Dallas Changes Gears on Trinity Parkway

Late Thursday, Dallas city leaders endorsed a new approach to a proposed Trinity River Parkway.

The idea of a downtown traffic relieving road along the Trinity river was first approved by voters in 1998 and again in 2007.

And after all this time, a high-speed tollway was finally approved by the Federal Highway Administration this year.

But critics have always complained the tollway with exit ramps and a concrete flood wall would ruin the planned Trinity River park.

The new plan was the result of a “dream team” of planning consultants arranged by Mayor Mike Rawlings.

It calls for a four lane parkway with no walls to obstruct views and on-street parking to promote access to the park.

There would be just two access points to the road but U-turns would be allowed.

It might flood at times, but planners say the lack of walls would be worth it to make the road a true parkway.

Opponents of the old plan spoke in favor of the change Thursday.

“This is what those of us who have been concerned so much over the last few years wanted to see,” said Council Member Sandy Greyson. “We wanted to see a four lane road, low speed, park access and this was our vision.”

“We can come together now and say this is the right plan,” said former Council Member Angela Hunt.

But the vote directed staff to pursue ways to use the new approach with the existing federal highway approval.

The roads are very different. And since the new plan does not appear to be a toll road it is even more uncertain how it would be paid for or when it could be built.

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