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Regional Boards => Mid-South => Topic started by: MaxConcrete on August 09, 2017, 09:55:19 PM

Title: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: MaxConcrete on August 09, 2017, 09:55:19 PM
The highly controversial Trinity Parkway toll road appears to be finally, irrevocably dead after Dallas City Council voted 13-2 to kill it.

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/09/trinity-river-toll-road-dead-dallas-angela-hunt-thank (https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/09/trinity-river-toll-road-dead-dallas-angela-hunt-thank)

Good map in this document
http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/0634_011217_Trinity%20Parkway%20Project_white%20paper.pdf (http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/0634_011217_Trinity%20Parkway%20Project_white%20paper.pdf)

However, the end actually occurred a few months ago when several pro-project council members were ousted in the municipal election and the slim pro-project majority was lost. Some pro-project members also switched to vote against it.

This is a classic example of what can happen when the project development cycle takes decades. Dallas voters approved the project in 1998 and 2007, and the project held a steadily eroding majority of support on council, including the mayor. But all it took was this one vote to kill the project, and discard the all the effort and money spent to get the EIS approved. I haven't seen any numbers, but I'm thinking between $50 and $100 million was spent.

The project had many problems, one of which was its price tag, which is $1.3 to $1.8 billion (depending on the source, I'm thinking $1.8 billion is correct). Tolls would not be sufficient to pay for it, so other toll projects would have had to subsidize it. Local agencies prefer toll roads which are profitable, and other North Texas toll roads tend to be hugely profitable (at the expense of North Texas motorists.) The North Texas Turnpike Authority really was not interested (due to the lack of profit), even though they were designated as the agency to build it. TxDOT wanted nothing to do with it, especially with the recent anti-toll sentiment in state government.

My opinion: While this project would have been beneficial, it had numerous flaws from the transportation perspective (mainly lack of connections to downtown freeways) and was probably not a worthwhile use of $1.8 billion, both in extra bond obligation (NTTA has a finite limit on how much it can borrow, and it is probably close to its max) and in the subsidies it would need.

What could have been: This bypass would have given downtown Dallas a freeway complex to rival downtownLos Angeles, and also much more modern than Los Angeles with the recent completion of the Horseshoe project.

http://dfwfreeways.com/book/ExTrinityParkway?startOdd=False (http://dfwfreeways.com/book/ExTrinityParkway?startOdd=False)
https://www.ntta.org/roadsprojects/futproj/trihwy/Pages/default.aspx (https://www.ntta.org/roadsprojects/futproj/trihwy/Pages/default.aspx)


Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: NE2 on August 10, 2017, 12:19:09 AM
Good.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: Brian556 on August 10, 2017, 12:28:48 AM
To me, building a freeway inside the levees was a bad idea.

If you are not going to build something that is practical and worthwhile, don't build anything at all.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: In_Correct on August 10, 2017, 06:55:53 AM
I was not familiar with this project but it sounds like a disaster. I think they should try it again without making the mistakes that you mentioned.

The reason why I like the idea is only because of the word "Parkway".

If you noticed, my favorite roads are what you might consider parkways. Or ... Texas Parkways.  :)

What I consider Texas Parkways are one way pairs of continuous frontage roads which includes grade separations over water and rail roads. The main carriage ways are near the frontage roads but in the middle is an extremely wide median filled with many trees. Hopefully these trees would never need to be be removed because the median is wide enough for both trees and future lanes.

Perhaps the necessary width for the entire road system is 1 KM.

I see BigRigTravels through many roads with extremely wide medians and many of them have trees. I doubt the trees were planted intentionally. They probably simply built an Interstate Highway through a forest area and left as many trees as possible. If they added frontage roads, this would be a Texas Parkway.  :nod:

But I don't think any Texas Parkways exist.  :no:

The reason why I would not like the idea of a Trinity Parkway is because the recent quality of new roads in Texas or at least in The Metroplex is very low quality uneven Tarmac, instead of the Portland Cement. I am not very confident about any new Texas Road Projects. I am still unfamiliar with Texas Toll Roads but perhaps The Toll Authority prefers Portland Cement.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: Chris on August 10, 2017, 07:55:07 AM
Are there two factors that could play a role?

1) the growing anti-toll sentiment over the past few years
2) the completion of the Dallas Horseshoe Project, which makes the Trinity Parkway less urgent for the time being.

How would the killing of the Trinity Parkway affect the prospects of a removal of I-345? The removal of the planned capacity along the west side of downtown also makes the I-345 removal by rerouting traffic along the west side even less viable.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: MaxConcrete on August 10, 2017, 09:13:35 AM
Are there two factors that could play a role?

1) the growing anti-toll sentiment over the past few years
2) the completion of the Dallas Horseshoe Project, which makes the Trinity Parkway less urgent for the time being.

How would the killing of the Trinity Parkway affect the prospects of a removal of I-345? The removal of the planned capacity along the west side of downtown also makes the I-345 removal by rerouting traffic along the west side even less viable.

For #1, it was a factor but a minor influence. TxDOT never had a role in the project, and the growing anti-toll sentiment ensured TxDOT would not become involved to "rescue" the project.  The main influence was the pro-park, anti-freeway influence from the political left. The anti-freeeway folks (Hunt, Kingston, Wick Allison, D Magazine) have created political action committees which successfully defeated the traditional pro-business Dallas establishment in recent elections. The decline of influence of the pro-business Dallas establishment is a major event in the evolution of Dallas, in my opinion. Now the anti-freeway folks will focus their efforts on the removal of Interstate 345, which will be more difficult than killing a tollway nobody wanted to finance and build.

