Sunday, September 23, 2007

"The Trinity River Project should not be held hostage to an ugly tollway concept that will soon become outmoded and an eyesore for generations."

The Trinity tollway debate

September 23, 2007

The Dallas Morning News
Copyright 2007

Trinity trees a mirage

Re: "Corps: Trees in Trinity levees OK if flood rules met – Dallas: Toll road backers' disputed drawings could become reality," Thursday Metro.

So now they're going to put huge trees in pots to beautify the Trinity toll road or get the Army Corps of Engineers to make an exception so trees can be planted in the ground, even though the trees' roots could undermine the integrity of the levees.

Just look at Central Expressway. The Texas Department of Transportation couldn't even maintain shrubs in the median, so they just filled it with rocks. And now proponents want us to believe they'll have an elegant high-speed tollway forested with big trees. I'm afraid the latest drawings are just as dubious as the original drawings used to sell us on the Trinity Project bond proposal nine years ago.

Dave Stecko, Dallas

How about ... a monorail?

The proposed tollway would aesthetically ruin the park and cheat future Dallasites of a great urban legacy. It is clearly not the long-term answer.

Dallasites should insist on more creative, sustainable solutions. These include more HOV commuter lanes, support for carpools, and the expansion of DART rail and orbital parking lots. If not, put the tollway partially underground, or use Industrial Boulevard as a corridor for the tollway.

Back in the '80s, Max Goldblatt advocated a monorail system for parts of Dallas. Why not revisit this option?

The Trinity River Project should not be held hostage to an ugly tollway concept that will soon become outmoded and an eyesore for generations to come.

Steven G. Alpert, Dallas

The river runs through it

Thank you for the even-handed piece on the Trinity River Corridor Project. Gene Rice, an Army Corps of Engineers project manager who has studied the proposal from its outset, confirmed to me that the floodway is just that – a floodway. In any given year, there is a chance for a flood event. The proposed park will be completely under water on those occasions.

Bob Carle, service hydrologist with the National Weather Service/NOAA, advises that the Trinity has crested above flood stage 55 times in the last 10 years, with 10 of those times in 2007 alone. I say build the tollway and use the bond money for some landscape enhancements elsewhere that won't be swept away by floodwaters five or six times a year. Let the river run through us, not over us.

J.K. Ivey, Plano

Again, Oak Cliff slighted

Re: "Fight over Trinity toll road starts at the drawing board – Backers' road lined by trees; foes call images misleading," Wednesday news story.

Sorry, I'm not falling for the $1 million per mile to landscape the future Trinity tollway.

Interstate 30 has just been widened and updated, and from what I can see, there hasn't been one cent spent on landscaping it or the interchanges. Interstate 30 is in Oak Cliff, and apparently we don't deserve a single cent in landscaping, but downtown deserves $1 million per mile. How typical.

Van Johnson, Dallas

Project really about a road

Re: "Trinity fight yet to heat up – Toll road backers try to distill message; foes coping with scant funds," Tuesday news story.

Carol Reed, the advertising maven for big business, counsels that, "To win this, you have to get visual." Maybe she can come up with some very pretty watercolors and brochures showing the Trinity project as envisioned by the proponents that will sway voter opinion.

Oh, wait, we already saw those back in 1998. Do Ms. Reed, Mr. Leppert and all of the other toll road supporters really think they can pull that one over on us again?

Chris Hibbard, Dallas

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