Thursday, December 24, 2015

Dallas thinks green on its downtown freeway and more of it

Posted By on Thu, Dec 24, 2015 at 9:42 AM

click to enlarge OVERLAY: Dallas buried a freeway under a hugely successful park and is now talking about expanding the park's footprint. - DALLAS MORNING NEWS
  • Dallas Morning News
  • OVERLAY: Dallas buried a freeway under a hugely successful park and is now talking about expanding the park's footprint.

The Arkansas freeway department has at least a million reasons why this wouldn't work in Little Rock, the first being that they don't want to seriously consider anything about Interstate 30 except widening the river of concrete that already divides a re-emerging downtown so that the highway director and his ilk can get home to Saline and other suburban counties faster. Live in Little Rock? Perish the thought.

But look to Texas, yes, Texas, for a progressive idea for downtown freeway treatment.

In Dallas, they've already covered over a stretch of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway with a park, a huge success story according to the Dallas Morning News. And now they are talking about expanding the park.

I remind you again of how stunning a project could be produced by REMOVING the Second Street exit from Interstate 30 and creating a grassy park — think Washington D.C. Capitol Mall, from the downtown library all the way to the Clinton Library. The library system even came up with a drawing. You could put the freeway BELOW the mall to make it even better. And tunnel under the Arkansas River, too, and thus solve those river navigation issues.

But, no, the Arkansas freeway department says there'a nothing to be done but to widen Interstate 30 to 10 lanes so that, for the 90 minutes or so of rush period traffic five days a week, the freeway is overbuilt for all possible traffic loads through mid-century.

The concept talk in Dallas is exciting stuff, particularly to someone trapped in 1950s thinking about running freeways through the hearts of cities.

“Klyde Warren Park has knitted the Dallas Arts District together with its unique footprint over Woodall Rogers,” said Colleen Walker, Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer at the Perot Museum, in a statement sent to The Dallas Morning News. “In the past three years, both the Park and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science have enjoyed record attendance. We are certainly not surprised by the need to expand and look forward to hearing about their formal plans.”

Imagine. Knitting parts of downtown together rather than driving deeper wedges.

A PARK RUNS THROUGH IT: A concept for a Second Street mall rather than a freeway exit in downtown Little Rock. This looks east toward the Clinton Library.
  • A PARK RUNS THROUGH IT: A concept for a Second Street mall rather than a freeway exit in downtown Little Rock. This looks east toward the Clinton Library.

Tags: , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • Rutledge refuses open records of fired trooper who now leads ABC enforcement

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge yesterday refused to allow release of records that explain the 2000 firing of Boyce Hamlet as a state trooper.
    • Sep 1, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation