TxDOT presents 5 suggestions for Garland-Grand-Gaston intersection

Concerned residents packed the house at the Mt. Auburn Elementary School Auditorium last night to discuss the Gaston, Garland and Grand intersection. The “3 G’s” sees more than 30,000 vehicles a day, has a high volume of pedestrians and cyclists, is one of the most dangerous intersections in East Dallas, according to the DPD, and despite its appearance, has been called the gateway to East Dallas.

Because the intersection includes a city and state-owned roads, it’s also drawn a lot of political attention. City Councilman Mark Clayton, State Representatives Eric Johnson and Kenneth Sheets, Dallas County Commissioner Theresa Daniel and several TxDOT representatives were all in attendance last night.

Five new options were presented to the crowd, followed by a break-out session where residents got in to groups to discuss what they liked and disliked about the plans. Overall, some modification of the Reverse T (the second, fourth and fifth options) seem to be the favorite. Information from this meeting will be compiled before a third stakeholder meeting is hosted later this fall. The first meeting about the intersection was held in May.

All of the options include more traditional intersections with stop lights (except the roundabout), a wider bridge, 14-inch curb lanes, trail access, crosswalks and sidewalks.

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The 4-Leg, Modified T


This configuration will give Grand and Garland three lanes each and stop lights would provide traffic gaps, making it easier to turn left out of a business on Garland. Some of the takeaways are that the driveways on Garland and Grand would be in the middle of an intersection and it won’t fix the Gaston to Garland traffic flow problems that already exist.

The Reverse T


The advantages of this configuration are that it would improve traffic flow moving from Gaston to Garland, it would also create some traffic gaps and has large landscaping opportunities. The setbacks are, again, the driveways in the middle of the intersection.

The (Dreaded) Roundabout


The pros of this option are that it would be the cheapest to maintain and it would also provide some unique landscaping and signage opportunities in the center. But there are more negatives here than positives. First, the initial cost would likely be the highest of all the options, it would not be easy for pedestrians or cyclists to cross and it is likely to make afternoon traffic worse. This was clearly the crowd’s least favorite solution.

The Reverse T with a Grand to Garland bypass lane


This is a basic modification to the Reverse T. It includes a direct lane from Grand to Garland. It also would improve traffic flow between Garland and Gaston. The setbacks are that it would offer poor access to Garland, traffic gaps would not be as good as some of the other options, and the direct lane between Garland and Grand could cause safety issues for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Reverse T with a Grand to Garland free right turn


This again favors the traffic flow between Garland and Gaston, but the traffic gaps created would be pretty poor.

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  • Thom Prentice


    Written statement (rev 9 15 16) by THOM PRENTICE, Green Party nominee for Congress, Southern Dallas, CD 30 on the proposed roundabout and other expensive proposals for the Three Geez / 3GS / Three Geez / Three Jeez / intersection gaston / grand / garland

    In the old days, Congressman Maury Maverick of San Antonio, a staunch FDR / New Dealer in the 1930s, nevertheless took on what he thought were expensive and unnecessary government spending and construction projects. He called them “BOONDOGGLES” and said people were being “HORNSWOGGLED” into supporting big, expensive projects when smaller, less expensive projects would do nicely.

    This proposed roundabout is a HORNSWOGGLE AND A BOONDOGGLE bonanza for concrete salesmen, engineers, expensive outside contractors, architects, and expensive outside consultants and is all about a bunch of bureaucrats and politicians with an off-the-shelf solution desperately trying to find a problem to solve that doesn’t exist.

    TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, BAD, NO-GOOD TRAFFIC ROUNDABOUTS are the latest NOCTURNAL EMISSION (WET DREAM) government and CORPORATE bureaucrats dream up together in their various EXPENSIVE national conferences and conventions in order to drum up business for their corporate Daddies who treat voters/taxpayers’ governments like they were ATM machines.

