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Robert Wilonsky reports on the local resistance to a state plan to widen Interstate 30 in the heart of Dallas. The resistance is coming from City Hall.
"The Texas Department of Transportation last May sent Dallas City Hall a sneak peek at its plans to redo Interstate 30 East, from downtown past Fair Park to Haskell Avenue," writes Wilonsky, who goes on to describe the reaction of local officials.
Shocked because the state's transportation agency proposed to make the highway wider, with more lanes, exit ramps and frontage roads. Shocked because the design created more barriers between downtown and East Dallas, the Cedars, Fair Park and Deep Ellum, and gobbled up enormous swaths of real estate that could be used for development instead of more concrete. And shocked because TxDOT had proposed something that went against its very own CityMAP, the design document City Hall wholeheartedly embraced in the summer of 2016.
The Dallas Transportation Department has been working on a rebuttal, presenting the document [pdf] to the City Council's Mobility Solutions, Infrastructure, and Sustainability Committee this week. Local officials are hoping for the renovation of I-30 to reconnect South Dallas and Downtown while helping to revitalize Fair Park. The Dallas Transportation Department thus has proposed eight guiding principles it hopes the state will use to guide future refinements of the highway plan.