The West Dallas Gateway, Future Site of Street Fairs, Concerts and Concession Stands

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Click to expand this look at the "seat wall" proposed as part of the West Dallas Gateway that'll be discussed this afternoon.
Drove the Continental Avenue bridge several times over the weekend on back-and-forth trips to Oak Cliff; the boy and I even pulled over on the west side, at the under-construction entrance to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, to grab the quick pic seen below. As mentioned Friday, all that and more will be a topic of discussion at today's meeting of the council's Trinity River Corridor Project Committee when David Whitley of the CityDesign Studio provides an update on the $11.7-million project. And, as promised, here's that lengthy briefing, which provides new renderings of the pedestrian park and West Dallas Gateway.

The eastern entrance from Riverfront won't get much of a makeover -- just some additional parking, a staircase and some landscaping to go along with the Jack in the Box, Southern Maid Donuts, bail-bond business, Big Daddy's and for-sale warehouses. The wholesale makeover will take place on the West Dallas side (just a few blocks from W. Main Street, for those who've never driven down that stretch of street in the shadow of the Calatrava).

There, as you'll note, they're talking about making the bridge accessible from the neighborhood, adding in "much-needed vehicular parking," creating a "plaza/gathering space" and providing "a strong bicycle & pedestrian connection from the bridge/plaza to adjacent development opportunities." Also included: a look-see at sites that could be used in the future for street fairs, concerts and concession (beneath what appears to be a translucent done of some kind). As noted Friday, the city expects to have this wrapped by August of next year.

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27 comments
icowrich
icowrich

The old renderings included a streetcar.  Is that no longer in the works?

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

I continue to fear that as the City starts to pretty up the western side, it is going to decide that Ray's Hardware and Sporting Goods just doesn't fit the image the CIty wants to project.

  They'll get my Ray's when they pry it out of my cold dead hands!

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

Hey Park Güell in Barcelona also has a seat wall.  Of course that was done by Gaudi.

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

It's nice to see Dallas reusing an old structure for once, rather than tearing it down. Love it or hate it, the Calatrava is going to be a tourist destination... I already see people posing for pics with it on Continental, which is a death trap right now, so I imagine many more people will go to this park just to take photos of the big white arch.

The "if you build it" mentality can be hit or miss, but we already see that Museum Tower was built because of the Woodall Rodgers Park. Hopefully there will be more dense, middle-class development near the Continental Bridge Park. 

Storm_71
Storm_71

No world class city is complete with out a Big Daddy's Liquor.

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

I love Big Daddy's Liquor and wouldn't have it any other way.

RTGolden
RTGolden

If I have this correctly figured now, all these zillions of dollars we're spending on bridges will get us a fake suspension bridge, where we could have just repaired the bridges we have, and not one, but two, pedestrian bridges connecting industrial zones on opposite sides of the river.  Not connecting, say, pedestrian destinations on opposite sides of the river, but industrial areas.

If I'm correct in that assumption, we're working under the "Field of Dreams" school of urban planning.  If we build the bridges, the pedestrians will come and just wander around until some developer builds them something to walk TO.

Too bad really, because this particular bridge actually looks like someone might have put some type of intelligence into the design.  It appears to be far far less stupid than the Calatrava and whatever it is they want to put down by Lamar.  I think it's hoping beyond hope that the bridge itself will attract enough pedestrian traffic to bring development into the area, however.

Anon
Anon

The West Dallas side of this bridge has already been bought up for development. It will happen, it's really just a question of when. The Mexican families you see now will be gone. It still remains to be seen whether the bridge will ever be used, but this bridge is intended to be an amenity for developments already under consideration.

RTGolden
RTGolden

That may be true, however it doesn't negate my point.  We're still hoping the bridge is enough of an attraction to hold pedestrian interest until development goes in.  The flip side of the coin is people find someplace else to pedestrian around in, and by the time development gets their ducks in a row, there's not enough foot traffic to justify the development.It's a tricky act, I'll grant it that.  It'll be nice if we pull it off.  I'm not holding my breath.

