Poll: What Should Dallas Do About Interstate 345?

The dead zone around Interstate 345.   (photo by Scott Womack)
The dead zone around Interstate 345. (photo by Scott Womack)

You’ve read the argument made in the May issue of D Magazine, that Interstate 345 — the connector road between U.S. Highway 75 and interstates 30 and 45 with a stranglehold on the east side of downtown — ought to be removed.

And you’ve read much of the case made here on FrontBurner: Highways are bleeding Dallas of its people, that removal could long-term decrease South Dallas commute times, that the city has lost its jobs to the suburbs, that 345 isn’t always the best option for drivers anyway, that changes are needed to close the North vs. South gap, and that tearing down the road isn’t going to suddenly leave 200,000 drivers with no place else to go. There was more, but I’ll leave it at that.

So what do you think?

23 comments on “Poll: What Should Dallas Do About Interstate 345?

  1. One thing you will hear in these parts is how Fort Worth’s downtown is nicer than Dallas. Which some would argue is true, and that it is a shining success.

    Given such success you do not hear folks in Fort Worth saying, “Let’s loop our downtown. Let’s convert Henderson and Weatherford Street into elevated freeways to make downtown more successful!”

    Now some will say the reason why downtown Fort Worth is nicer than Dallas has to do with the Bass family. Certainly they have played a role, but would they have played that role and would Forth Worth have seen such a turnaround if its Downtown was completely surrounded by freeways?

  2. Well if the goal is to revitalize downtown then they should tear it down and make a boulevard. If the goal is to get people to pass through downtown on the way to Houston or Mexico, then they should leave it. Personally, I love Houston and Mexico more than my city so I say build more freeways through downtown! They sure knew what they were doing when they slapped those suckers down in the 70′s. I bet now, with modern technology we could make them bigger…and with wi-fi!

  3. That’s a great point. There is no way I-345 would be built today. The Trinity Tollroad wouldn’t even win a vote today, and it doesn’t even smash through downtown. So why continue to have I-345?

  4. Hasn’t Uptown been a resounding success despite being “removed” from downtown by Woodall Rodgers? Not only was Woodall a highway, it was also essentially a canyon limiting movement between downtown and uptown to a few bridges. It certainly appears to have worked out fine without removing Woodall, which one could easily argue is much less important as a highway than 345. There is no reason investment in the area directly east of downtown couldn’t mimic what has been done in Uptown. In fact, if the land is so cheap, it’s only a matter of time now that uptown is basically built out.

  5. If we define Uptown based on its PID boundaries, then no, Uptown is nothing at all like Downtown. Uptown is not completed encircled by freeways in the same way downtown is. Even if you did not go based on PID boundaries, “Uptown” is still not encircled – at least on its northern side – by freeways.

  6. Uptown revitalized because of its location in between downtown jobs and the Park Cities/Oak Lawn area. Further, it happened because land was available after S&L banks decimated the area believing they would be building office towers all over the State Thomas area. It’s resounding success has also led to many being priced out of it due to the high demand for relative walkability but very low supply. The problem with your scenario is that the land isn’t so cheap around 345. It’s incredibly valuable as there is demand to be near downtown and deep ellum. However, the projected rents can’t justify the land and development costs. The land essentially has to be written off. We’re proposing to create available land out of the right-of-way tied up under an antiquated, anti-urban piece of infrastructure that subsidizes tax base to the city of Dallas. In fact, the right-of-way land is worth far more than the cost of maintaining the road. In other words, it’s totaled.

  7. So this is the new marketing slogan?

    Downtown Dallas – You Can’t Get There From Here!

  8. And in fact Fort Worth totally moved I-30 south by at least a football field or so to include the older part of downtown, including Lancaster, that was sliced by the interstate’s overpass. One of the things that’s given the near Southside new life is this re-routing and new connectedness. If that’s a word.

  9. There is a solution to make both sides happy. A very expensive solution. Make I 345 underground and build a park over it.

  10. You could attribute most of Uptown’s recent success to Klyde Warren Park now connecting Uptown to Downtown. Most of the newer development wouldn’t have occurred if the two neighborhoods weren’t as pedestrian as they are now.

  11. Let’s go one better. Let’s make 345 underground, build a park over it, and then build an elevated freeway over that.

  12. Any proposed teardown of I-345 would just be a domino for other long overdue changes to that mess. So here is my domino theory.
    1) Build a tunnel under I-45 from around S. Lamar to I-30 (approx. 2 miles). Remove the I-45 bridge and convert to a grade level boulevard so that the southern community can also reconnect its citizens. Install light rail on I-45 out to the country line.
    2) Connect 175 to I-45 at the S. Lamar area. Convert S.M. Wright Fwy into a grade-level boulevard.
    3) Tunnel I-345 from 30 to 75 (approx. 1.25 miles). Ensure to buffer the urban areas from commercial areas with inter-connected parks to encourage pedestrian and bike traffic downtown.
    4) Tunnel from the I-30 mixmaster to the 30/80 merge (approx. 6 miles), and make a grade-level boulevard with light rail connecting to the edge of the county line.
    5) Cover over the I-30 canyon in the Klyde Warren Park manner to re-connect those neighborhoods.
    The nihilist approach of removal of roads and bridges with no offset of light rail or consideration of the effects of one change to all other interconnecting highways would be as much if not more folly as building a road to nowhere inside of a levy.

  13. Perhaps we should fill in the Trinity river as it restricts access to oak cliff?

  14. That’s a lot of money you just spent. Our approach is not in anyway short-sighted nor nihilistic. We’re improving the grid, generating tax base, suggesting a way to build D2, moving people closer to jobs and transit, and proposing expansion of street car and other alternative modes of travel.

  15. You’re kidding right? Uptown has been 25 years in the making. KWP is a product.

  16. Double deck it for traffic expansion and build a park on a third deck. Duh.

  17. Just curious, but who owns the land under I345? Is it privately owned with a right of way easement? If so, tearing out I345 would return the property to a private land owner, no?

  18. It helped in FW that they had a place to put the highway when they re-routed it, and that TXDOT (or whoever) was able to work out a deal with the railroad to allow the highway to be elevated over the tracks. While removing 345 has great appeal, the proponents are too dismissive of the concerns of people who use the highway, and of anyone who expresses doubt about the viability of rerouting the traffic onto the surface streets in the area.