Lincoln Meets With Neighbors to Bolster Support for Katy Trail Project

Gridlock traffic on Hall Street walking to 6 p.m. Lincoln meeting

I could open by saying this was a full house, but the room in question wasn’t large, seating approximately 30 people.  So “full” would be misleading.  Most of the attendees appeared to be owners hoping to sell their property to Lincoln for their Lincoln Katy Trail project on Carlisle and Hall Streets. There was some friction from neighbors opposed to the project.

That friction mostly boiled down to the traffic study supplied. It states delays from the project would not result in more than 35 additional trips and a second of added delay during peak traffic hour. After the meeting I chatted with Lincoln representative Angela Hunt about the traffic conclusions and why they make no sense to most people.

I told her what she appears to be saying is that is that going from 115 units to the now proposed 309 units will only result in 35 additional trips at rush hour … period.  Of course that’s not true.  Hundreds of apartments equals hundreds, perhaps a thousand trips per day in total. And traffic naturally ebbs and flows throughout the day and week, it’s not a steady stream.

I could, with complete truth, say that these hundreds of apartments will generate zero increased traffic … from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. on any Wednesday except the one before Thanksgiving.  While true, it’s misleading.  And saying that traffic will peak at 35 additional cars is disingenuous because that 35 will be surrounded by times where it’s 34 or 33 added cars.  The real answer to the traffic question is to show the total increase to traffic throughout a day, highlighting the impact for an entire rush hour cycle.  And of course that impact should be measured on all surrounding streets … Hall, Carlisle and Bowen. One street may act completely different.  For example, Hall Street connects directly with Central Expressway with nary a left-turn lane, making it more of an issue than the comparatively less congested Carlisle.

Traffic is like the tides. They rise and fall throughout a day

I told her to show a chart that maps out a more complete picture. I’ve seen these kinds of charts before and told Hunt I’d email one to her, but it’s nearing midnight and I’ve not quickly laid my hands on one from my files.  I’ll keep looking, but the tidal chart above gives the gist.

The other issue I had was with the shade study.  New graphics were shown that do not show the impact on the street as the first ones did. Instead the new graphics are from the sky downwards (and very, very tiny). Think of a wire frame view of buildings out an airplane window.  I commented that the format change was fishy.  Hunt said some complained about the prior graphic.  Fine.  But in my experience when someone changes a format, it’s to obscure, not expose.

Hunt said she was surprised I’m not in support of this project.  My reply was as I said in a prior column.  I begin with the underlying zoning.  In Toll Brothers’ case, it was MF-3, so height was always there.  Here it’s MF-2 which limits to 36 feet in height.  I added that like the rest of Dallas, the architecture was not going to win any awards either.  I might have bent more for a stunning building.

The meeting did produce one real oddity.  Oak Lawn Committee vice-president Leland Burk attended.  To my knowledge he has no financial stake in this project and as an OLC officer his attendance seemed inappropriate given this project is still seeking OLC support. As I said, odd.

Lincoln will make their fourth presentation to the OLC at Tuesday’s 6:30p meeting at the Melrose Hotel which is open to the public.

Stay tuned for our coverage of the Tuesday Oak Lawn Committee meeting (posting Wednesday).

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement.  If you’re interested in hosting a Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors has recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email sharewithjon@candysdirt.com.

20 Comment

  • For me, another fundamental difference between this project and, say the Toll Brothers project is the involvement of Lincoln Properties! There track record, in my opinion, neither suggests trust or community friendliness and partnership. They do have a track record of not respecting community sentiment (Turtle Creek Village, for example) and these traffic reports and shade studies do nothing to garner transparency or trust. It seems like all that is SOP for this developer. Lincoln forced well established community professional practices out of 3131 Turtle Creek because they didn’t like the businesses in their building….including a very popular chiropractic/wellness center. Lincoln isn’t about our community and personally I don’t trust what they say.

    • mm

      Dr. Jones, can you tell us how specifically Lincoln was not a good neighbor? Personally, I think the current Turtle Creek Village is a vast improvement over the old. Thanks!

      • One issue of Turtle Creek Village concerned “Good Eats,” a popular and successful cafe and bar. Despite its longevity and community popularity, Lincoln refused to renew their lease despite Good Eats willingness to double their rent and renovate to the specifications of Lincoln. Lincoln would not negotiate in anyway and Oak Lawn lost an old favorite. Just one example….

  • I’m on the Oak Lawn committee and I live very near this proposed project. As of now/today, during rush hour, this section of Hall is in gridlock. Meaning driving from Turtle Creek Blvd., you can’t go through the light at Carslile until there is space for you on the road ahead. Those cars ahead of you can’t go through the stop sign at Cole until there is space for their car on the road ahead. The cars in front of that can’t move until the light at McKinney changes. God forbid someone at that intersection wants to turn left on McKinney. The report said the increase in traffic will only be 35 cars during rush hour and only add 2 seconds to drive time. I know next to nothing about traffic studies so I could be dead wrong but it just doesn’t sound logically correct. These days we are so accustomed to bias in stories it is very difficult to tell where truth exists.

