Monday, November 10, 2014

Tunnel of Love in All the Wrong Places

As reported by Steve Brown of The Dallas Morning News, the area around Dallas Love Field is about to boom. Reconstruction of the terminal is nearly complete. Southwest Airlines is adding non-stop flights to destinations all over the country. Developers have plans for new offices, apartments, hotels and retail. So, what is the City of Dallas considering in reaction to all the traffic that's expected? Build a tunnel. Like one in Richardson.

The details after the jump.

As reported by Rob Wilonsky of The Dallas Morning News, Dallas's response to the expected increase in traffic is to bury Mockingbird Lane at the entrance to Love Field. Through traffic will go below grade in a long trench, similar to what Richardson did on Spring Valley Road at Central Expressway. That's not my comparison. Dallas city officials themselves apparently look at Spring Valley Road in Richardson and like what they see.

Maybe Dallas officials don't know that the Spring Valley Road underpass was so unpopular in Richardson that the city squelched talk of doing the same thing at Campbell Road. The construction strangled businesses on Spring Valley for two years, and now the tunnel itself acts as a permanent barrier to access for the businesses that survived.

Look, Dallas, I'm happy you want to emulate something in Richardson, but you picked the wrong thing, or at least the wrong place. If you really want to dig tunnels, how about digging a tunnel under the runways at Love Field from Denton Drive to the terminal. Put a second street entrance to Love Field there, diverting some of that traffic on Mockingbird you consider such a problem. Put a DART track in that tunnel, too, while you're at it. Put a DART station right at the Love Field terminal. That will also relieve some of the car traffic.

It's inexcusable that Love Field rebuilt its terminal and DART added the Green and Orange Lines and together the plane and train people left a killer gap between them. The so-called Love Field DART station is blocks away from Love Field itself. Passengers riding DART to Love Field have to catch a bus from the station to the terminal. Maybe Dallas city planners felt that wasn't enough of a screw-up so now they are coming back to screw up Mockingbird Lane. And they are looking at a screw-up in Richardson to use as a model.

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