Michael Morris is the transportation director of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. As Jason mentioned in Leading Off, Morris made some rather interesting remarks in the paper today about the effort underway to investigate whether it makes sense to tear down I-345. He went to a meeting where he met people who are suggesting that spending $100 million or so to repair I-345 is a bad idea and that we ought to consider instead doing away with it and allowing redevelopment to stitch downtown back together with Deep Ellum. Morris said he noticed something about those people:
“They were all white, they were very wealthy and I don’t think any of them live in the neighborhood,” he said.
Then this comes along later in the story:
Morris said that so far, the push for tearing down I-345 has been “top-down and not bottom-up.”
Here’s what I can’t wrap my head around: Patrick Kennedy is rich? Man, I knew he was white, but I had no idea he was loaded. Next time, he’s buying. I also have trouble figuring out how this is a “top down” push when the DMN story describes Patrick’s group thusly: “A New Dallas is a grassroots group that is gaining national attention among transportation experts and urban planners for its campaign to have I-345 torn down.” That’s a rare thing indeed, a top-down grassroots group.
Just a few thoughts from where I sit. Patrick does a much better job here of blowing Morris’ statements out of the water. And Councilman Philip T. Kingston wrote on his Facebook page about Morris’ comments. Kingston didn’t particularly like being called a racist.