Opinion: Hit the Brakes on Dallas Freeway Plan

A proposal to bury a Dallas freeway may not be the best way forward for the area’s residents.

1 minute read

February 22, 2023, 9:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Dallas, Texas

D Guest Smith / Shutterstock

An opinion piece by Chad West, who represents Dallas City Council District 1, in The Dallas Morning News calls on Dallas stakeholders and the Texas Department of Transportation to delay TxDOT’s proposal to ‘bury’ a portion of Interstate 345 after the agency called removing the freeway altogether ‘unfeasible.’

Critics of this proposal say the decision to simply entrench a portion of the 10-lane road 65 feet below ground perpetuates a prioritization of vehicle traffic at the expense of pedestrians and public space. The plan includes proposals for pedestrian walkways and public spaces, but some critics aren't convinced that it will do enough to stitch the neighborhood back together.

West lays out three major reasons to assess more options: property taxes, quality of life, and justice and dignity. For West, removing the freeway that divides and isolates the primarily Black and Latino Deep Ellum neighborhood is the only way to start redressing the negative impacts the road had on the area.

Although the freeway segment in question is not in West’s district, West writes, “we should be looking for every way possible for the city to alleviate the property tax pressures on our residents while reducing the high cost of distance between our daily destinations; building jobs closer to housing and housing closer to jobs.”

Friday, February 17, 2023 in The Dallas Morning News

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