The Push to Tear Down I-345 Gains Steam

Categories: Transportation

Thumbnail image for IH345Vision.jpg
anewdallas.com
There would be some practical questions that would have to be answered if the Texas Department of Transportation decided to tear down I-345, the short stump of Central Expressway between Woodall Rodgers and Interstate 30. Where will one find shade at Bark Park Central? Where will those artsy, bohemian types paint their highway-pillar "Welcome to Deep Ellum" murals? And, more important, what about the 160,000 cars that travel through the corridor every day?

Those questions are academic at this point. TxDOT's planning to rebuild the freeway, not raze it. A spokesman told Unfair Park in November that the latter option is very, very remote but not completely off the table. It would simply require "a lot of money and a lot of permits and buy-off by all the stakeholders."

Patrick Kennedy, the arch-nemesis of freeways and I-345 in particular, is hoping to get the ball rolling. In February, he penned a piece for D arguing that getting rid of the 1.4-mile stretch of elevated freeway would spur $4 billion in development. The traffic, he wrote, could easily be handled by Elm, Ross, Live Oak and other existing streets.

See also:
TxDOT Wondering What to Do With Bridge Between I-30 and Woodall Rodgers. (Hint: They're Not Going to Tear It Down)

Now, he and fellow urban advocate Brandon Hancock have teamed up with designer Justin Scott Childress to launch A New Dallas, a website dedicated to persuading the people of Dallas -- and, by extension, TxDOT -- that I-345 needs to go. It's astoundingly well done and certainly worth perusing.

The basic premise is that the highway serves as a concrete barrier between Deep Ellum and downtown, choking the life out of both. When the barrier is removed, pent-up demand for walkable urban housing lures apartments and condos, which in turn lure shops and bars and restaurants.

There are other benefits, too. Knocking down a hunk of concrete is cheaper and easier than rebuilding and maintaining a freeway. Since the majority of the cars that travel I-345 every day are just passing through, congestion would be eased. And, given how dangerous driving tends to be, both for motorists and pedestrians, any move to reduce reliance on cars is a boon to public safety.

Those arguments are strong, but so, it seems, is TxDOT's commitment to keeping the highway in place. Kennedy is keen on changing that. He'll be trying to do just that tonight at the Dallas Center for Architecture, where he'll deliver a presentation: "Highway Tear-outs: The Next Frontier".


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262 comments
mfhbailey
mfhbailey

that is a ton of traffic that would get diverted, not sure it would work. 

How about digging a huge tunnel through there and bury the highway, and build over it. that would allow both to coexist! you could do that to the canyon where 30 goes past downtown as well. then all the highways around downtown (except for 35) would be below grade


mfhbailey
mfhbailey

that is a ton of traffic that would get diverted, not sure it would work. 

How about digging a huge tunnel through there and bury the highway, and build over it. that would allow both to coexist! you could do that to the canyon where 30 goes past downtown as well. then all the highways around downtown (except for 35) would be below grade


jared.heath
jared.heath

Only an idiot would think those side streets could handle that traffic.

John1073
John1073

So they want to get rid of this functional highway bridge extension and put in a toll road inside river levees? Makes total sense for Dallas.

GlenW
GlenW

Your city's downtown should be a destination, not an observation as you drive by.

BENHARRISON
BENHARRISON

SPYING ON ME--gotta get the truth out now! IH345 is a cultural barrier! not a road! it's about demographics! Keeping the homeless away from the nice parks. IH-45 dead man's curve--only in black south dallas they pull that shit. 

 investment underground securities. access help....

widow's son

barnes.ann
barnes.ann

If that's the section that they are naming after George Bush, I say sack it!

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

So someone wwants to dump highway speed travelers onto city streets in the moronic hope they will interrupt their trip to shop.. more disd logic. Cretins.

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

164 comments on a story about the remote possibility of tearing down a section of highway.  Mike Dunlap you are a successful troll.  Don't let the naysayers tell you that you haven't accomplished anything.  Just point them to this comment section.  And you didn't even talk about DISD once.

