Every two years, the Congress for the New Urbanism identifies the worst highways in America, the ones that are falling apart and, even as they do, are hurting the cities and people they supposedly serve. This year’s list was released this morning. Have a look at Freeways Without Futures 2017. Our own I-345 made the list of 10. Here’s what CNU says:
In Dallas, a firmly auto-oriented Sunbelt city, few dared to imagine downtown without this concrete behemoth carrying roaring motor vehicles above—until an audacious group of local activists began to run the numbers. Calling themselves A New Dallas, and led by locals Patrick Kennedy and Brandon Hancock, they made a compelling case for demolishing I-345 and reuniting downtown Dallas with Deep Ellum. Here is what they found, according to D Magazine:
“Blowing up I-345 would free up 245 acres for development that could bring in another 27,540 downtown residents and, based on developable-square-footage estimates, more than 22,550 jobs. … And those estimates are conservative. It would restitch the grid, reconnect Deep Ellum and East Dallas to downtown, and allow the active development happening farther up Central Expressway to move south. … What happens then? Within 15 years, as much as $4 billion in new investment and more than $100 million in yearly property tax revenue.”
The writeup goes on to cite the work of the Coalition for a New Dallas and its role in spurring TxDOT to create its landmark CityMAP report. This is a pretty big deal. Hopefully the national pub from CNU will hasten the teardown.