Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tear Down Stemmons Expressway

Anyone who follows Dallas journalism knows the names of Wick Allison (D Magazine founder) and Jim Schutze (Dallas Observer muckraker). To be a fly on the wall listening as these two longtime observers of Dallas politics talk to each other is worth twice the price of admission (free on the web).

After the jump, Wick Allison's heretical conversion concerning freeways in Dallas.

Here's Jim Schutze's account of Wick Allison's vision of a new Dallas:
[Wick Allison] paints a picture of a whole new Dallas in which all of the old interstates have been torn down or decked over, in which no Trinity River toll road has been built to cut off downtown from the river and all of the vast spaces once occupied by highways are now covered with wonderful urban neighborhoods.

Allison: "Jim, this can happen. This will happen. It's inevitable. I'm going to tell you right now, in 20 years Stemmons will be a parkway of four lanes. That whole market center will be a huge urban development, because we tore down Stemmons."

Wow. Wick Allison is no marginalized crackpot. D Magazine is usually a reliable booster of Dallas socialites, who are usually reliable backers of real estate developments like the Trinity River toll road. For Allison to not only abandon his support of that misguided project but to predict that Stemmons Expressway itself will be torn down and replaced by a four lane parkway is, well, astonishing. In fact, I'm gobsmacked.

It almost makes me think I was premature in abandoning my own dream of tearing down Central Expressway through Richardson and replacing it with a grand boulevard. ;-) At the least, the City of Richardson ought to do everything it can to slow down the TxDOT juggernaut for widening the freeway. Delay long enough for the folly of addressing problems of suburban sprawl by building more freeways to become undeniable to all.

1 comment:

Mark Steger said...

CBS 11 reports that the mayors of Allen, McKinney, Plano, and Richardson are drafting a joint letter expressing concern over plans to widen Highway 75.

Yay. Delay, delay, delay.