The Meditation Plaza, the Green Funnel and Other Amenities Along the Continental Bridge

Before you take a long look at the 62-page sneak peek at the park the city plans to build upon the Continental Avenue Bridge with $10 million donated dollars, I'd recommend going back to our January Q&A with Jim Parrish of CH2M Hill, the Dallas-based project manager for the project. It will explain how we got from there to here -- here being Wallace, Roberts & Todd's Ignacio Bunster's schematics to be presented Tuesday to the council's Trinity River Corridor Project Committee.

In our Q&A, Parrish described his vision for the bridge-turned-pedestrian park: a meandering playground dotted with flora, performance spaces, bike lanes, cafes and playgrounds ... for starters. A self-contained theme park over the Trinity River, not merely a way to get from downtown to West Dallas and Oak Cliff. Their presentation, more sketch than portrait, nevertheless holds nothing back -- you'll find everything from a "bocci court" to "sound art" to a performance stage to a "green wall" that serves as a funnel. Nothing, though, as Starfleet Academy as the original conceptual rendering, which the council rejected. And, sadly, no cheerleader.

And once you get done with that and you still need some poolside reading this weekend, well, there's always City Manager Mary Suhm's latest look at the FY2010-11 budget -- 173 pages of what is and, more to the point, what likely won't be funded in the coming year. As in, for starters: furlough days and pay reductions for all city employees (including DPD and Fire and Rescue), staffing cuts at libraries, no city auditor to monitor grants (!) and, again, no funding for 14 pools and nine rec centers. Quick, Robin, to the Meditation Plaza!

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