Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hunt: "Our goal was never to persuade politicians or business organizations, but, rather, to represent the best interests of Dallas residents."

Architects oppose bid to kill Trinity toll road

Alternative route would hurt neighborhoods, group says

September 29, 2007

The Dallas Morning News
Copyright 2007

The Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects has come out against Proposition 1, the November ballot measure that would kill the Trinity toll road.

The organization said that if voters approve the measure, the road – planned inside the Trinity River levees – would have to be relocated, at an additional cost of at least $300 million.

And if it were moved to where Industrial Boulevard is today – the most likely alternative route – the toll road "would negatively impact the revitalizing neighborhoods through which it would pass," according to a resolution from the architects' group.

The local AIA office was active in efforts under Mayor Laura Miller to revisit the Trinity River project, originally approved by Dallas voters in 1998.

In 2003, the Dallas City Council passed the current version, known as the Balanced Vision Plan. It calls for better flood controls, a downtown park, other recreational amenities – and a four- to six-lane toll road designed to ease downtown traffic congestion.

A group led by City Council member Angela Hunt got Proposition 1 placed on the November ballot. She and other opponents of the toll road say it would detract from the downtown park.

Paula Clements, executive director of the Dallas AIA chapter, said Friday: "We remain strong supporters of the Balanced Vision Plan. If Proposition 1 is approved, it puts that Balanced Vision Plan in jeopardy."

In opposing Proposition 1, the architects' group joins a long list of civic and business groups.

Ms. Hunt, interviewed Friday, said she was unfazed.

"Our goal was never to persuade politicians or business organizations," she said, "but, rather, to represent the best interests of Dallas residents."

Staff writer Dave Levinthal contributed to this report.

© 2007 The Dallas Morning News Co

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