TxDOT Wants City to Shell Out Green for Green on Central Expressway

Last April, you might recall, came word that the Texas Department of Transportation was yanking all the greenery along the three-mile stretch of North Central Expressway median running from Woodall Rodgers Freeway to Mockingbird Lane -- just wasn't worth the price of upkeep, said TxDOT. Today, at 2 p.m. at City Hall, the city council's Transportation and Environment Committee will discuss what to do about the rest of the landscaping along Central all the way up to LBJ Freeway.

Turns out, it's not a done deal that all that greenery gets adiosed -- only, TxDOT wants the city to shell out its own green, a la Richardson and Plano. Therefore, TxDOT will today propose four options that involve such choices as going with "native grass" that doesn't need watering or replacing the greenery with a so-called "hardscape program" -- "such as a fence, rail, screen or sculpture." Or, there's a fourth option -- which, literally, is referred to in the TxDOT proposal as the "Do Nothing" plan. Anyone wanna bet which plan the city goes with? In related news, the plan to yank half of the totally unnecessary HOV lane barriers between LBJ and McKinney this weekend was brilliant -- closing down two lanes so one dude in a DART pick-up truck could do nothing, looked like, didn't cause a traffic back-up at all. --Robert Wilonsky