Anon
Anon

which is why the local pension funds decided it was a prudent use of their money

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Sadly the movers and shakers will lose interest once their parcels of land are sold.

Parisrec
Parisrec

The Museum Tower is also a payback to the big DMA donors.

Anon
Anon

I don't think anyone is counting on pedestrian traffic to justify this development. This is how the process works. Politically connected Dallas families buy options on low cost real estate in West Dallas prior to any discussion of a Calatrava bridge (or just buy it outright since that part of town is fairly cheap). Families lobby the local government to push for this new signature bridge that will just happen to feed a large number of cars from other parts of town into their area. Families push for changes to local zoning to make sure the land will have maximum development value. Families donate money to make sure bridge happens, and donate money to tax-exempt entity called Trinity Trust whose mission is to control the process and increase the value of real estate holdings. The whole point is that no one would invest money unless the place was accessible to cars. It's about cars, not people.

Downtown_worker
Downtown_worker

Why wouldn't the bridge be used? It is an extension of Woodall Rodgers Freeway so traffic will flow naturally toward Singleton even if the driver doesn't want to go there. 

Anon
Anon

um, the bridge in question would be the existing Continental bridge. clearly the new one will be used. I was questioning the old bridge's value as a pedestrian bridge. read, THEN comment.

OakClifftownie
OakClifftownie

Point to pick with you Anon..

In Oak Cliff we have a lot of land that has been bought for development only to see the developer go toes up due to lack of funds to really develop the land .In spite of the wonderful renderings seen here as a matter of fact .FT WORTH AVE and COLORADO being my point.Perhaps it would be best to say Speculators have leveraged the land on the West Dallas side,Hoping to cash in before the loans come due ? 

Anon
Anon

This is a different style of investment than the INCAP properties in Oak Cliff and a lot of the others. My gut sense is that the investments are not leveraged such that going outside a specific timeline would put them in default. The properties were purchased without a tangible idea of when development would occur, which is very different from the ones that have gone bust. Those were basically planned as near term developments that cratered along with the housing market.  

OakClifftownie
OakClifftownie

Well Anyone can point out the Obvious . J/K RT

I guess the people who think all these things will soon come about have a moment in time where some kind of event happens and everything they envision comes into place.

CueCat
CueCat

Gateway to the Ghetto

Ben
Ben

I would like to have seen some simple footbridges connecting the West Dallas neighborhood to the levees. Currently no footbridges exist. The residents in West Dallas fill the west levees in the evenings to jog and walk. They have to negotiate a substantial stagnant ditch that runs the back length of the levee. That neighborhood is completely under served with outdoor recreation and as a result, many of the residents use the levee for exercise. It would be a tremendous quality of life improvement for that area if some simple catwalk style footbridges could be installed. The children in the area can usually get across the ditch in several spots but have to leave their bikes at home because of the water filled ditch.

Big shiny things are always cool. But the little simple things are what seem to make people happy. It's less than 5 minutes from the Katy Trail by bicycle and 10 minutes on foot. Why parking needs to be a highlighted as an amenity has me shaking my head.

The view from underneath the bridges is better than the view on the road surface. The levees buffer all the traffic noise to a minimum and the shade is a welcome relief from the beating sun.

Rangers100
Rangers100

I like the deletion of Canada road.  Hopefully that happens.  Dallas has way too many roads already.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Why the need for parking lots on both sides of the bridge? I thought the point of said bridge was to allow motor vehicles to traverse the raging waters below?

Matt
Matt

LOVE the final slide, lol.  clowns and streamers and kiddos.  not sure that part of the plan will actually happen, ha!

Rangers100
Rangers100

Not hard to envision kiddos there.  Just not white kiddos.  They long ago were hiked off into the sprawl.

Tim Covington
Tim Covington

I do like how they have included lots of shade with airflow. To many designers do not do this. However, the clowns need to go. We have enough of those in government as it is.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

From that angle, looks like a partially-inflated hot-air balloon.

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