Update 12:45 p.m.: City spokesman Frank Librio sends word that, on second thought, there is plenty of parking available for the Chihuly exhibit at the Arboretum and no need to mow Winfrey Point.
Attendance numbers for the current exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum appear to be within the facility's ability to manage parking flow with existing on-site parking and existing overflow parking options. However, parking challenges at the Arboretum and at White Rock Lake still exist and long term solutions will be addressed as both locations increase in popularity. For the time being, the temporary parking option at Winfrey Point will not be exercised. The City will continue to seek long term solutions that will balance increasing trail use, special events, and all recreational uses with adequate traffic management and parking options.
Original post: Score one for the little people. The Dallas Arboretum sends word this morning that Winfrey Point, the postage stamp of virgin grassland (or invasive weeds, if you prefer) that's been at the center of a recent legal and botanical imbroglio, won't be mowed for parking after all.
The move comes after a grassroots protest campaign from left-wing pinko environmentalists who take the completely outrageous view that, hey, there's a shit-ton of concrete in Dallas. Why not park there?
According to the release, the Arboretum "has heard the opinions of its friends and neighbors and recognizes any plans to temporarily park at Winfrey Point have resulted in serious misunderstandings that need to be addressed." Translation: "We really didn't realize what a PR disaster this would be. Forget we said anything."
The fight may march on, both in court and at the Point, as neighbors try to get to the bottom of a consultant's report that suggested a permanent parking structure at Winfrey Point. But the city has said it has no intentions of building such a thing, and Arboretum chairman Brian Shivers told Unfair Park this week that, basically, no one ever thought that was a good idea.
The full release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mary Brinegar Chief Executive Officer & President Dallas Arboretum
DALLAS (May 9, 2012) - On Tuesday, May 8, the leadership of the Dallas Arboretum asked Paul Dyer, Dallas Park and Recreation Department director; Joan Walne, Dallas Park Board president; Councilman Sheffield Kadane, City Council District 9; and Gerry Worrall, District 9 Park Board not to proceed with current plans to mow the previously approved area at Winfrey Point.
Over the past couple of weeks, the Arboretum has heard the opinions of its friends and neighbors and recognizes any plans to temporarily park at Winfrey Point have resulted in serious misunderstandings that need to be addressed. We are committed to being a good neighbor and steward to the citizens of East Dallas, the metroplex and all of North Texas.
We are looking forward to working with city officials and neighborhood associations in the immediate future to develop a plan that best serves the interest of all parties involved. It is our pledge to endeavor to make such planning transparent.
Thank you for your patience while we work to find a solution to the City's and our parking needs.
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