Friday, April 18, 2014

Cross-Post: A Reaction to DMN Editorial on 345

The following is a cross-post from anonymous sage, Wylie H. Dallas responding to the DMN editorial board on 345:

Irritating, flawed editorial from DMN:
1) They start with the premise that I-345 is an "invaluable piece of community hardware" without providing any support for that claim... intellecutally lazy. 
2) They say that "other city leaders" support this plan... but the only ones I know that have come out in support are Vonciel Jones Hill and Sheffie Kadane. Neither of their districts are in close proximity to this structure and few of their constituents have any reason to use it. 
3) The falsely characterize TxDOT's plan as a bridge "stabilization," rather than a tear down and rebuild. I'm guessing they call it that because if they accurate describe what's going to happen: they are going to close major sections while tearing the thing down and subsequently rebuilding it, that would allow for a reality in which the thing is going to be closed and gone for a period. They don't want the intellectual "anchor" to be a closed torn-down, under construction highway--- they are trying implying that this is going to be a relatively seamless repair. Very clever on the part of the DMN Editorial Board. 
4) They say this has to be done for the purpose of "safety,"--- but safety for who, exactly, and how is that defined? They say to not do the work would be "irresponsible." But... the City of Dallas urban street grid has BILLIONS of dollars in unfunded needs... the traffic signals are obsolete, roads and sidewalks are crumbling/missing and feature numerous poorly configured, dangerous intersections. 
Given all of the above, wouldn't we being doing more for "safety" if we devoted resources to fixing the City's street grid? Isn't it "irresponsible" to waste money tearing down and rebuilding a redundant link in the City's extensive highway grid rather than addressing more pressing needs?

The only thing that I could add, besides the fact that the DMN is short-sightedly hung up on traffic, origins and destinations (which are malleable), thus forgetting the problem of why South Dallas must commute 15+ miles to jobs, the reality of Dallas County losing jobs and investment, and the long-term financial viability of the current transportation paradigm, is that the new tax base and redevelopment allows us to re-think what infrastructure, mobility, and connectivity means while modernizing it.  What if the tear-out and reconstruction of the grid would also allow us to lay giga-bit fiber networks throughout the area, linking Baylor, downtown, Fair Park, South Dallas, and the Cedars?

I hope the editorial board can find time to show up to the DDI screening of The Human Scale on April 24th at 8 pm in Main Street Garden.