Angela Hunt's Trinity Corridor Plan C: "Give the Public a Park They Can Enjoy Today"

TrinityRiverDesignWRT.jpg
Angela Hunt says she's tired of conceptual renderings leading to nothing. But why, when there are still so many to go through?
A little more than two years ago, Angela Hunt gave to The Dallas Morning News what she called the Trinity River Corridor Project Plan B, which called for, among other things, ditching the toll road, hopping on Project Pegasus, straightening out Dead Man's Curve, fixing the levees and planting between them those "open spaces" and "recreational facilities" promised in the $246-million bond election of 1998. Since then, of course, Project Pegasus has been reduced to two bridges, S.M. Wright's been stranded by the side of the road, and The News finally revealed its hot-n-heavy romance with Tom Leppert was fueled by sweet nothings.

Which leaves us ... where, exactly? With Angela Hunt's Trinity River Corridor Project Plan C, I guess, which appeared behind the pay levee a few days ago and now shows up on Hunt's website free of charge. This time, Hunt's proposing a scaled-back version of her scaled-back version. She wants to take the Trinity Better Block-ing; she wants to turn it over to Groundwork Dallas, which has already done so much of the legwork. She writes:
We can reclaim this project and win back the public's trust, but only if we're willing to change the way we do things at Dallas City Hall. The grander, long-term vision for the Trinity park is incredible, but it's still years away. We must give the public a Trinity park they can enjoy today, and we must do it as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. That means no high-paid consultants; no elaborate, full-scale models and enticing watercolor pictures; and -- most importantly -- no multiyear timelines.

Don't get me wrong -- I like expensive, fancy things as much as the next gal. But expensive, fancy things are only great when they actually exist. A diamond ring is great. My husband promising me a diamond ring and handing me a brochure from the jeweler, not so great. Our expedited version of the Trinity park won't boast lakes or sailboats or solar-powered water taxis. But what it lacks in extravagance it will make up for by simply existing.

Transforming the Trinity River basin won't require a herculean effort. The greenbelt between our levees is already lush and beautiful -- there's just no way to get to it and nothing to do once you get there. We can change that.
Read the whole thing here.

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28 comments
AJ
AJ

This is not a new Plan. In fact it is exactly what Candidate Vernon Franko proposed during his campaign for Mrs. Hunts council seat in District 14 back in February. It is still up on his website now for those who want to review www.vernonfranko.com

SoTru
SoTru

I'm new to Dallas and I've read about the amount of money spent on the Trinity Project and what the goals of the project were, pretty ambitious.  A couple of weekends ago I took a drive to check out the progress and wow I was shocked. A bridge to where? and the place to put in for the paddling trail...well we drove right by it and couldn't tell where it was.....I guess I expected a park with tables etc.  Other than the visible "iconic bridge" that will bring folks to Dallas, I can't tell where the money went.  It has to be sad for the long time residents, I'm a newbie and I'm already annoyed.

Ben
Ben

There is alot going on along the Trinity, they just are not publicized. For instance, this weekend is the first annual Juneteenth ride and campout on the Trinity. I believe 200 riders are expected to participate with a ride through the forest, down Phase I of the Great Trinity Forest Trail and then a loop through Joppa Preserve, Floral Farms and the Joppa Community.

More here:

http://www.JuneteenthTrailRide...

Novel idea and I hope it fosters many more such events.

It's fair to be very critical of the way the city has handled the money spent on the projects along the Trinity. While the city and county have built out a number of projects, there seems to be a disconnect with the audience it was intended to attract. They have built a number of soft surface and paved surface trails, a chain of lakes and attractions south of Downtown. All are world class in their construction. The drinking fountains even work. Only a handful of people ever visit. I realize that places like that are not for everyone. They would rather watch someone else do it on a TV show, than give it a whirl themselves. Pay $50 to do a Muddy Buddy in a controlled environment instead of taking a risk or three and rolling your own adventure.

The pig poachers I come across down there swear up and down that there is a mountain lion down there right now. I did not believe them till I saw the tracks. Cat tracks as big as my hand.

clay
clay

Will there be 24/7 access? To what? How is security going to be handled down there, within what boundaries, and who will pay for it? Not everyone who wanders around down there will be smart enough to go armed.

cp
cp

I like that she clued into taking the locks off all the damn gates. What's the point of a PUBLIC park when the public can't access it? 

Stacy
Stacy

Isn't that how all public works projects should be? Establish the basic necessities for a park to get people to access it then add the bling...I remember going running on Katy Trail in High school when u the only way to get there was at Knox or climbing up that damn hill thru the bushes like Tarzan now it has water fountains, nice landscaping,  2 tracks and staircases ...This also makes alot of sense so retailers and cafes could get a foothold in area now.. Remember Dallas.....The great parks of the world were not built over nite.....they all evolved from a patch of grass and dirt trails...

