The Plano City Council considered the latest Parks and Recreation Department Master Plan during a public hearing on Monday night. The plan lays out the long-term needs and goals for the city's park system, but also introduces some big ideas including a deck park over the Dallas North Tollway at Legacy Drive.
"The Dallas North Tollway is a little bit of a barrier between the Legacy Town Center and Legacy West," said Plano's Director of Parks and Recreation, Robin Reeves. "How could you make that better? How could you make a connection between those two?"
Reeves said the idea was in the very early stages. It doesn't even have a price tag yet and would require buy in from the Texas Department of Transportation, the North Texas Tollway Authority, developers, the city council and voters.
"Many people would have to come together to decide that's something they want to pursue," Reeves said. "All we're doing at this point is putting it out there as an idea."
The Parks and Recreation Department's master plan is meant to help the city make decisions as future opportunities come along, but the city would not be obligated to build any of the projects in the master plan, explained Reeves.
Funding would happen through bond programs and annual Community Investment Program budgets. Bond programs would require an election and voter approval.
Amanda D'Antonio, who lives in Plano, said the idea of a future deck park would be an exciting one.
"It just brings a lot of people. Everything is walking distance and I think it would connect shops at Legacy West to the other side of Legacy," D’Antonio said.
Taylor Bruckler agreed.
"I feel like it's really urban over here," Bruckler said. "We need another, like, setting to go bring your dog on a Saturday and just hang out."
Tammie Webster said her family already enjoyed visiting Klyde Warren Park in Downtown Dallas, but said she would want to know more about how Plano could pay for something similar.
"It would be nice. We wouldn't have to go so far," Webster said of the idea. "But, it depends on who's paying for it."
"If you build it, they might come," said David Stephens of Plano. "But, I don't know if there's a demand for it."
The Parks and Recreation master plan also included suggestions for a pedestrian bridge over U.S. 75 to connect downtown Plano with Collin Creek Mall – where the city is encouraging redevelopment.
The plan spelled out more short-term proposals like renovating some of the city's older neighborhood parks and expanding senior programs.
"We've got parks that are 30 and 40 years old and some of them need renovation," Reeves said. "We need to take care of those parks that we have. That's a much higher priority than some of the bigger idea projects that we've got in the plan."