Seeking a Voice for Suburban Transit Interests in Dallas
Ron Whitehead provides an opinion piece for The Dallas Morning News arguing for a regional focus to transit planning in the Dallas area. Whitehead reacts to the results of the traditional "hub-and-spoke" approach to regional transit, pitched some 35 years ago in Dallas:
Building out from the hub would mean all of the money for light rail for the first 20 years of DART's existence would be spent entirely within Dallas. The suburbs would get connectivity through bus service until the spokes could be built out to them in the future. That was what happened for 20 years and we continued to pay our part and believe in the concept of regional transit.
Now, however, plans for a D2 downtown subway line have been played against a proposed Cotton Belt connection to the suburbs. According to Whitehead, the debate has been "disheartening to many of us who have been here from the beginning." Although the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) board recommended in October that both projects move forward, Whitehead asks that the readers not be fooled: "the goal among some people in Dallas is to kill the Cotton Belt so that it won't go through North Dallas."
As a response to what he describes as the perpetual neglect of suburban interest in the regional transit planning, Whitehead calls for suburban interests to be selected to fill vacancies on the DART board.