For #2, yes the completion of the Horseshoe was a contributing factor to the belief that the Trinity Parkway is no longer needed.

As for Interstate 345, I'm thinking the end of the Trinity Parkway won't have much effect on the debate. But the elimination of the Trinity Parkway will remove an option that would have taken traffic out of the downtown interchange complex, so that means the relevance of I-345 is not diminished. So I think this works in favor of keeping I-345.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: Henry on August 10, 2017, 09:19:46 AM
Can't say I'm not surprised by this. I'd rather have the Horseshoe than another expensive, needless freeway.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: longhorn on August 10, 2017, 10:01:38 AM
The I-30 re direct east of the Downtown is going to use some of the same right of way as the Trinity Freeway. So the urbanist have a decision to make. Is it ok to "screw" the parks from downtown east with the I-30 rebuild? Or leave everything as is.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: MaxConcrete on August 10, 2017, 12:09:30 PM
The I-30 re direct east of the Downtown is going to use some of the same right of way as the Trinity Freeway. So the urbanist have a decision to make. Is it ok to "screw" the parks from downtown east with the I-30 rebuild? Or leave everything as is.

Where specifically is the right-of-way you are mentioning? The Trinity Parkway and I-30 right-of-ways don't overlap; the Trinity Parkway was planned to go under I-30 west of downtown with no connections.

The I-30 plans for east of downtown are still being studied and urbanist crowd may have an influence. Due to the high cost of expanding I-30 ($1-2 billion, depending on the scope), this project may be indefinitely deferred.

http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/0657_010517_IH%2030_US%2080_and%20The%20CanyonProjects.pdf (http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/0657_010517_IH%2030_US%2080_and%20The%20CanyonProjects.pdf)
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: longhorn on August 10, 2017, 11:27:01 PM
The I-30 re direct east of the Downtown is going to use some of the same right of way as the Trinity Freeway. So the urbanist have a decision to make. Is it ok to "screw" the parks from downtown east with the I-30 rebuild? Or leave everything as is.

Where specifically is the right-of-way you are mentioning? The Trinity Parkway and I-30 right-of-ways don't overlap; the Trinity Parkway was planned to go under I-30 west of downtown with no connections.

The I-30 plans for east of downtown are still being studied and urbanist crowd may have an influence. Due to the high cost of expanding I-30 ($1-2 billion, depending on the scope), this project may be indefinitely deferred.

http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/0657_010517_IH%2030_US%2080_and%20The%20CanyonProjects.pdf (http://www.keepitmovingdallas.com/sites/default/files/docs/0657_010517_IH%2030_US%2080_and%20The%20CanyonProjects.pdf)
The I-30 re route must be parallel to the Trinity project. It follows a similar routing east of the Horseshoe.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: bugo on August 11, 2017, 03:10:36 AM
Removing the US 75/I-345 freeway would be a disaster. Traffic is bad enough as it is, and without that vital link it would be gridlock all hours of the day.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: rantanamo on August 11, 2017, 07:13:26 AM
Interesting that the Trinity Parkway opposition is seen as a "left" thing, when its been clear for years that the actual citizenry of Dallas has been opposed for years.  It was initially proposed as a low speed parkway through the park and ended up as a tolled higher speed passthrough that went right through a promised "central park" of Dallas.  I get that this is a pro freeway site and that the burbs could care less about the city of Dallas, but the Dallas citizenry has every right to wants its amenities to work for its citizens.   If a limited access tollway was wanted so badly, why could this not be built as a part of a Stemmons rework in the same vein as 635.  Especially since I-30 hasn't been rebuilt either. 
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: bjrush on August 12, 2017, 11:36:17 AM
So because they spent a few million on environmental work, now they are obligated to spend untold billions to build the road?

Glad you're not in charge
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: wxfree on August 12, 2017, 02:57:05 PM
I'm glad to be rid of it.  I'd be in favor of a park access road, but not a freeway.
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: MaxConcrete on September 14, 2017, 09:10:01 PM
http://www.nctcog.org/trans/committees/rtc/documents/Item_4.rtc091417.pdf (http://www.nctcog.org/trans/committees/rtc/documents/Item_4.rtc091417.pdf)

The Trinity Tollway in the floodway is dead, but efforts are already underway to resurrect it by building it along existing freeway alignments. In the document above, it is now designated as the number 3 priority for big projects in DFW. You can also view the commentary by Michael Morris in the video of Item 4 in today's meeting, http://nctcog.swagit.com/play/09142017-580 (http://nctcog.swagit.com/play/09142017-580)

It appears that the regional transportation council is going to put its full support and influence to push the new project forward. However, it is third in line among the big projects, and major new studies will need to be done, so this won't move forward anytime soon. (I'm thinking at least 5 years at the earliest, assuming it does move forward.)

From a technical perspective, the Trinity Tollway played a key role in lane balance. Inbound, both SH 183 and SH 114 are planned to have two HOT lanes each feeding into SH 183, and then SH 183 merges into IH 35, which is where the the Trinity Tollway was to start. Without the Trinity Tollway, there are just far too many lanes merging into the IH 35E (which has 10 lanes, 5 each way). It will be difficult and expensive to bring more lanes all the way through downtown on existing corridors, so there is no assurance of success in the planning phase. The document lists the cost at $1.66 billion, about the same as the cost of the Trinity Tollway ($1.8 billion).
Title: Re: Dallas City Council kills the Trinity Parkway
Post by: rantanamo on September 16, 2017, 02:21:45 AM
if they want it so badly, perhaps something like 635 should be built. Or is it time to designate Loop 12 east as I-35E for through traffic.