Dallas neighbors along C.F. Hawn Freeway complained Tuesday about high weeds and trash that they claim a city hired contractor has failed to clear.
The area is called Pleasant Grove but Yolanda Williams, a former Dallas Park Board Member and city council candidate, said it does not look pleasant.
“It’s litter. It’s trash. It’s garbage. It’s everything down there,” she said. “I have to look at that every morning and every afternoon, so we’re just tired.”
Her neighbor Father Richard Hill is a priest at a Restoration in Christ Church. He said the city issues citations to residents for what it allows on public property.
“Mow your lawn. That’s what they tell us. So, that’s what we’re trying to tell the city. Mow your lawn,” Hill said.
Williams said her Pleasant Grove area could see new investment if it received better care.
“A lot of commuters use that highway. They come from Balch Springs, Rowlett, Rockwall and this is what they’re faced with. It gives us a bad look,” she said.
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Since 2015, the City of Dallas has been paying contractor Good Earth to provide mowing and clean up along freeways for better results than what the Texas Department of Transportation would provide.
In 2015, the three-year price was $9,464,660. In November 2019, the Dallas City Council approved a new three-year contract for that service from Good Earth for $17,971,062.
City Council Member Tennell Atkins represents Dallas District 8 that borders on C.F. Hawn Freeway. Atkins said other freeways in his district have the same problems. He said two factors made problems worse this year, rain and COVID-19. City code inspectors who might enforce trash problems were reassigned for the pandemic.
“During COVID-19, most of our code inspectors were doing other things. They wanted to make sure everybody was following the rules. That’s still no excuse. We had more rain this year than ever. When the rain falls, the grass grows faster,” Atkins said.
The new city budget includes money for more code inspectors, but it will take time to hire and train them, Atkins said.
The Councilman still asks residents to call 311 and report problems they see with high grass or trash.
“We just got to do a better job,” Atkins said.
Williams said calls have not produced results.
“We’re just tired and we need some help because we need to bring awareness to what’s going on,” she said.