Oncor Power Outages

Over the last couple of days, Oncor has been working to restore power to about 200,000 DFW homes that lost electricity due to the snow storm.  They are using about 5000 crew members, some of whom are pulled from Oklahoma and other Texas cities.  I know many District 14 constituents are still without power and I have asked Oncor to please advise me when power will be restored to these homes.  I will post again if and when I get additional info.

I received the following update from Oncor this morning:

As of 6 am this morning, power outages have dropped to approximately 25,000 in the City of Dallas.

Oncor is completing repairs with the help of mutual assistance crews from Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E), AEP Texas and CenterPoint, as well as contract construction/repair and vegetation management workers from South Texas, Austin, Houston, Beaumont, Jasper and Midland, as well as Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri and Louisiana. Thousands of workers have been working around the clock since beginning to arrive on Friday, Feb. 12.

Restoration crews continue to encounter streets littered with broken trees and limbs, preventing access until tree pruning crews arrive.  Some homeowners experiencing individual power outages may continue to be without power through Sunday evening and are encouraged to make alternative arrangements until power is restored. Oncor will continue to work around the clock to restore power to all customers that are able to receive power.

Apply for Bicycle Advisory Committee and Help Update City Bike Plan

The City of Dallas is seeking residents to serve on the Bicycle Advisory Committee. The committee, which will help update and replace the 1985 Dallas Bike Plan, will consist of members of the community with a strong interest in improving and expanding the City’s bicycling culture and bicycle-related infrastructure.

“This is an opportunity to serve our community in a very meaningful and tangible way. The 15 committee members will inform the planning process from the community stakeholder and bicycle user perspectives,” said Theresa O’Donnell, Director of the Sustainable Development and Construction Department. Continue reading

City Council: Booting Ordinance in Effect Citywide Immediately

Today, the City Council approved an amendment to the city’s booting ordinance to make it effective across the city immediately instead of July 1. 

The booting ordinance we passed last fall requires parking lots that choose to boot to provide a written receipt to parking customers when they pay their parking fee (whether by an attendant or parking machine).  The ordinance had gone into effect in Deep Ellum on January 1 of this year and that resolved their booting problems.  Unfortunately, the problem then migrated to Downtown Dallas.  After receiving numerous complaints from Downtown business owners and visitors, Councilmember Medrano and I proposed to move up the effective date of the ordinance so Downtown visitors and businesses didn’t have to spend another five months unprotected from unscrupulous booting.

Councilmember Medrano and I called the parking lot owners in Downtown last week and told them what we planned to bring to the council this week.  Nearly all of the parking lot owners were supportive, explaining that they had abandoned booting as a means of enforcement once it became clear that booting threatened Downtown’s long-term health by driving off visitors.

One councilmember suggested that if booting were less convenient to parking lot owners as a means of enforcement, they would start towing cars.  While that’s possible, that hasn’t been the experience in Deep Ellum.  Barry Annino, president of the Deep Ellum Foundation, explained to the council today that towing hasn’t increased in Deep Ellum since the booting ordinance took effect there at the beginning of the year.  Instead, the parking lots are doing what they did before they began booting — ticketing cars that didn’t pay the proper fee.  So there hasn’t been an uptick in towing.

Some councilmembers opposed the change because they believe parking lot owners need another five months to implement an electronic payment system on their lots.  But I question whether that’s a genuine concern or just a stalling tactic because (1) parking lots have the option not to boot or to use an attendant rather than a machine and (2) no one has implemented these machines in Deep Ellum, despite having had five months (August – December 31) to do so.

After about an hour of debate, the council overwhelmingly approved the ordinance, which will go into effect tomorrow:

FOR:  Hunt, Medrano, Jasso, Davis, Hill, Atkins, Salazar, Leppert, Caraway, Koop, Margolin

AGAINST:  Natinsky, Neumann, Kadane, Allen

Map of East Dallas Homes Changing from Alley to Curb Trash Pick-Up

As of March 1, the City of Dallas is changing to once-a-week trash and recycling pick-up.  That will require switching from bags to using the large gray trash bins.  Because many of our East Dallas alleys are too narrow to accommodate the bins as well as a garbage truck, we (including my own household) are switching from alley pick-up to curb pick-up.

Here is a map of the affected homes.  If you have questions, please email the head of sanitation, Mary Nix, and copy me:  mary.nix@dallascityhall.com and angela.hunt@dallascityhall.com.