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Author Topic: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345  (Read 1422 times)

MaxConcrete

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Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« on: June 08, 2019, 08:34:25 PM »

The runoff featured Eric Johnson and Scott Griggs. Griggs is a big opponent of I-345, and he states the following in a Dallas Morning News report https://voterguide.dallasnews.com/2019-municipal-elections/candidates/934/
Quote
On highways, I support the removal of I-345 to a boulevard system to reunite downtown, the Arts District, and Deep Ellum. I was the Councilmember that killed the Trinity Tollroad. I will be the Mayor that removes I-345. I also support a new I-30 that will reunite downtown, Fair Park, and the Cedars.

Johnson does not appear to oppose I-345, although I don't know that he supports its continued existence. In a Dallas Morning News interview, he makes no mention of I-345 in the transportation section.
https://voterguide.dallasnews.com/2019-municipal-elections/candidates/935/

Very good news: Johnson won, with 56% of the vote
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/elections/2019/06/08/state-rep-eric-johnson-defeats-council-member-scott-griggs-become-dallas-mayor

Johnson will serve a four-year term, and he can serve a second term before term limits apply.

More good news: anti-freeway councilmember Philip Kingston has been been defeated. However, I don't know the transportation policy position of his replacement, David Blewett.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 12:06:34 AM by MaxConcrete »
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-- US 175 --

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2019, 02:39:35 PM »

A contentious race, with low turnout.  That said, I doubt very highly that Griggs could have done all the I-345 teardown/removal "himself", as Dallas has a weak-mayor setup, which favors the city manager more.  Even if Griggs won and could go to TxDOT HQ and pound his fist, I still doubt any more would have been done to tear down the freeway with no vision of a replacement.  Interesting that both candidates that were freeway activists each lost.  I wonder how plans will shape up now for any of the freeway plans/redo's, like I-30.
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Bobby5280

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2019, 07:06:50 PM »

I hope none of these people have any ambitions to remove I-30 on the East side of downtown. That would be a whole lot worse than removing I-345 (which should not be done either).
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 04:11:43 PM »

It looks like we will have to wait-and-see what happens. Hopefully, 345 stays, in some shape or form.
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In_Correct

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2019, 05:08:16 PM »

Of course they have ambitions. They will never really be happy until every Interstate has been destroyed.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2019, 08:03:54 PM »

I hope none of these people have any ambitions to remove I-30 on the East side of downtown. That would be a whole lot worse than removing I-345 (which should not be done either).

I don't know of any political leaders who advocate rerouting of I-30. D Magazine and its extreme anti-freeway editor-in-chief Wick Allison was promoting the idea.

I-30 is slated for major reconstruction and work is funded in TxDOT's 10-year plan, somewhere between $1 and $2 billion in work. TxDOT's inital plans call for some modest expansion, but there is opposition. So the main question for I-30 is if TxDOT will be able to proceed with the expansion during reconstruction. Of course, if the project becomes too controversial, TxDOT can cancel the planned work and leave it as-is, and shift the money to where it is really wanted, which is Collin County.

As for Griggs and Kingston, they were the main anti-freeway voices on Dallas City Council, and neither have any official political power anymore. This is a big setback for the anti-freeway interests. Of course Griggs and Kingston can work politically in a non-elected capacity, but their ability to have an influence should be greatly reduced. We'll have to see if some other council member(s) will take on the anti-freeway effort. But whatever happens, the election result appears to be favorable for I-345 and I-30, at least for the next four years.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 08:06:22 PM by MaxConcrete »
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Bobby5280

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 11:06:57 PM »

With people using phrases such as "uniting Fair Park with Downtown Dallas" that certainly makes me worry about a removal of I-30. I don't visit Downtown Dallas all that often these days, but if freeways are removed around it I would stay away even more with a vengeance. I have no desire to drive through miles upon miles of stop lights to get to downtown (and then probably pay a big sum of money just to park). There's a lot to see and do in the DFW area without ever getting near Downtown Dallas.

The anti-freeway types need to realize a thriving downtown district actually depends greatly on lots of people from the suburbs and distant communities being able to visit and do so efficiently. How many tourists are going to park their cars practically up in Carrollton or Plano to then spend an hour of time on a light rail train to visit a spot in downtown? I don't think very many are going to do that.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 03:57:49 PM »

How many tourists are going to park their cars practically up in Carrollton or Plano to then spend an hour of time on a light rail train to visit a spot in downtown? I don't think very many are going to do that.

