On Thursday City to Take First Steps in Making Elm, Commerce in Deep Ellum Go Both Ways

CityDesign Studio's before-and-after look at Commerce Street if and when it goes two ways
CityDesign Studio's before-and-after look at Commerce Street if and when it goes two ways

For more than a year the city's been talking about two-waying Elm Street in Deep Ellum, with Commerce to follow. Last we heard there wasn't enough to fund the whole project; there's $6 million in '06 bond money, but not enough to finish what the city hopes to start sooner than later. Which is fine with residents, who, last spring at least, didn't much like the proposal anyhow.

But as you'll see below, the plan remains in place. Thursday morning at 8 in council chambers the city's Thoroughfare Committee will discuss myriad amendments to city streets, many of which involve proposed bike lanes in West Dallas and Oak Cliff and closing off the Continental Avenue bridge to make way for that pedestrian park. But the the top two items involve Elm and Commerce, as in:

1. Elm Street from Good Latimer Expressway to Exposition Avenue from a four lane undivided (S-4-U) roadway within 60 feet of right-of-way to a special two lane undivided (SPCL 2U) roadway within 60 feet of right-of-way;

2. Commerce Street from Good Latimer Expressway to Exposition Avenue from a four lane undivided (S-4-U) roadway within 60 feet of right-of-way to a special two lane undivided (SPCL 2U) roadway within 60 feet of right-of-way

I've left messages all over City Hall to see if new to-do deadlines are in place; I'll update accordingly. But Barry Annino, president of the Deep Ellum Public Improvement District, reminds this morning that the plan to two-way Elm has been in place ever for decades, and "since they have DART in now, the city wanted to do two ways, and we thought it was a good idea. And the city said, 'You have to do Commerce and Elm, because otherwise you'll have a traffic problem. So this is about doing both."

I asked: When? He asked: "How old are you?" Forty-three. "You'll be in a wheelchair when it gets done. They will remodel the street with the idea it'll become two ways one day -- hopefully sooner than later."

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ELM and COMMERCE Street sections
ELM and COMMERCE Mock ups

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