Yesterday something quite remarkable happened. I’d like to draw your attention to the matter.
Between now and May 4, election day, we are doing a podcast with each of the mayoral candidates (except Eric Johnson, whose non-participation we will discuss later). Yesterday we posted the podcast with Jason Villalba, who told us that he supports tearing down I-345 if the numbers add up. Then, just a couple hours later, we had a post about the Congress for the New Urbanism’s annual list of “Freeways Without Futures.” So let’s bring these two posts together. First, what Villalba said. Then, what the CNU said:
Villalba said, “I think the studies are in. I-345 has resulted in the separation of a neighborhood and a separation of our community. It think it coming down makes logistical sense for Dallas. I think it does bring together two areas that were separated years ago when we did that. That being said, how do you pay for this, right? … If you’re saying that the increase in taxable property values would shoulder the cost of the removal, then I think we can get there. … If the financials work, I’m in favor of removing I-345.”
CNU said, “The removal of the elevated highway will open up 245 acres of urban land for potential development—envisioned as walkable urban blocks, with squares and neighborhood public spaces within a short distance of each building. According to TxDOT’s CityMAP study, the complete removal would generate $2.5 billion in new property value … . [T]he city would receive $80 million each year in tax revenue with complete removal … .”
And how much would it cost to demolish the thing? About $65 million. If you’d like to look at the numbers in more detail, they are all right here.