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Poll: What Should Dallas Do About Interstate 345?

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?

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Surveys: Millennials Don’t Want to Live in Car-Centric Cities Like Dallas

Granted, there are a goodly number of Millennials roaming the streets of our fair city. But a couple recent surveys, cited today on the Atlantic Cities, suggest that the cohort born between 1982 and 2001 want to live in walkable environments, not those crisscrossed every which way by expressways out of town.

Says one of the polls:

They found that 54 percent of Millennials surveyed would consider moving to another city if it had more or better options for getting around, and 66 percent said access to high quality transportation is one of the top three criteria they would weigh when deciding where to live. Nearly half of those who owned a car said they would consider giving it up if they could count on public transportation options. Up to 86 percent said it was important for their city to offer opportunities to live and work without relying on a car.

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200,000 Drivers a Day on Interstate 345 Is Not a Fixed Number

Recently on The Atlantic Cities site, an article examined the case of Seoul, South Korea, and its success tearing out what the author (a fellow at an urban planning nonprofit) refers to as an “apple-corer” highway. Our own Peter Simek also wrote about Seoul, along with a few other cities that’ve undertaken similar projects, in the May issue of D Magazine.

One portion of the Atlantic piece in particular struck me because it underlines the reasons that proponents of tearing down Interstate 345  aren’t discouraged when opponents swear that the idea is a non-starter because of one simple fact: 200,000 drivers traverse that connecter highway on the east side of downtown. Surely you can’t remove a road that so many people drive. Except, yes, you can. For a few reasons:

First of all, traffic is not some sort of fixed volume. People drive cars, and if a highway isn’t there, they may take a bus or bicycle to work. They may telecommute, or they may sell their suburban home and move to the city. There is no set number of driver, for which you build roads.

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How Tearing Down I-345 Could Lead to Shorter South Dallas Commutes

Late yesterday afternoon, over on the Dallas Morning News opinion blog, Tod Robberson again proclaimed himself the champion of South Dallas commuters threatened by the proposal to tear down Interstate 345:

I cannot support the proposed demolition of I-345 knowing that we will be adding yet another item to the long list of grievances southern Dallas residents have to justify their argument that this city only cares about big projects when they benefit the north.

This morning Patrick Kennedy took to his blog in response, arguing via a bunch of numbers that the highways that have hurt development at the core of the city — interstates 345 and 30 especially — have indirectly resulted in longer commute times for people in South Dallas.

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Morning News Pushes For Burying I-30

It’s nice to have the Dallas Morning News recognize the destructiveness of urban interstate highways, as they do in this editorial. A taste:

The chance to restore the physical connection between East Dallas and South Dallas, with a walkable link to Fair Park, would change the face and function of two of the most important and historic areas of the city. Both East and South Dallas suffered decline after the interstate’s construction.

Welcome to the party, guys. We’ve been advocating for this idea since 2010, and we continue to do so in our May issue.

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SAGA Pod 1.6: Is Downtown Dallas Segregated?

Jim Schutze and I try to figure out why you should care about the HUD-Dallas stories. Bottom line: it’s because the city has been taking federal money to end segregation, and apparently/allegedly/maybe been using that money to promote segregation, at least downtown. We discuss what this means, if Mary Suhm should get any blame (I get a little yell-y at this point,) and whether this would make a better column than the one I planned to write about DISD. Also: We debut a segment with a good friend of mine who has long suggested he would be a fantastic addition to the pod.


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Someone’s Watching You: Mike Rawlings’ Plan to Make Downtown Dallas The Envy of All Texas

The Great Gatsby‘s valley of ashes had the Eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg. Now Mayor Mike Rawlings apparently wants downtown Dallas to become known for the spirit of Tony Tasset’s Eye sculpture. Rawlings, it seems, thinks upping its “cool index” could propel downtown to another level. So he wants the area to get organized […]

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Will Architects Charged With Rethinking the Downtown-Trinity River Connection Continue to Ignore the Controversial Trinity Toll Roll?

Over the summer, the Nasher Sculpture Center hosted The Connected City Design Symposium, a conversation about the CityDesign Studio-, The Trinity Trust Foundation-, Downtown Dallas Inc.-, and the Real Estate Council Federation-backed architectural competition that seeks new and creative ways to connect downtown Dallas to the Trinity River. It’s a competition open to both architects and amateurs alike, […]

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