The Advocate - Emily Charrier - 11 May 2017
Let the lobbying begin. With $800 million in city capital bond dollars coming up for grabs, a healthy portion of which will be earmarked for road repairs, it’s no surprise that neighborhoods are looking to secure their piece of the pie.
As was the case this week, when a petition from Old East Dallas neighbor Nathaniel Barrett popped up on Change.org seeking to ensure the Abrams/Columbia throughway gets the “Complete Street” treatment.
“The harmful effects of this dangerous and neighborhood unfriendly road are evident in the number of injuries and lackluster growth along this corridor,” Barrett writes. “Further, hundreds of children must cross this street daily to reach Lipscomb Elementary, Woodrow Wilson High School, and JL Long Middle School, forcing them to risk their safety by walking or take a car to travel even a short distance.”
He’s not wrong, the six-lane stretch can feel more like a highway than a residential road, especially during commute hours. Abrams drops down to four lanes through Lakewood at Gaston, and Barrett would like to see that design expanded through Old East Dallas. The “Complete Streets Design” suggests a four-lane road with room for parking, sidewalks and bike lanes. Barrett’s petition asks Councilmembers Mark Clayton, Philip Kingston and Adam Medrano to prioritize the the area when spending their district’s allocated bond funds.
That’s assuming voters approve the bond, of course. The city council voted to delay putting the measure in front of voters until Nov. 7, when some thought it had a better shot at passing (a decision Advocate columnist and former councilmember Angela Hunt questions).
With the mass number of streets that need attention in our neighborhood, we’re guessing this won’t be the last petition for bond funds.