Turns out, Dallas and TxDOT didn't need the Trinity Parkway in order reconstruct the Mixmaster or S.M. Wright or to build the lakes and parks packaged with it when voters twice approved the project. Nor, people now seem to be realizing, is the completed road going to look anything like the slim, handsome stretch of pavement from the renderings.
What's left? Why, in the absence of any funding or compelling need, and with the folly of urban highways now crystal clear, should we build the road?
To City Council member Vonciel Hill, chair of the Transportation and Trinity River Corridor Committee, the answer is fairness.
All of the major road-building projects in the region (e.g. the Chisolm Trail Parkway and the Sam Rayburn Tollway, the Bush Turnpike) in recent years have been north of Interstate 30. It's high time the southern sector gets in on the action.
"The [Trinity] Parkway serves the people south of 30, the people coming out of southern Dallas and Pleasant Grove, and so now all of a sudden some folks want to say we can't find money?" Jones said, rebuking council colleagues who suggest the city abandon the project for lack of funding (among other things). "That is fallacious."
Jones made a parallel argument at this month's meeting of the Regional Transportation Council.
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Then, she was arguing that the parkway was a necessary prerequisite for tearing down I-345, which she opposes in any case. Now, her argument for the parkway has been reduced to envy. It's arrogant, she suggested, for those representing northern Dallas, motoring comfortably down their wide new freeways to turn around and say southern Dallas "can get on with public transit and bicycles and walking. I reject that argument."
Hill, the most powerful voice on the council when it comes to transportation issues, also rejects the notion that the Trinity Parkway is a cancer that will eat away at Dallas' core.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.