New Trinity Toll Road Plans Delayed. Are We Waiting For Godot?

Mayor Mike Rawlings emphasized his support for the parkway AND the park.

Mayor Mike Rawlings is furiously juggling under that overpass.
Mayor Mike Rawlings is furiously juggling under that overpass.

At this afternoon’s Trinity Commons Foundation luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel, Mayor Mike Rawlings emphasized the importance he places on the creation of a park between the Trinity River levees, even as he continued to underline his support for the construction of the Trinity Parkway toll road:

Rawlings cited myriad inspirations, among them from Buffalo Bayou in Houston, The High Line in New York and Park Presidio in San Francisco. He said the park, whatever it looks like, will be “connected to” to the adjacent properties.

“The timing is such that the work is starting to take place,” Rawlings said. “Initial conversations have been had. Once we finalize the Trinity Parkway plans, right on the heels of that we will begin our discussion in a serious manner about this park, making sure we have the water features that are important, that we feel a part of nature when we’re there as well.”

Yesterday the Morning News reported that the advisory committee the mayor appointed in January to work up yet-another design for the first phase of the toll road won’t reveal its presumably attractive new drawings to the City Council’s transportation committee until March 21.

Once that happens, Rawlings assured those in attendance, work towards making the long-promised park a reality can begin in earnest. Funding for the green space, however, can’t primarily come from the city. It will need to be a privately supported project.

We can be forgiven for remaining a touch skeptical that much of any of this will amount to much of anything, considering that it was at the same event last year that Larry Beasley’s “Dream Tream” of outside advisors presented its plans for a pared-down, meandering, four-lane version of the road that pretty much everyone (except maybe NCTCOG transportation majordomo Michael Morris) met with rave reviews.

Yet here we are once more, waiting for another closed-door committee to save us.

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