    • mm

      Yup, I get that. Just getting to the meeting at 6pm was annoying. But I’m also starting to wonder if what traffic studies are really saying is that, “traffic may suck now, but adding X-cars more won’t make it suck appreciably more.”
      .
      I’m not saying I buy that necessarily. How do 100+ new cars entering/exiting a location into gridlock not cause excess backups on the roads feeding into gridlock?

  • I think Hall and Bowen need to be one way in opposing directions to help traffic congestion not only from this project but the new Hillwood properties. Add the 16 story tower on the Poston property and you have a rush hour nightmare. I live nearby in Renaissance East Tower (A) Building and sometimes already we cannot get into our parking garage entrance. I’m not really opposed to the project but serious thought needs to be put into what is happening with neighborhood.

  • Why is Lincoln being given $20 million to unnecessarily redevelop property in an already very expensive part of town?

  • There is a law in place. Zoning has been specified for this immediate area and should be respected. It is ironic that the very same person who spoke so convincingly about the need to respect zoning as those investing their money and lives in a neighborhood needed to know that their lives would not be threatened by changes in the zoning laws, is now talking out of the other side of her mouth. Presumably money is the driving force that compromises the integrity of a well based opinion.
    The proposed building will undoubtedly clog up the neighborhood with excess traffic. This so-called study and increase of 35 cars is an insult to anyone with the most basic intelligence. Building 325 units will, without question, result in a much larger increase in traffic at rush hour unless one buys the ridiculous notion that only 10 percent of the people who will live there will go out to work and hence hit the road when everyone else does.
    The issue of sunlight is being glossed over. One of the main reasons for zoning is so that other building are not dwarfed and robbed of natural light. If residents in the area would have know that the very same Angela Hunt who stopped the Gables from building high rise apartments would now be back trying to rob them of their light and views, perhaps they would not have invested.
    This whole Lincoln issue and the way it is being approached is a disgrace !

  • These studies are such blatant manipulations of data that they are naked insults to the average person’s intelligence. Shady, dodgy communication like that coming from Lincoln Property Company and Angela Hunt only hurt their cause. This stuff may work if they were presenting to the residents of Homer Simpson’s town, Springfield, but the folks on the Oak Lawn Committee are rational and take their charter to make decisions in the best interests of the community and its residents (vs. money grabbing developers and mercenary consultants) seriously.

    • Well said ! Time to call it for what it is ! These people care not a single jot for our community – it’s all about them making money at whatever cost to whomever !

  • A couple of things are unclear. With MF-2 zoning, it is impossible to increase the count from 115 to 305 without dramatically impacting the F.A.R. Lincoln would have maxed out the site on Day 1. What changed?
    As to the traffic study, it is indeed skewed. No doubt about it. I’m a developer and happy to discuss. Call me – 214/629-6892.

  • It should be emphasized that LPC bought this land knowing that it is zoned MF-2. Having paid for MF-2 land, LPC now wants to change the rules that everyone else has relied upon in its favor to build an 80 foot concrete tower 15 feet from the edge of Carlisle street. The author does a good job pointing out the misleading and fishy nature of LPC’s traffic “study” and shade “study”. There is no question that this tower will block the views and sunlight from the complex across the street. There is also no question that cramming hundreds of additional apartments into that parcel will increase traffic gridlock. Take a look at the photo the author took in the article. Imagine how much worse the rush hour traffic would be with 325 apartments on the left side of the picture – where you can currently see lots of trees.

    LPC’s plan is to take a street that has green space and trees on both sides (Carlisle) and convert one side into a cold concrete 15 foot strip next to a giant concrete tower. The current green space has large trees. For example, at the intersection of Carlisle and Hall there is a live oak tree that is about 3 feet in diameter – meaning it is approximately 100 years. old. This is irreplaceable. However, it is more than 15 feet back from the street so it will presumably be ripped out by LPC along with all of the other trees that are more than 15 feet from the roadside.

    As the author noted in a prior article, the magnitude of LPC’s ask is enormous and outsized. LPC wants to block the afternoon sun, block the views to the west, increase the traffic gridlock and eliminate green space, all so that it can make a killing on land that is not zoned to support this project.. LPC’s request should be rejected to preserve the ambiance, green space, and property values of the neighborhood. Far from “bolstering support” I do not know a single neighbor who supports LPC’s plan.

  • Doesn’t Oaklawn already have enough apartments? This may be built by Lincoln, but what will stop it from being bought and sold several times and turning into a dump? How about building something residents can purchase, have an ownership interest in, and reason to keep in good shape?