Trinity Toll Road Update: Deja Vu All Over Again

Last year, Larry Beasley presented the “Dream Team’s” Charrette Report to the Council. The Report rejected Alternative 3C’s design for the Trinity Parkway and called for a smaller, slower park road. For the past eight months, a technical design team has been further engineering plans for the road.

For the past two months, the Trinity Parkway Advisory Committee has been meeting behind closed doors to review the resulting technical design of the Trinity Parkway. Councilmember Sandy Greyson and former NTTA Chair Jere Thompson were appointed by the mayor to lead the committee. They each appointed three other members: Councilmember Greyson appointed me, Rep. Rafael Anchia, and Bob Meckfessel. Mr. Thompson appointed Ambassador Ron Kirk, Chancellor Lee Jackson, and Mary Ceverha. Our task was to advise the council as to whether the technical design accurately followed the original Charrette Vision.

The Advisory Committee’s work is completed and today the Committee made presentations to the Dallas City Council Transportation and Trinity River Committee. Our Committee was not in agreement. Rep. Rafael Anchia and I presented our conclusions. You can read our report and read our statement to the committee.

To cut to the chase: Last year we thought we were (finally) getting a low-speed, meandering park access road. Instead, according to the technical design, we are getting a highway.

The design and geometry of the road will allow for high speeds: the meanders have been straightened, the lanes widened, the deceleration lanes to parking areas lengthened, and the shoulders turned from grass to gravel. At every decision tree, at every fork in the road, design choices were made to make the road straighter, wider, longer, and faster. (Check out the animation and read the briefing to the council committee.)

At the conclusion of the presentations, we were glad that the committee agreed that the public should (finally) have the opportunity to weigh in on this project. The council committee wants more public input before the road moves to 65% design. But the chair of the committee, Councilmember Lee Kleinman, stated that he wanted a “brief” period of public input, “like 30 days.”

Your voices will be very important in this conversation. We have seen this all before. This is the Balanced Vision Plan round 2.

More to come….