Mayor Mike Rawlings Wants to Make This Clear: "Right Now, I'm a Toll Road Guy"

RawlingsSpeech.jpg
Mayor Mike Rawlings was a bit late for his 9 a.m. speech at this morning's "Building South" presentation at the Oak Cliff Chamber. I knew it was Mayor Mike because OC Chamber director Bob Stimson, waffling for time, kept saying things like "I was told if I started and talked real slow, the mayor would show up from around the corner."

No one appeared, so Stimson hemmed and hawed for a few more minutes, more slowly this time.

"Somebody look over there and tell me if the mayor's standing there yet. No?" Stimson paused. "Does anybody know a song?"

By the grace of God, this was the moment Rawlings stepped from the elevator into the Orion Ballroom.

After paying subtle homage to his hosts ("I feel like I'm touring the Vatican and showing the Pope around his home."), Rawlings referenced the bovine blockage that turned Interstate 35 into a parking lot this morning and expressed relief that he didn't get caught in it.

But, never one to pass up a teachable moment, Rawlings told the audience that the mishap and ensuing chaos was "a symbolic metaphor" for the state of transportation in southern Dallas.

"When 30 cows can block (traffic) in both directions, it shows me we need to do something," Rawlings said.

Something, in this case, is a toll road running alongside the Trinity River, which, despite Michael Lindenburger's blog post yesterday and story in this morning's paper, he is totally behind.

"It's tough for a writer to get what happened," Rawlings said, which sure seemed like an elaborate way of calling Lindenburger, the News' veteran transportation reporter, a little ... slow.

Yeah, Rawlings said, Council members Angela Hunt, Scott Griggs and Sandy Greyson provided him with numbers purporting to show that scuttling the toll road in favor of Project Pegasus would cost less and be more effective. But "I have not had those numbers verified."

It was not said but seemed to be implied that Rawlings expects the numbers to come out in the toll road's favor.

"It is the one way I think we get off the dime" and connect the north and the south.

"Right now, I'm a toll road guy."


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
28 comments
Darrd2010
Darrd2010

If Mike's TXDOT matrix can be assembled without Mayor Suhm and staff, I'm willing to bet that it will line up with Griggs, Hunt, and Greyson. I cannot fathom that the 3 of them would stick their necks out on this without reliable, solid info.

definition
definition

Has anyone informed the Mayor (and others) that the Trinity River runs perpendicular to I35.  How, then, can a proposed road in the river possibly begin to "connect the north and the south".

Uppercase Matt
Uppercase Matt

That must have been the warmup for the same "state of the city" speech he gave at the Downtown Dallas lunch today -- including the pope/Vatican joke and the loose-cow "proof" of the need for a tollroad in the Trinity.

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

This toll road is going to be built, because the folks who are running this city are privy to the well known, not secret, truth. That without them suburbs there is no Dallas in its present form(and its hopeful potential). The city of Dallas knows that the folks who are bringing corporate relocations here, and the subsequent family/people migrations is that cheap, abundant land that sits outside of Dallas' proper limits. These folks use their cars to zoom around the metropolitan area to spend their hard earned cash and go to work. If Dallas were to clot that bloodline and start to build up; the real estate prices would start to go up. Now, Dallas don't look so attractive anymore(let's face it, folks don't move here for the scenery). Corporate headquarters and their ilk begin to look at cheaper options(Tulsa, OKC, BFE, etc). Dallas loses tax money....developers lose money....not gonna happen. So, the toll road shall come. 

Bob
Bob

Regarding Lindenberg's article, I thought the headline was misleading, but it was very clear that Mayor Mike expects the numbers to NOT add up. He's not changing his mind.

What I thought was more interesting was Lindenberg's second blog post about the article. http://bit.ly/MtsmuO. He saying that Griggs/Hunt/Greyson have their credibility on the line if Mayor Mike disproves their claims. (Well, of course he will.) I think Lindenberg is overstating things, and I'm disappointed that he did not explain that the city's credibility has been hurt. After all, the 1997 bond vote was really about building this road - not the faux park.

Second, Lindenberg tries to attach "ownership" of the Toll Road to Mayor Mike. Sorry, but this is Mary Suhm's baby all the way. She's the one who prodded Mayor Mike to take a stand, and she clearly feels now is the right time to move forward with road. She won't get with my bond money because I will veto any "general use" bond packages going forward.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

"Right now, I'm a toll road guy."Translation: I could potentially flip flop on this issue faster than Tom Leppert jumping off a gay pride parade float.

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez

What did we expect from a Pizza Hut guy? Lower your expectations.

The Derelict
The Derelict

i am ok with the tollroad as long as those that stand to gain from it the most and their bitch friends are on it when it washes away and/or crumbles

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I'll take my chances with an improved 35 and the occasional cow or zombie invasion over a tollroad that will, by design, be flooded over every now and then. Cows are easier to clear off a road than a couple feet of swollen river depth.

Anon
Anon

Isn't the teachable moment that freeways have no business in central cities, lest an accident halt commerce completely? Unless those cows were destined for Fuel City, they definitely were just supposed to be passing through Dallas. In which case there's no reason our highway system couldn't just have them go around the core of the city. 

G_David
G_David

"When 30 cows can block (traffic) in both directions, it shows me we need to do something," Rawlings said.

Because if this wreck had occurred on a multi-billion-dollar tollroad, the cows would have somehow magically levitated 50 feet into the air, allowing motorists to pass.  This mayor impresses me less and less every time he opens his mouth.  And I was pretty unimpressed from day one.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

I think TxDOT will gin up the numbers in a way that will favor the toll road now that they know the mayor is using them to prop up his position. Expect lots of inflated land acquisition and right of way costs. That comparison matrix won't be worth the paper it's printed on.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

Good point, about the tone of the article vs headline. Mayor Mike basically sent a request over to TxDot requesting a way to make Hunt, Griggs and Greyson look stupid and put any argument against the toll road to bed.

G_David
G_David

That would have to be at the speed of light.

Montemalone
Montemalone

 Can't get any lower than Pizza Hut.

Ket
Ket

What is the plan for cleaning the road when it floods 3-4 times every spring?

I've cleaned out flooded areas and it isn't as simple as running a streetsweeper down the road early one morning. This will be a huge mess.

Robbie Good
Robbie Good

Perhaps the city should instate some sort of legislation prohibiting 18-wheelers from the central core unless making an authorized delivery inside of Loop 12. Not sure how you enforce that but...

Robbie Good
Robbie Good

even more confounding is the fact that the proposed connection from I-35 to the Trinity tollway is via Jefferson Blvd. Precisely the detour that was enacted during the closure.

So....how would anything be different?

Montemalone
Montemalone

 Don't worry.All that sand that they plan to build on will ensure that any road is washed away with the floodwaters, so nothing to clean up later, unless you happen to live downstream...

Anon
Anon

you don't really need to implement a toll or charge - if you don't give them easy access to an area, they will only try to get there if the product they carry is really needed. the more likely solution will be that smaller trucks will handle delivery.

Los_Politico
Los_Politico

Congestion tolling would be the enforcement mechanism. Will never happen in Texas.

Montemalone
Montemalone

 Well, all the insiders would be $billions richer.

Sad Texan
Sad Texan

You do know that Ft. Worth is up stream from Dallas?

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

 Congestion tolling is exactly what will be happening on the LBJ toll road. The more cars in the express lanes the higher the toll.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...