I have done that as of October 2018, though not from as far out as Carrollton or Plano (my motel was near the High Five).  The choice was between DART, which now is SRO in rush hour near downtown but at least allowed me to read a book, versus sitting in traffic.  I didn't and don't support the removal of either I-345 or I-30, but DART worked well for my purposes, and I was quite struck by the contrast with a 2003 visit where it made the most sense to drive everywhere.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2019, 03:22:19 AM »

With people using phrases such as "uniting Fair Park with Downtown Dallas" that certainly makes me worry about a removal of I-30. I don't visit Downtown Dallas all that often these days, but if freeways are removed around it I would stay away even more with a vengeance. I have no desire to drive through miles upon miles of stop lights to get to downtown (and then probably pay a big sum of money just to park). There's a lot to see and do in the DFW area without ever getting near Downtown Dallas.

The anti-freeway types need to realize a thriving downtown district actually depends greatly on lots of people from the suburbs and distant communities being able to visit and do so efficiently. How many tourists are going to park their cars practically up in Carrollton or Plano to then spend an hour of time on a light rail train to visit a spot in downtown? I don't think very many are going to do that.

DART is actually pretty convenient but they need to build their system better with 100 percent grade separation. As for freeways I agree with you.

I’m in the minority that wishes they’d build the trinity tollway. With that said, I do wish they would tunnel I-345 to connect DTDallas together better as I am a huge supporter of freeway tunnels.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2019, 07:37:25 AM by Plutonic Panda »
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In_Correct

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2019, 07:58:03 AM »

With people using phrases such as "uniting Fair Park with Downtown Dallas" that certainly makes me worry about a removal of I-30. I don't visit Downtown Dallas all that often these days, but if freeways are removed around it I would stay away even more with a vengeance. I have no desire to drive through miles upon miles of stop lights to get to downtown (and then probably pay a big sum of money just to park). There's a lot to see and do in the DFW area without ever getting near Downtown Dallas.

The anti-freeway types need to realize a thriving downtown district actually depends greatly on lots of people from the suburbs and distant communities being able to visit and do so efficiently. How many tourists are going to park their cars practically up in Carrollton or Plano to then spend an hour of time on a light rail train to visit a spot in downtown? I don't think very many are going to do that.

DART is actually pretty convenient but they need to build their system better with 100 percent grade separation. As for freeways I agree with you.

I’m in the minority that wishes they’d build the trinity tollway. With that said, I do wish they would tunnel I-345 to connect DTDallas together better as I am a huge supporter of freeway tunnels.

I love DART. I love driving but hate Automobile Dependency. I also am no fan of New York City so I am glad that we have DART as an alternative. Much better than Houston's trains, DART still needs improvement.

1. It would be nice to expand DART.
2. It would be nice to have it completely grade separated.

Of course that would offend people, possibly "destroying their neighbourhoods". While I like Freeway Tunnels and Deck Parks also, this narrative of "reconnecting neighbourhoods" is nonsense. Interstate 345 consists of two freeway interchanges and several rail lines. They should have not built any streets under it. A smaller example is in Denison near Albertson's. The long highway bridge spans two or three rail lines with empty space in between for more rail lines, or even roads. But just because the bridge has open space instead of nice brick walls does not mean that every body can crowd under it. Also that bridge in Denison was recently replaced with an even fancier bridge.
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rte66man

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2019, 06:01:31 PM »

How many tourists are going to park their cars practically up in Carrollton or Plano to then spend an hour of time on a light rail train to visit a spot in downtown? I don't think very many are going to do that.

I have done that as of October 2018, though not from as far out as Carrollton or Plano (my motel was near the High Five).  The choice was between DART, which now is SRO in rush hour near downtown but at least allowed me to read a book, versus sitting in traffic.  I didn't and don't support the removal of either I-345 or I-30, but DART worked well for my purposes, and I was quite struck by the contrast with a 2003 visit where it made the most sense to drive everywhere.

My son-in-law and I used DART from Plano to the Cotton Bowl for the OU-TX game.  They were running trains every 10 minutes yet it was packed after the second stop. Way better than stressing in traffic and worrying about finding a place to park. Easy to board on the return trip and was glad I wasn't one of the hundreds walking a mile or more to their cars.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2019, 02:06:03 PM »

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2019/06/25/plans-downtown-dallas-subway-still-track-no-easy-answers

This article (by very anti-freeway and anti-345 columnist Robert Wilonsky) states that Dallas' transportation chief favors the removal of I-345.

However, the more important conclusion I reach from trying to parse the information in this article is that the City of Dallas is looking for a design for the proposed D2 light rail link that will not preclude any option for I-345. I think the current preferred alignment for D2 is probably incompatible with sinking I-345 into a trench, because the tunnel portal is in the middle of the I-345 alignment. So the current design for D2 would leave only two options: retaining the elevated structure or removing it. So a realignment of D2 would seem favorable to keeping I-345 but sinking it into a trench. But as the article states, changing the alignment would introduce a big complication into current planning by DART.



