The Lakewood Citizens for Responsible Traffic (LCFRT) mounted a campaign to change TxDOT and the City of Dallas’ preferred option, called a “Reverse T,” which gets rid of the protected right turns from Garland to Gaston and the straight shot from Grand to Garland. LCRFT’s signs a mailers are asking neighbors to keep their kids and streets safe by avoiding “Option 2,” which they believe will divert more traffic onto Gaston, which already bears the weight of more vehicles than it was meant to handle.
TxDOT maintains that the two designs will not affect traffic flow, and that traffic will steadily and equally increase in both designs.
Although there are no alternate designs on the table as far as TxDOT is concerned, LCRFT is pushing for the the intersection to be a more traditional T intersection that doesn’t curve and point traffic toward Gaston. During the original meeting, this design was called “Option 1.”
But if the traffic coming on southbound Garland doesn’t turn onto Gaston, then it continues down Grand toward I-30. In a recent email sent out by the Hollywood Santa Monica Neighborhood Association, the board set out to clarify to the situation for their neighborhood. They list TxDOT’s advantages for the preferred redesign, including landscape opportunities, improved pedestrian safety, trail access and increased sidewalks, eliminating the northbound left turn yield and the free flow movements that currently exist.
The email also discusses the impact of LCRFT’s preferred Option 1. “While the general structure is similar to the intersection’s current layout, it would drive more traffic down East Grand Avenue, through school zones where four elementary schools are located, next to the Samuel Grand Recreation Center, and potentially through neighborhoods such as Lakewood Hills and our own — the increase in neighborhood traffic coming from drivers seeking a cut-through to Abrams Road or back to Gaston.”
Understandably, no one wants more traffic in their neighborhood, but with Dallas continuing to grow and East Dallas growing in popularity, it seems inevitable. TxDOT and government leaders have the unenviable task of satisfying constituents with both passionate and oppositional opinions on the matter. Some want traffic to go this way, others want it to go that way, while still others say we are all missing the point and should be looking to improve public transportation and cycling opportunities.
Another meeting about the intersection is planned for the fall. City leaders Mark Clayton and Philip Kingston say they are working on a compromise for the design, while TxDOT says that the city has already approved Option 2.
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