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Kudos to Angela - I'd like to see something there before my lifespan is over..  also the river is flowing in the wrong direction in this illustration.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

Bravo to Angela, but wouldn't it be nice if you could live in one of those renderings...it looks so pleasant and so full of life.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Not even one solar-powered water taxi?  Hmmph.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Angela is once again right with this common sense approach,which is to say the best plan will also cost the city the least money to complete. Sure, its great to have nice bridges and solar powered paddle boats, but we should work w/ what we have now. I know quite a few folks who have been wanting to get down on the river and hike/bike, but due to brainless decisions over the past decade have hampered those efforts. Dallas, for once, needs to listen to Ms. Hunt on this and just go her plan..

TK
TK

This is NOT Angela Hunt's idea. There are many people who have been working for years to make trails and parks between the levees a reality. Groundwork Dallas is wonderful and only one of the groups that have been working on this project. And who is leading the plans to add trails, parks, and access to the river? The City of Dallas. 

It's disheartening to see someone who has been loudly opposed to parts of this project play the "champion" for its trails. If Angela wants to make this happen, she needs to be a team player and not a martyr. And if she really followed the project and attended meetings, she'd know that most of this is already in motion.

Ellum08
Ellum08

I know people like to dog the City on this, and they aren't completely blameless, but don't forget that if the Army Corp of Engineers had it's way, there would be NOTHING between the levees that would impede the flow of water from Point A to Point B. Zero, zilch, nada. They aren't even crazy about the existing trees lining the riverbank.

Part of the reason it has taken so long for anything to get going down there is that way the Corp has jerked everyone around and moved deadlines and changed requirements.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

13 YEARS and $250 MILLION LATER...........what a wonderful idea. 'Better figure out the fix for the levees, and how much that's going to cost, before you start talking about Plan C.

Guest
Guest

This is a no brainer.  Put a few trails in that will allow hikers and bikers to wander through the area safely.  Put in a few picknic tables with some shade and build a couple access points with parking.  Maybe a couple children's playgrounds that can survive a flood or two.  None of this has to get in the way of grand plans that we might be able to pay for and impliment in a decade.  The grand planners are probably afraid that some will be willing to settle for something less grand. But maybe people will get down there and get excited about what might be.    

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

Excellent thoughts. Okay, the Trinity is not the Comal, but, that forest is pretty lovely, especially in the fall, winter and early spring. I've hiked quite a bit on the Buckeye Trail which was constructed and maintained by Groundwork Dallas, Americorps volunteers and members of North Texas Master Naturalists. It's a lovely spot and gives us an idea of what this could be like. There's an ADA trial there down to the trinity and a simple dirt path to the Buckeyes and Burr Oaks. there's a secondary trail all the way over to where White Rock Creek enters the Trinity. Just a little money spent on these areas could produce a place, lots of folks would enjoy. Trinity River Audubon is another great example of what can be done. That cost a lot more money.

Well said Angela. I hope people are listening.

Ben
Ben

Then call 911.

I don't carry a gun down there but many people do. Matter of fact a number of people carry long guns, rifles. Seeing someone carrying a gun in the open along the river does not bother me, so I don't think much of it. Just the way it is.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

But if it's open, then those dirty homeless/brown/poor/liberal people might get in and spoil the view.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

They're gonna be solar-powered whitewater rafting taxis...way cooler and sturdy enough to brave the mighty Trinity!

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

"Team player and not a martyr?"  Really?  Ready?

If Angela was merely a "team player" we wouldn't even be having this discussion.  We'd be planning a big honking high-speed-tollway-in-a-floodway.  And big fancy bridges.  Lots of big fancy white PVC pipe bridges.

Don't follow leaders.....watch the parking meters.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

This is utterly nonsensical.  She opposed the toll road; so you say she "has been loudly opposed to parts of this project?"  That's dishonest in the extreme.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Maybe not, but she seems to be the only one on the Council publicly preaching sanity.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

Agreed, but the COE happens to be right. Building ANYTHING in a floodway is just plain unintelligent.

Wes Scott
Wes Scott

USACE has the right idea! That ditch is a flood control channel, not a playground. The levee system is in abyssmal shape and needs immediate remediation. The Trinity Project only proceded this far because San Antonio has a riverwalk, and we could not be outdone by San Antonio. The whole Trinity River Corridor Project needs to be scrapped. It is too costly, especially when our city is already facing a major budget shortfall for the next two years that is going to cost us policemen, firemen, sanitation workers, librarians and so much more.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

 " but don't forget that if the Army Corp of Engineers had it's way, there would be NOTHING between the levees that would impede the flow of water from Point A to Point B. Zero, zilch, nada. They aren't even crazy about the existing trees lining the riverbank."

I agree with your point however the area between the levy's is a man made flood water control bypass...

That is why they don.they want anything built that will disrupt the flow  when the area is doing its job of keeping the water moving.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

Ughhhhhhhh, I don't think so. The lack of funding for all those whistles and bells, along with the COE and levee problems, is what has brought it al to a screaching halt.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

Right on, man! It'll be even more expensive when all of those improvement projects get washed downstream the first good flood event.

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