Larger map : https://dallasnews.imgix.net/1561481394-D2-Map.png?bg=fff&auto=format&q=50&or=
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 02:11:16 PM by MaxConcrete »
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In_Correct

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2019, 05:30:19 PM »

That does not sound like good news.

I am a huge enthusiast of The Texas Electric Railway. But I have little confidence in DART since they have failed to build Knox Henderson Subway Station. They would have finished it if they did not listen to silly people who choose to live too close to a transport corridor.

That also applies to the people who squatted too close to the same very busy Unfinished Corridor. Add D2 and they still might complain. Or to make sure they complain, perhaps make D2 a surface rail line near the bridge which means keeping the Interstate 345 bridge as elevated over D2. After all, that is the purpose of the bridge.
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2019, 05:27:52 PM »

Make the subway tunnel deeper? It will cost more money but bold ideas require real funding. It can be done. I-345 needs to be sunk to connect the downtown together but the freeway link needs to remain. Dallas needs to invest in real transit with a subway preferably over elevated rail. I'm not opposed to either but the at grade crossings have to go.
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In_Correct

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2019, 06:10:02 PM »

Make the subway tunnel deeper? It will cost more money but bold ideas require real funding. It can be done. I-345 needs to be sunk to connect the downtown together but the freeway link needs to remain. Dallas needs to invest in real transit with a subway preferably over elevated rail. I'm not opposed to either but the at grade crossings have to go.

Are the Subway line(s) completely replacing the at grade rail crossings?
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2019, 08:33:17 PM »

Make the subway tunnel deeper? It will cost more money but bold ideas require real funding. It can be done. I-345 needs to be sunk to connect the downtown together but the freeway link needs to remain. Dallas needs to invest in real transit with a subway preferably over elevated rail. I'm not opposed to either but the at grade crossings have to go.

Are the Subway line(s) completely replacing the at grade rail crossings?
I don't think so based from that article but they're providing a real transit system which could pave way to a grade separation project for the surface route.

On a side note for some reason I thought the original intention was to replace the at grade tracks and create a light rail subway.
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MaxConcrete

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2019, 07:26:23 PM »

Video from today's meeting
https://nctcog.swagit.com/play/10102019-640

In item 4 starting at 3:40, the director states that negotiations are in progress between DART and TxDOT to develop a design for the proposed DART subway which will accommodate a depressed I-345 in the future. The director states that it is TxDOT's and NCTCOG's intention to "eventually depress Interstate 345".

This is of course a good policy directive from NCTCOG, but is no guarantee for I-345. While the political climate for I-345 may be improved with the current mayoral administration, the depressing of I-345 would probably take place no earlier than the 2030s, and a lot can happen between now and then, e.g. political interests seeking to remove the freeway gaining power.

In_Correct

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2019, 08:03:59 PM »

Video from today's meeting
https://nctcog.swagit.com/play/10102019-640

In item 4 starting at 3:40, the director states that negotiations are in progress between DART and TxDOT to develop a design for the proposed DART subway which will accommodate a depressed I-345 in the future. The director states that it is TxDOT's and NCTCOG's intention to "eventually depress Interstate 345".

This is of course a good policy directive from NCTCOG, but is no guarantee for I-345. While the political climate for I-345 may be improved with the current mayoral administration, the depressing of I-345 would probably take place no earlier than the 2030s, and a lot can happen between now and then, e.g. political interests seeking to remove the freeway gaining power.

The Removal People have fewer excuses to use now.
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vdeane

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2019, 12:50:31 PM »

The Removal People have fewer excuses to use now.
I'm not so sure.  They don't like depressed freeways any more than they like elevated ones, and even if it weren't for that, I could easily see them arguing "why wait until the 2030s for a depressed freeway when we can do a freeway removal now".
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Bobby5280

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2019, 01:36:19 PM »

The proper solution (although expensive) is putting I-345 into a trench and then covering it with something like a deck park. The new urbanist crowd shouldn't have any problem with that. Eliminating I-345 between the I-45 terminus and South end of North Central Expressway would be a very bad idea. The "horseshoe" around the West side of downtown Dallas would be snarled with far more traffic.

This project would be similar to the "Central 70" project getting underway in Denver. That one will replace a badly aging, elevated freeway with a higher capacity freeway trenched below grade and capped with a 4 or 5 acre deck park spanning a couple or so blocks. Cut-and-covering I-345 between downtown and Deep Ellum could be bigger in scale. But DFW is a considerably larger metro than Denver.
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In_Correct

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2019, 09:04:56 PM »

The Removal People have fewer excuses to use now.
I'm not so sure.  They don't like depressed freeways any more than they like elevated ones, and even if it weren't for that, I could easily see them arguing "why wait until the 2030s for a depressed freeway when we can do a freeway removal now".