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Seems like a way to somehow get that damned Trinity Toalroad built. Tear down I 345, flood the canyon and mixmaster with more traffic and look cried chicken little...........

todd
todd

Do the residents of Manhattan, Paris, Portland, etc have to endure 5 axle semi trucks, with 40 foot trailers, rumbling through their neighborhoods?  You know, the ones bringing  goods up I 45 from Houston to destinations north of downtown.  I don't know shit about urban planning, but I do know Dallas people and they are generally for quality of life improvements, so long as someone else is negatively impacted.    And yes, re-routing those trucks around I 20/635 makes sense, unless you are making a delivery to City Place or West Village.  

freddy
freddy

I can remember life before this road. Everything worked just fine then and it will again.

StupidHippies
StupidHippies

The funny thing is these fascists love to jizz themselves over trains and light rail, which aside form being incredible wastes of money, are more of a divider than any high way. Maybe we can replace Central with what it was before and all these smug old timey assholes can get run over by an old timey train while riding their penny farthing in their ugly tweed pants and waxing their stupid looking old timey mustache.

Just fucking die already. Or get a job that doesn't involve spending other people's tax dollars. 

Brian Wirt
Brian Wirt

Rename it "Rick Perry Hwy" and petition signing numbers will quadruple to tear it down.

tb00
tb00

Nobody is asking Dallas to do this on faith alone. It's already been tested on a bunch of guinea pigs, and the results have been excellent.  Why are the naysayers convinced that Dallas couldn't be as successful?

observist
observist topcommenter

Apparently 345 has some deleterious effect on plant life, because according to The Vision as soon as 345 is removed, trees spring up along every street from city hall to White Rock lake.

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

Perhaps Dallas would be a nicer place if there just wasn't a city in the middle of it.

StupidHippies
StupidHippies

The only steam this has gained is the hot air coming out of blowhards like Mike Dunlap and Patrick Kennedy. Your typical maladjusted malcontents who want to dictate how everyone else lives in order to feel like they have some significance in their otherwise insignificant lives. 

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

"The traffic, he wrote, could easily be handled by Elm, Ross, Live Oak and other existing streets."

What?  Stop this.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@freddy And things were fine and dandy before electricity (A/C) and piped in water, too. 


anon
anon

@StupidHippies Why don't you find a transportation choice that doesn't involve wasting my tax dollars? The highway system is falling apart, and it is bankrupt. I'm not sure how the same conservatives that call social security a ponzi scheme haven't realized that the national highway system is a ponzi scheme as well, perpetuated by engineering firms, real estate developers, and construction companies. If you can tell me where the money will come from to repair and replace this highway, I will take you seriously. And don't tell me that if we stop diverting money from the gas tax then the roads will pay for themselves. That's like putting a bandaid on something that needs a dozen stitches. 

EdD.
EdD.

@tb00 Because the guinea pigs had splenectomies and this is more like removing a kidney. Sure, maybe we could get by with just one, but not without complications, restrictions, and putting ourselves at risk.

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@observist Haha, not only that, but they want to tear up the railyard and put a big green park there.  Yeah, Union Pacific will go for that.... just reroute all the freight trains through Highland Park.

duanewmurphy
duanewmurphy

@MikeDunlap Other than the fact that once that section is removed, you must route the same amount of traffic into one road.(I have been stuck in the canyon for more than 4 hours before due to an overturned big rig.) If there were no alternative ways around the city it may have been much worse. Also you might be forgetting that we now have a rail system that crosses under that section, and we used to have a road there before they had to close it because of to much traffic and interference with the rail. I am all for gentrification of that area, but I think you need to do a little more research in the history of the old roads that used to go through there, like the old Good-Latimer tunnel. Least you not forget the CBD east DART station that feeds east and west routes. 

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@MikeDunlap I'm sure adding 160,000 vehicles per day to that stretch of 635 won't add anything to that 7 minutes at all.

StupidHippies
StupidHippies

@MikeDunlap To steal your catchphrase "You've obviously never" driven on 635. Or a car. Ever. 

fritz
fritz

Sherman, TX to Houston (75-35-30-45): 4 hours, 37 minutes

Having to loop around downtown adds 4 minutes.

All of the positives, and everyone is fixated on losing 4 minutes.

StupidHippies
StupidHippies

@notmadeomoney Or if these liberal coasters would stop with their incessant whining about everything. Seriously-- just take that shit back to the utopian liberal paradises you all came from if the way they are is so great. 

observist
observist topcommenter

@StupidHippies HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH you called someone else a maladjusted malcontent!!!

