The November bond, if passed, could transform a neighborhood thoroughfare and begin to change the way Dallas builds its streets. Dallas experienced significant growth in a car-centric end of the 20th century, but now hopes to move into a new era where streets are built with cars, pedestrians, and cyclists in mind.
In 2016 the City Council adopted a Complete Street Design Manual that says streets that receive funding must be designed with multi-modal transportation in mind. The stretch of Main, Columbia and Abrams between Exposition and Gaston is slated to become a Complete Street in November’s bond package.
This area is ripe for this transformation, as its six lanes only have four lanes worth of traffic, says Jared White of Dallas’ Department of Transportation. The outside automobile lanes will be dedicated to cyclists, which will be separated from the cars by a physical barrier. There may be a curb between the cars and the cyclists or an elevated cycling path going each direction. There will not likely be the flex posts (as shown in the image above) because they are easily damaged and unsightly, says White.
The plan also includes wider sidewalks and integrated bus stops with loading zones that include more seating and covered areas. It will connect with other Complete Street projects, creating a seamless path for cyclists and pedestrians from the Trinity River, through Downtown and Deep Ellum, and into East Dallas and the trail network around White Rock Lake.
In an area where many residents are walking and cycling already, this project will help unite a neighborhood that was divided by the widening of Columbia and its connection to Abrams, providing safety along the way. It also restores the street’s original functionality as a hub for all sorts of transportation.
The bond has $8 million dedicated to the project, though the final design will determine the total price and the timeline, meaning it may be built in stages or all at once. Early voting for the bond will be Oct. 23 through Nov 3, and election day is Nov. 7.
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