Arboretum officials were understandably cautious when they unveiled early plans for a Garland Road parking garage last night. The memory of the public uprising and PR debacle that greeted a proposal to park cars on Winfrey Point is no doubt fresh on their minds, so they made clear that the parking garage meeting would only be open to residents of the three neighborhoods that abut the botanical garden, Forest Hills, Little Forest Hills, and Emerald Isle.
At least, they made that clear in an email to Hal Barker, the man whose public records requests ignited the Winfrey Point protests. It doesn't seem to have been enforced very strictly, particularly when it came to the media.
And so we get our first glimpse of the proposed garage, visible in WFAA's rather grainy photo, will sit on a currently vacant lot on the east side of Garland Road facing the children's garden at the far northeastern edge of the Arboretum. It will have six stories, two of which will be underground, and 1,200 parking spaces. Visitors will cross Garland Road using an underground walkway.
Neighbors weren't exactly thrilled with the plan ("Not everything is going to be the way we want it," one woman told The Dallas Morning News) but seem resigned to the inevitable. Better than cars clogging up neighborhood streets, anyways.
And the Arboretum folks were no doubt satisfied to have successfully presented a parking scheme near White Rock Lake without inspiring a massive groundswell of grassroots rage.