CityMAP main graphic 1

If you missed part one, click here.  Overall, the documents and scenarios CityMAP put together are logical and straight-forward.  Most call for the submersion of key highways surrounding Dallas’ core aiding in traffic flow and neighborhood revitalization.

One calls for the rerouting of I-30 to the distant south and one calls for the removal of a portion of I-45 and US-75.  I’m all for the submersion and covering of these highways.  I’m faaaaaar from convinced on these other two.

Are you HIGH?

What happens to 45/75 traffic when it's partially removed. Everything scatters before returning to the highway.

What happens to 45/75 traffic when it’s partially removed. Everything scatters before returning to the highway.

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Let's just say that this rendering of the Trinity Tollway is never, ever going to happen. It's going to be bigger, uglier, and it's going to need more elevated feeders. One of those, the Jefferson Memorial , might completely cut off West Dallas from North Oak Cliff.

“This thing has been nothing but a sales job based on some watercolors. Fancy watercolors. It’s time now to just kill this road and get on with business.” — District 1 Dallas City Council Member Scott Griggs

The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects has formally come out against the Trinity Toll Roadas it is now designed. The organization issued this statement earlier this week, just a few months after screening the 1967 documentary The Walls Are Rising, which was a critique on the hodge-podge planning and zoning the city sowed during it’s building boom at the mid-century mark. We are certainly reaping that lack of planning now, especially as the Trinity Tollway has become the yardstick against which politicians are being measured.

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Former City Council member Angela Hunt has an important message in her latests 'Lakewood Advocate' column. (Photo: Lakewood Advocate)

Former City Council member Angela Hunt has an important message in her latests ‘Lakewood Advocate’ column. (Photo: Lakewood Advocate)

I can’t stress enough how important it is to read Angela Hunt’s latest column in the Advocate. I’ll give you the basic jist, but it’s definitely worth a read because it falls right in line with what Vishaan Chakrabarti told us ahead of The Dallas Festival of Ideas: Quit worrying so much about being “world class” and start worrying more about quality of life. Take care of that and the rest will follow.

Jump from an excerpt from Hunt’s column that is particularly important.

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Dusk Skyline

Past, meet future.

It’s just incredible how often we think and talk about the destiny of our city and how it is tied to the Trinity River. The discussion we’re having about this natural resource that bisects Dallas, some of them behind closed doors, isn’t a new one. In fact, we’ve been talking about the Trinity River’s influence since at least 1967, when Rob Perryman, an Austin writer and photographer, took 8,000 photos of our downtown and turned them into a narrated 40-minute movie called “The Walls Are Rising.” It was a commision of the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, whose goal was to spur development through awareness.

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Will Alex Krieger's vision of a narrow, four-lane parkway next to the Trinity River win over a massive toll road?

Will Alex Krieger’s vision of a narrow, four-lane parkway next to the Trinity River win over a massive toll road?

Last week, the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects took a couple of days to really home in on the challenges that Dallas must overcome to be a sustainable and attractive city in the long term. A city that can compete with other areas that offer more holistic transportation solutions in an urban environment. Those lofty goals were all addressed at the organization’s Mobility Summit.

Long a car-centric city, the next generation of Dallas residents are upending the long-held belief that commuting is a forgone conclusion, measuring distance in hours door-to-door. Instead, more and more thinkers are looking critically at Dallas and our eight-lane highways, our toll roads, and our elevated high-speed thoroughfares.

As usual, Robert Wilonsky (who, I swear writes 99 percent of the copy on the Dallasnews.com site) did a fabulous job breaking down the big issues and discussions at the event, and the breakthroughs brought on by gathering so many people passionate about Dallas’ design future. The most impact was felt by Harvard professor and urban planner Alex Krieger, a co-author of Dallas’ Balanced Vision Plan, when he backed off his support of a road within the levees of the Trinity River.

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Trinity Tollway Rendering NTTA

Drawing: NTTA

So, who is still carrying banners for the Trinity Tollway? Looks like the numbers are getting pretty thin, and now Dallas’ most influential architecture organization, the American Institute of Architects — Dallas has pulled their support for the road planned between the levees of the Trinity River.

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There has been too much real estate news occupying my brain this week — Museum Tower on the front page of the NYT, Champ D’Or closing, the continuing Deion and Pilar fracas. Now I have to digest this Trinity Tollway thing.  My husband is flat out against, I am for, I think. Pretty soon we’ll be like Deion and Pilar! I need a fix of House Porn, something not out on the boonies, but a home where you can walk everywhere because that is what these young Green things want us to do. Never mind that we are all getting older, the climate is getting warmer, and I think making us walk in August is a way to kill us off to save on Social Security!

Lordy Lordy, here’s a fix for $1,199,000. It’s 4,800 square feet at a corner Casada townhome that is gated yet still sports a two car garage. Casada is a development of 22 luxury townhomes at Blackburn and Turtle Creek, ranging from 3500 to 5200 square feet, developed by Alan McDonald as City Homes and then sold to Centex when about 85% completed. Four are exceptionally large units with exteriors rivalling a Park Cities home. In fact, listing agent Missy Woehr says this is about as close as you can get to a home in Turtle Creek without the maintenance.

“If I cannot keep the bushes trimmed with tweezers,” says Missy, “then then it’s too much work.”

This unit was purchased four years ago by serious cooks who gutted the existing 2003 kitchen and brought in German ingenuity. Hell, I think they just relocated Angela Merkel. There’s Gaggeneau, Fisher&Paykel, Bosch, Wolf, professional culinary stainless counters, steam center, induction cooktop, warming drawers, two dishwashers, beverage station, LIEBHERR refrigerator which I will have in my next home, soft-close cabinets and LED lighting. There are four bedrooms, four and a half baths, an extreme exterior entertainment area, beautiful circular staircase, huge master, elevator, formals. Compare Casada to higher-priced downtown condos: try $250ish a square foot with $600 a month HOA dues that cover exterior insurance and include pest control.

Oh yes, best part to make the Greens happy: you can leave your hybrid or electric car in the garage and walk walk walk to Uptown, downtown, even the Tate Lecture Series at S.M.U. 3360 Blackburn is on the Katy Trail, which is almost as important to some buyers today as a pool — maybe more!