Stock photo

Update: We received a written response from the City of Dallas. It reads, The Dallas Department of Transportation installs ‘NO TRUCKS EXCEPT DELIVERIES’ signs based upon the guidance in the City of Dallas Code Chapter 28, Section 72, which determines designated truck routes. If a residential street is not identified as a truck route per the City Code, a site visit and engineering analysis is conducted in which a ‘NO TRUCKS EXCEPT DELIVERIES’ sign is installed and only applicable to that residential street and not surrounding areas. The operator of a semitrailer, pole trailer or trailer are restricted from using residential streets with the posted sign.   

In a fiery email to Juliette Fowler Communities CEO Nicole Gann, neighborhood resident Avi Adelman writes, “What do you not understand about ‘No Trucks’?” But the sign to which he refers — in a message copied to a small group of neighbors, Fowler staffers and The Advocate — is confusing. It reads: “No Trucks Except Deliveries.” And there is some disagreement as to what, exactly, that means.

Copious levels of construction are taking place in Lakewood, some of it at Juliette Fowler where a $24 million, 144-unit, three-story community meant for people with limited-to-moderate or fixed incomes is underway. There is an urgent need in Dallas and nationwide for housing — especially for middle-income seniors who need supportive services — as Fowler CEO Nicole Gann told The Advocate when the project was announced in late 2020.

That said, the construction is causing a dust-up between Fowler and at least a few neighboring residents, including Adelman, who we have never known to be complacent when something bothers him.

And right now, he’s bothered by all the trucks driving down his street.

Construction truck on East Side. One thing everyone agrees is that these trucks aren’t allowed. (And that might be all they agree on). Fowler personnel say they are doing all they can to re-route construction-related trucks and that most large-scale deliveries are done. Photo from Avi Adelman’s video

Adelman says that in November 2021, traffic from Fowler-bound construction and delivery trucks was so bad that he and other homeowners on the 5600 block Columbia, Eastside and Alton collectively requested that Dallas’ Transportation Department install the “No Trucks Except Deliveries” signage. Approved, three signs went up last month, one on each street.

Here’s how Adelman interprets it: “Unless a vehicle is making a delivery to a house on any of the referenced streets, that vehicle cannot use our streets to enter the Fowler gates on Fulton Street.”

Adelman complained in the email about trucks, both construction trucks and delivery trucks. When it comes to delivery trucks, Gann’s response indicates a different understanding of the sign. That “except deliveries” part means all vehicles delivering goods to residents at Fowler are OK, is the Fowler team’s interpretation. She also expresses how vital deliveries are to the residents of Juliette Fowler Communities, a nonprofit which leases apartments and offers a wide range of services for aging adults.

Adleman responds that the Fowler team should re-direct deliveries through the gate off Santa Fe Avenue, which negates contact with residential streets, or have them delivered to the main gate on Abrams. He adds that he knows it’s possible because he used to drive a delivery truck that serviced Fowler Communities. (He points out that some of the more common deliveries such as Amazon are not of concern; “we are talking about large 30-foot trucks for food, furniture, hospital supplies, laundry goods.”)

I thought we could clear this up by calling the City transportation department and asking which interpretation is correct. Turns out it was not that easy. No one in the office had an obvious answer, and as soon as I ID’d myself as a reporter, I was redirected to the public information office. We did hear back, but only to notify us that they were looking into it. One of the people I spoke with referred me to this ordinance (after reading it, I can’t find a super-obvious answer). On a trucker forum, drivers seem pretty unclear on the rules as well. “Still cant find out where this rule is written. Just make it up as they go I guess,” writes member R&L.

As for construction trucks, Gann and chief advancement officer Ann McKinley tell us Juliette Fowler has worked extensively to reroute construction-related trucks and deliveries and will continue to do so throughout the duration of construction. Gann added that most of the large-scale construction-related deliveries are complete.

Another concern for neighbors is about run-off and standing water and erosion related to the construction, according to Eastside homeowner Carrie Schweitzer, who also expresses disappointment that members of her neighborhood were never invited to participate in a community or stakeholder meeting regarding the new housing.

McKinley says the drainage system been studied and approved by the City of Dallas and engineers on the project, and they do not anticipate any problems upon completion.

As to the erosion and standing water, chief operating officer Billie Collins says contractors/landscapers will be planting grass in the questionable areas.

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