Before City Council killed the Trinity river toll road Aug. 9, the project was like a flailing cockroach on its back: unable to move yet unwilling to die. The council’s 13-2 vote marked the end of a 20-year squabble over the long-planned $1.9 billion project that would have built a massive urban park alongside a new six-lane toll road on the floodplain of the Trinity.
The conflict has shifted to what to do about the park, which is still attached to the Trinity River Corridor Project. Before its fate is solidified, here are six non-toll road, non-park alternatives to use the 10,000 acres of untethered nature practically begging for liberation from the burdens of staying the same Trinity floodplain it’s been since forever.
Club Trinitee Bankz
Club Bankz is like a normal club, but reedier and with more Zika virus. On Sunday evenings, be sure to catch the pulsating beats of guest DJ MayoRawl, whose day job is at City Hall.
The park proponents are on to something because the space between the levees is great for a park. Specifically, a waterpark. What happens is you climb a 400-foot ladder to the top of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, and its 58 harplike tentacles conveniently double as cascading water slides. As you ascend, be sure to pause long enough to take in the sweeping panoramas of the downtown Dallas skyline and sigh. Always sigh. After a nearly vertical drop, a springboard catapults you into the ether, or the Design District.
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Dallas Area Rapid Canoe
A certain contingent of Trinity toll road opponents cited the dearth of public transportation in Dallas and argued that amount of money would be better spent improving it. Meet DARC, DART’s hipster step-sibling. After a heavy rain, head down to the banks and row-row-row your boat downtown in one of the new program’s hundreds of tax-subsidized wooden pirogues. You’ll get there faster than you would driving.
You know how, two or three times a year, it rains so hard that the river rises until it’s nearly level with the highway? And threatens to wash all the cars away? Here’s the plus side: When the water is that high, so are the fish! Grab some minnows and go fishin’. Don’t worry about the polychlorinated biphenyls or hazardous waste. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.
Levee Pointe, a floating mixed-use development
Now this is New Urbanism: High-rise residential buildings and boutique hotels sit atop Kendra Scott and Z Gallerie and Shake Shack. There would be pedestrians and dogs and expensive sunglasses and Whole Foods. And bars! Like Uptown but marshier.
Giant bronze statue of Angela Hunt
Angela Hunt, the former two-term Dallas City Council member and maybe future mayor, opposed the Trinity toll road years before opposing the toll road was cool. Its death is the result of her tireless crusade, so she gets a statue. It stands approximately 200 feet tall and is surrounded by an ornate marble fountain where silver dollars make dreams come true. Hunt is wearing a subtle but satisfied grin. At the base of the statue is a plaque engraved with the words “mic drop.”