    Do these people even DRIVE this intersection? What’s the beef? Uphill southbound at evening rush seems to be the biggest problem and that could be fixed with stoplight adjustments. Previous stoplight adjustments and elimination of the northbound merge lanes during repaving solved that issue rather nicely.

    And “Not the most user-friendly intersection of all time.” Have these guys even been to Paris? To the 11 lane roundabout surrounding the Arc de Triomphe? Ever try driving that, pal?

    Closer to home, what about Boston? Just google “Boston map of roundabouts” to see roundabout after roundabout: see why living in the Boston area causes millions of humans to experience one “not-most-user-friendly (roundabout) intersection of all time” every five minutes.

    Roundabouts made sense in colonial horse-and-buggy daze. Not now in horsepower daze. I lived there once; I can tell you lots more about those New England roundabouts. I actually still have bad dreams about not getting out of that roundabout on the way to Lexington.

    LOOK! When the city let upscale Lincoln properties add massive shopping space (and somebody is building massive new apartments on the hill) and required NO roadside improvements, well, THAT was a problem.

    LOOK! A Gaston westbound right turn lane for Starbucks and two more would solve a HELL of a lot of screeching tires from slammed brakes, as would a left turn lane at the new YMCA which I suppose the upscale donors could also pay for. (To its credit, whether required or not, the YMCA DID include a right turn lane on eastbound Gaston which certainly improves things there.)

    LOOK! A left turn lane into upscale Lincoln properties’ Subway and UPS and PetVet stores from westbound Gaston would also reduce brake-slamming and tire screeching.

    LOOK! As would traffic-based computer switching of the lights at the Three Geez. Why just yesterday morning I was heading to turning left from Grand on to Gaston, saw the green light far ahead and accepted that I would have to wait for the next light change. So I began slowing down to stop. Amazingly, the light was STILL GREEN when I got there so I made the light. In the old daze we would say “that does not compute.” Mr. Spock improved the phrase with “that is not logical.” On yet another early morning, a line of autos were turning left, westbound Gaston from northbound Grand. Most didn’t make it. And the line of cars was not accommodated by the left turn lane — which would seem to be some minimal improvements.

    LOOK! A general repaving of bumpy, potholed Gaston from the Three Geez / 3Gs intersection to Whole Foods would be salutary for improving traffic — whether the rich folk who live on Gaston want to endure the distress of not. Also repaving of E Grand from the Tenison Park/ Samuel Grand Rec Center south would be nice.

    It would be good to find a way for an easier connect to the Santa Fe Trail, but it seems like, yet again, this should have been part of the city’s deal with Lincoln Properties since access would seem to be easier behind PetSmart than as part of a road roundabout and general mixmaster.

    Since Lincoln Properties didn’t meet its commitment to take $1 million US from the city on the condition that it anchor the center with a grocery store – the sad, lamented Fresh Market barely made it a year –maybe THAT million dollars could be used for easier access to the Santa Fe Trail. Or solving FOOD APARTHEID IN JUST ABOUT ALL OF SOUTH DALLAS.

    — thom prentice

    For convenience here is the google Boston roundabout search:

  • Thom Prentice

    Those circulos work like a hose when you turn on both blinkers? You are a psychopath.

  • Cissy Aberg

    I don’t understand why people are so against circulos…roundabouts. I guess if you are bent on waiting for a clear lane, they don’t work. But, people, this is a busy metropolis and no one is going to “let” you in! Just put on your blinker, look both ways and go for it….then those circulos work like a hose.
    Pedestrians are, admittedly, a problem, but maybe we could take the overhead walkway that Preston Center turned down. And geez, this is Texas. Since when do we yield to pedestrians, much less consider them in our traffic infrastructure?!
    We put billions into more lanes for cars on a regular basis, but public transportation takes a backseat…pardon, it’s in trunk, at best…a major contributor to the child poverty issue. I mean, just try to get your kids to childcare or school and then get to your job via public transport in this city…in the same day, I mean.
    And we need to get rid of those crudy businesses and their driveways. Sorry if it’s yours, but clean it up!