We're not going to take the time to fully debunk Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings' column defending the Trinity Toll Road. Wylie H, Dallas' preeminent City Hall gadfly and Internet commenter, has already -- a day in advance no less -- done that work on D Magazine's Front Burner blog. Still, it's worth pointing out, specifically, how utterly disingenuous one of Rawlings' primary claims is.
As he did at the November Trinity toll Road breakfast meeting -- the one where he appointed the "dream team" to, again, re-examine the toll road -- Rawlings claims in the column that no one knows what the toll road looks like.
"While I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the final plan has not been created yet, so it is impossible to judge. We need an updated visual rendering to help us understand exactly how the parkway will blend into the rest of the environment, and that's what I'm working on," he says.
This ignores that there's been exactly one plan approved for the road by the Army Corps of Engineers. That would be Alternative 3C, which clearly shows the road as a six-lane tolled road, not a parkway.
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Here's what council member Philip Kingston said just after the breakfast about the mayor's repeated claims that no one knows what the road will look like:
"There are schematics that have been submitted to the federal government for approval. There are rendering from the [North Texas Tollway Authority]'s own designer that were presented to the Trinity River and transportation committee in April. They're still up on the city's website. To say that we don't know what this road looks like is simply false," he says. "The mayor kept saying we don't know what the road looks like. That is infuriating. It's an absolute fraud."
Still, we're looking forward to the new renderings, if only for the potential memes.