City Hall

Mike Rawlings Pledged Support for the Trinity Toll Road Today. But You Already Knew That.

All right, I missed on one thing this morning in my predictive imaginary report on Mayor Rawlings' Toll Road press conference at City Hall. I predicted that former city councilman Dave Neumann would bound around the room like a kangaroo shouting "Pickles and applesauce." That did not happen. I think somebody tipped him.

Otherwise, I believe I will have to step up and claim 100 percent predictive accuracy for this thing, proving once and for all that there is no real need for me to get out of bed anymore ever, and the paper would be wise to just send somebody over to the house to fan me and drop grapes into my mouth at my leisure.

I said the mayor would talk about the future. He said, "If we are thoughtful, diligent and focused on our future, we will see a great plan unfold."

I said he would say there are a lot of smart people on all sides of the issue. He said, "There are many smart people with differing opinions of this multi-sided issue."

I said he would say he had talked to a lot of experts. He said, "I've listened to experts, citizens, regionalists, urbanites -- young and old."

I said he would say the city is racially divided and a new toll road would be just the ticket for that. He said, "We must be one city rather than two. We've had North Dallas, and we've had the southern sector. Until we think and act as one city, we will not maximize our potential. The Trinity River Corridor Project and the decisions we make about it must unify all parts of the city from Frankford Road in the north all the way to UNT-Dallas' University Hills Blvd. in the south."

I said he would say the city is under attack by gridlock. He said, "As much as I love Austin, I don't want to be that type of city with the major traffic gridlock they experience every day just because they didn't come to terms with the problems they faced."

I said he would invoke Laura Miller's "Balanced Vision Plan" as proof you can build a super highway through the middle of a park and nobody will notice. He said, "As I mentioned earlier, this is a multi-step process and while the Balanced Vision Plan will not be complete in the next three or four years, I am committed to have a lake and trails that access the lake from the Oak Cliff side of the Trinity corridor by 2015."

I said he would say the whole thing can be paid for with magical money that we don't have but that it just comes down out of the sky or something so forget about the money. He said, "This project will be funded primarily from non-city funding sources: users of the road as well as state and federal transportation dollars. ... How this project is funded is still in the works but Dallas has never been held back from a vision if we really set our mind to it."

I rest my case. I claim 100 percent accuracy of prediction. I should tell fortunes for a living.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze