In the 1965 City of Dallas Thoroughfare Plan, Richmond Avenue from Gaston to Glencoe was classified as a “secondary thoroughfare,” an effort to move commuter traffic quickly from Garland to downtown. In 1971, the right of way was expanded, and in 1978, the pavement was widened to its current 44 feet. In 1978, the City reversed course and returned Richmond to “local.” This residential designation was confirmed in the 1993 thoroughfare plan, but Richmond still feels and acts thoroughfare-ish.

The 2017 bond program for the City of Dallas included $1.2 million for repaving and re-striping Richmond Avenue from Abrams to Matilda and $350,000 to redesign the intersection at Skillman and Richmond. After several informal meetings with neighborhood leaders since the bonds were issued, the Public Works Department and Councilman Dave Blewett hosted a virtual meeting Oct. 29 to review the proposed design options.

The current configuration is two 13-foot traffic lanes with unmarked parking available on the north and south sides of the street. City staff presented five options, one with no change and four with some variation of two 11-foot traffic lanes going in each direction, two bike lanes going each direction and street parking. Painted crosswalks, flashing lights and physical bump-outs are also planned for intersections with pedestrian crossings. The pavement width remains 44 feet in all options.

Click through the gallery to see the five options.

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The redesign of the Richmond/Skillman intersection will include elimination of the “free” right turn and an upgraded traffic signal.

“We have a chance to help change Richmond from a major barrier to a much safer avenue while reconnecting our neighborhoods and our access to important services” said David Shinn, Richmond Avenue resident and the neighborhood catalyst for getting the improvements included in the 2017 bond.

Melanie Vanlandingham, longtime Lakewood Heights leader added, “Instead of a dangerous community barrier, a well-designed Richmond can be safe, slow, and calm — helping keep us connected and contribute to the vibrancy and health of East Dallas.”

Residents are encouraged to register comments here through Nov. 19.

After assembling comments, Public Works will estimate the costs for a preferred design and reconvene the community for discussion. Once a design and budget are finalized, engineering plans will take four months to prepare and construction will last 12 months.

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