a bit of positive feedback from my Trinity River Project Plan B editorial in today’s DMN, but a couple of people have pointed out that my editorial is a bit unclear on one point.

In the editorial, I recommend we close the I-635 loop on the west side of the city by linking the western portion of Loop 12 to I-20. A couple of folks were quick to point out the fact that Loop 12 already connects to I-20 via Spur 408.

They are correct, of course, but I was proposing a different route, one along Walton Walker Boulevard. Continue reading

Trinity Project: It’s Time for Plan B

I’ve written an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News describing “Plan B” for the Trinity Project:

Join me at a Dallas City Council meeting five years from now:

It’s 2014. Under Mayor Tom Leppert’s plan, the Trinity toll road should have opened last year, but its construction hasn’t even begun. It remains mired in federal safety analyses due to concerns about its effect on Dallas’ levees. The North Texas Tollway Authority bowed out in early 2011 when it determined it could not fund the now $2.4 billion project.

City staff reluctantly informs the council and mayor that there is no way to bridge the enormous funding gap. The buckets of money once touted to finance the road have been spent on other more critical transportation needs in the region. Less than half of the city’s $84 million in bond funds for the road remains. Continue reading

City Council Travel

I debated about posting this since I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. But I did want to clarify a couple of things, so here goes.

The Dallas Morning News ran a story today about my decision not to use taxpayer dollars for city council-related travel. The story might have inadvertently left some with the impression that I called a press conference or sent out a press release to announce this. I didn’t. Reporter Dave Levinthal regularly reviews how much the council is spending on travel, and he asked me about my reimbursement to the city. I explained my personal decision: that I didn’t think it was right to use taxpayer money for city trips when our economy is in such bad shape and we’re going to have to cut back on city services next year to meet the city’s budget deficit.

To be clear: I wasn’t proposing a ban on other councilmembers’ travel. I was just doing what seemed right to me. Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day on Greenville Ave. 2009

St. Patrick’s Day on Lower Greenville went better than last year. I’ve got pics from the festivities, as well as (wait for it) Dallas’ Official 2009 St. Patrick’s Day Music Video Montage. Enjoy.

There are three stages of St. Patrick’s Day: the parade on upper Greenville, the special street event party south of Mockingbird, then the free-for-all bar-fest on Lower Greenville. Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day Preparations

It’s that time again in Lower Greenville — St. Patrick’s Day is coming on Saturday, March 14. Deputy Police Chiefs Golbeck, Bernal, and Lawrence, along with me, neighborhood residents, and other city staff, have worked hard to develop a plan to limit the impact of the parade and party on Lower Greenville neighborhoods. This flyer explains all the details, including a map of street closures and no-parking areas. Continue reading