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@notmadeomoney That's what happened elsewhere after such removals.  The traffic on those streets is infinitesimal compared to traffic on local streets in great cities of the world. 

freddy
freddy

Well you know we did have electricity and plumbing back in the 60s and 70s...

StupidHippies
StupidHippies

@anon @StupidHippies You need to have a job or investments that produce income to actually pay taxes for me to waste. So unless you are claiming all the weed you smoke on your 1040 STFU

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@anon @StupidHippies Put your money where your mouth is.  Cut Highway transportation out of your life, as an example to others.  Walk everywhere, not buses, not cabs, walk. (the trolley, maybe ok, it's kind of oldish, in theory).  Do not buy anything that was transported by truck.  Get your groceries from the Farm, not the Farmers' Market, and walk or horseback ride to get them.  Get your furniture from local craftsmen and cart it to your house in a wagon.  building and maintaining highways is not 'wasting your tax dollars', it is what allows you to live the life you live.  Is the system faulty? Hell yes.  Could it be better if we cut out the nepotism and crony capitalism at its core? Certainly.

Tearing out several hundred yards of a highway spur is not going fix the highway systems balance sheet.  It IS going to shift a buttload of maintenance and expansion expenses onto the city and county to expand and maintain the surface streets.  Where is that money going to come from?  It will also eliminate what few bike lanes and sharrows exist in the area, undoing a lot of hard work by a lot of people.  We'll need those bike lanes for additional traffic flow, folks.

StupidHippies
StupidHippies

@duanewmurphy @MikeDunlap Patrick Williams, the writer of the article we are discussing.. didn't even know the significance of the PARK sign in the Main St Garden. He wrote a review and basically said it was "stupid." "Like yeah we know it's a park uhhh."

These people have 0 concept of history. 

nd68
nd68

@StupidHippies You're a visionary. If "visionary" means everything 2 and a half inches in front of your face.

nd68
nd68

@StupidHippies It's all liberals, huh. Come out of the shadows, anonymous profile man. And then turn back to Rush.

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@MikeDunlap @notmadeomoney Have you ever driven to Houston or to Austin?  Or do you just hop on the takes-all-day Amtrak or the $300 Southwest flight?  In the (unlikely) case that you drive like most people.... imagine if Huntsville or Waco decided to shut down I-45/35 and divert all the Interstate traffic onto city streets.  Dozens of school zones, bus stops, traffic lights, pedestrians and bicyclists, hundreds of thousands of vehicles including city buses and school buses and cross-country truckers.... would that make your drive to Houston/Austin less pleasant?  Would it perhaps make you think "What fucking Internet troll actually thought this was a good idea..."?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@freddy but you didn't have 160k/day vehicle traffic through the central corridor of Dallas in the 60's/70's...

StupidHippies
StupidHippies

@MikeDunlap You do realize not everyone is actually unemployed right? Like.. some people can't actually just hang out at the coffee shop pretending to work all day like yourself and the rest of your ilk. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@notmadeomoney @MikeDunlap Good point.  Everything costs more to transport into NY or onto Long Island.  When I drove long haul trucks, drivers were paid $1k extra to deliver in Manhattan, $500 extra to go onto long island.  Oddly, I seem to remember driving on elevated, limited access freeways right through those vibrant areas spoken of so fondly.  Brooklyn most notably, since I avoided Manhattan like the plague.

notmadeomoney
notmadeomoney

@MikeDunlap @notmadeomoney New York City is a vibrant place because it's so densely populated.  The population was there before the freeways.  The reason no continuous freeway extends from Long Island to New Jersey is because they'd have to knock down way too many buildings to make it happen, not because it would somehow ruin the vibrancy of the city.  The lack of freeways and easy truck access does, however, make everything cost an insane amount up there.

anon
anon

@notmadeomoney @MikeDunlap the alternative we are discussing here is making the people driving from Dallas to Austin drive around Waco on a limited access highway.

MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

@notmadeomoney I have done something far, far, far more time-consuming.  I've driven from Long Island to New Jersey (and vice versa).  Many times.  In bad traffic, it can take 2-3 hours to go around or through Manhattan and Brooklyn.  But the trade-off is that Manhattan and Brooklyn are the greatest, most vibrant places on the planet.  

Dallas can be one of two things: it can be a great city or it can be an easy place to drive through.  The two are mutually exclusive.

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