That would still take time to demolish The Bridge. Even a small amount of time such as one afternoon would be catastrophic.

...

Perhaps a demonstration blocking The Bridge to give an example of what it would be like without The Bridge. Demonstrations probably speak the same language of New Urbanists.

The demolition would have the same effect as a demonstration. Traffic Jams would occur immediately.

The proper solution (although expensive) is putting I-345 into a trench and then covering it with something like a deck park. The new urbanist crowd shouldn't have any problem with that. Eliminating I-345 between the I-45 terminus and South end of North Central Expressway would be a very bad idea. The "horseshoe" around the West side of downtown Dallas would be snarled with far more traffic.

This project would be similar to the "Central 70" project getting underway in Denver. That one will replace a badly aging, elevated freeway with a higher capacity freeway trenched below grade and capped with a 4 or 5 acre deck park spanning a couple or so blocks. Cut-and-covering I-345 between downtown and Deep Ellum could be bigger in scale. But DFW is a considerably larger metro than Denver.

The Deck Park would not need to start out very large. Add it gradually.

...

Also, what would they do with the rail roads that The Bridge goes over?! There would still need to be a bridge, an "ugly" one, ... or will they demand the removal of the rail roads?! What would be removed would be only for a few streets since they still need to have a bridge over The Railroad.

And this applies to Digging The Trench. Will The Trench be going under the Rail Roads??
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Bobby5280

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2019, 01:11:09 AM »

A trenched I-345 would have to go under the railroad tracks where they cross at Good Latimer. That would require at least one or more new bridges for the rail lines as well as a bridge structure for Good Latimer. It's a really complicated surface-level junction, one that would have to be reconfigured as a bridge and/or partial deck over a trenched I-345.

As for where the lowered I-345 could be capped there are a copule or so possibilities. It would be a bit much to cap the whole thing.

Obviously it would be nice if some of I-345 could be capped between Deep Ellum and downtown (maybe a couple blocks between Commerce, Main & Elm St). But US-75/I-345 is the top level leading to the I-45/I-30 stack. And there's other long ramps going North from that stack interchange. It's going to be a difficult puzzle to solve taking the end of I-45 from a high elevation to down below grade in a relatively short distance.

Farther North, the zone between Bryan Street and Ross Avenue could be capped to unite downtown and the Art District with Bryan Place to the East.
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In_Correct

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2019, 02:57:41 PM »

An example of how removing The Bridge would cost time and money.

The bridge discussed seems to be dormant. But The Interstate 345 Bridge is very active and used all the time.

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=25360.0

Quote
Now, I am not sure if the bridge has any purpose at all anymore. Except to save the money it would cost to demolish it.
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motorola870

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2019, 11:00:48 PM »

An example of how removing The Bridge would cost time and money.

The bridge discussed seems to be dormant. But The Interstate 345 Bridge is very active and used all the time.

https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=25360.0

Quote
Now, I am not sure if the bridge has any purpose at all anymore. Except to save the money it would cost to demolish it.
TXDOT is not going to let Dallas get rid of 345 it may disappear due to 45 getting extended but they will not let a few urbanists destroy it. They have plans to push 45 into Grayson county eventually they aren't going to let a few vocal developers try to cash in on 345. They are in the process of finishing interstate grade upgrades in the next couple of years expect signing by 2025. I guess the urbanist think that 75 is going to stay signed north of woodall rogers? TXDOT has other plans and are trying to get sherman and denison interstate qualification to facilitate growth in the red river valley. I drove the stretch back in june they are close to having it full standard all the way to Colbert OK if anything I think short term I45 is going to terminate close to the casino in durant.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2019, 11:07:42 PM by motorola870 »
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Bobby5280

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Re: Dallas mayoral runoff results: Good news for I-345
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2019, 11:23:30 PM »

While I would like to see it happen, I'm not going to hold my breath for I-45 to get signed North of downtown Dallas all the way up to the Red River (and potentially farther into Oklahoma once Interstate quality upgrades are complete from the river to US-70 in Durant). Texas has been inconsistent at best with applying for Interstate designations to newly built freeways, toll roads and extensions of existing freeways. The I-14 and I-69 efforts are the only exceptions, and those are tied to larger multi-state corridor efforts.

US-75 is going to be brought up 100% to modern Interstate quality standards from Dallas to the Red River. The US-75/US-69 corridor will continue to get Interstate quality upgrades (slowly) along spot segments in Oklahoma in response to very heavy traffic from commercial trucks and other long distance traffic bypassing OKC and Tulsa to get to points Northeast. If TX DOT chooses to extend the I-45 designation Northward I'll bet they won't do it until the I-345 situation in downtown Dallas is resolved. If the solution is replacing the existing elevated freeway with one in a trench (capped or not) that project would hold up any extension of I-45 on North until the project is finished.
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