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Leading Off (10/28/13)

Wendy Davis Bringing Out the Big Guns. It looks like the Democratic Senator from Fort Worth isn’t messing around. She’s hired Karin Johanson to manage her gubernatorial campaign. That’s the same Johanson who helped Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin defeat a rather beloved (in Wisconsin) former Gov. Tommy Thompson in 2012’s Senate race. Baldwin became the first openly gay person to be elected to the post.

Tear down Interstate 345. According to the Dallas Morning News’ architecture critic Mark Lamster, ridding the city of the highway you likely don’t even know under that name could be a major improvement to Dallas. It’s a compelling argument. I-345, which connects I-30 and the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, is nothing but a barrier on the east side of Downtown, Lamster writes, cutting the city off from Deep Ellum and East Dallas. Successfully completed in the ’70s, it also successfully drove out any pedestrian life, something I learned quickly upon moving to Dallas. On one of my first nights here, I accidentally tried to walk in that area. Lesson learned.

More Kennedy Reading Material. It’s not enough to read the books about President John F. Kennedy, you need to read about the books devoted to Kennedy. The New York Times alleged in this week’s Sunday Book Review that despite the books, all the books, we still don’t know much about Kennedy. It’s an interesting read for the first few pages, until Times editor Jill Abramson starts providing a synopsis of what feels like every Kennedy book ever written. But I’d recommend the early portion.

Ready for Christmas? The lights are already going up.

10 comments on “Leading Off (10/28/13)

  1. For one view of Kennedy, I highly recommend the 4th volume of Caro’s bio of LBJ. he talks quite a bit about what sort of man Kennedy really was.

  2. You havent been here very long, so I can understand your lack of experience with Dallas traffic flow. However, before you start lobbying for a rearrangement of our highway connectors, I suggest leaving your office at 5pm and head south on Woodall.

    Where do you propose all those cars exiting onto I-30 be permanently detoured? Through downtown? West to I-35 and double-up that traffic squeeze? As someone who drives on I-345 on a regulat basis, I dont think much of your idea to tear it down so that once and awhile you will have an easier stroll over into Deep Ellum.

  3. “I-345, which connects I-30 and the Woodall Rodgers Freeway”, I don’t know which is worse — your ignorance of history or the highway system. Woodall Rodgers is the “connector”, completed 15 years after I-345 to connect the I-35 and I-45/US-75 corridors. I-345 is both an integral part of one of the primary North/South highways through the central United States and a major connector between south and north Dallas. Do you want to tell the residents in south Dallas that they’ll need to spend and extra hour each time they want to get to the jobs and shopping in north Dallas in the suburbs? Because that’s where most of them work and shop.

    Also, Deep Ellum is Deep Ellum specifically because it has always been cut off from downtown. I-345 follows that route because it was previously the Houston Central ROW, including a rail yard south of Main Street. One could make the point that constructing I-345 *improved* pedestrian access in the area.

    By your arguments the highway we should be closing is really Woodall Rogers, since it’s the “connector”. How about it? Or perhaps since you actually use that highway you aren’t quite as interested in removing it as you are in removing one where it’s other people who have to take the hit?

  4. Goodness gracious, I struck a nerve. I’m merely saying Mark Lamster’s take on whether to tear down I-345 is a compelling read. I stand by that.

  5. Dallas is a place that doesn’t tolerate “thoughtful discussion” very well (as you well know ;) ).

  6. Good point. Apparently Cristina has an issue with “thoughtful discussion” of her post.

  7. Maybe Mark Lamster could take his urban cool persona and look into solving the issues with the paucity of true downtown living amenities before he proposes bringing hundreds, if not thousands, more residents into downtown.
    High retail rents and limited parking outside of the ubiquitous valet parking or price gouging street lots are endemic to the problems inherent with downtown living in Dallas Restaurants and high end retail do not make a community (see the AAC area).
    The addition of housing for housing’s sake doesn’t seem like a good reason to bludgeon the current road structure. Mr. Lamster’s article makes assumptions without forethought. not everybody driving on the 345 corridor is coming in from Rockwall or Rowlett. Plenty of drivers depending on the ease of access are from East and South Dallas, which he seems to forget, are part of Dallas.