Debate Surrounds Dallas Riverside Park Plans

<p>Plans to build an expansive mid-city park in Dallas may be squashed as voters consider whether they want to pay for a six-lane tollway and various other highway improvements to mitigate the loss of transportation routes through the proposed park.</p>
November 1, 2007, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"An ambitious, $1.7 billion plan to develop the flood channel as a park, lakes and a six-lane tollway could be derailed amid a battle between a lone Dallas councilwoman and much of the rest of the city's political and business establishment."

"Voters in this city of 1.2 million will decide Tuesday whether to scrap the tollway. At stake, supporters say, are billions of dollars in related highway improvements to ease traffic congestion and a boon to downtown property values and recreation. Those against the tollway say it has wrongly taken precedence over the project's public park. They also say the road will mainly benefit wealthy property owners angling to develop condos and office towers near the river."

"Cities across the country are trying to turn rivers and lakefronts into assets, but those efforts often spark big debates over whether transportation should supersede recreation. Buffalo, N.Y., residents are asking Gov. Eliot Spitzer to block an impending revamp of an elevated three-mile section of Route 5, which blocks recreational access to Lake Erie, and instead scale it back to a smaller boulevard. In 2002, Milwaukee tore down the one-mile Park East Freeway spur along the Milwaukee River to give residents and developers better access to the riverfront."

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Published on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 in The Wall Street Journal
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