A couple weeks ago, we passed along video of a head-scratcher of a pedestrian scenario under Beckley Avenue in West Dallas, where the sidewalk disappears into a sliver of dirt as cars race around a corner. See photo above. Today, an update in two parts.
Part one: That land sitting below the railroad crossing is actually owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. The city has an easement for 40 feet of roadway and, on the side we’re talking about here, another five feet of sidewalk. But UPRR gets to approve any work within it. Until then, the city tells me, there will now be signage letting walkers know the sidewalk is closed at the underpass. I’m not sure how much that will deter walkers who’ve already pot-committed to their route from Trinity Groves back to Commerce—as I laid out in the last post, there aren’t many other options—but hey, it’s a start.
Part two: The better news is that we could eventually see a more permanent solution via the West Dallas Gateway, a 2012 bond program project. Its aim is to stitch these railroad-separated neighborhoods together, and it just so happens to include “provisions for a shared use pathway along Beckley Avenue at the Union Pacific Railroad crossing,” a city spokesperson says. The total cost is budgeted at $34 million. The project is delayed, however. Despite an original timeline that placed its completion in 2019—that’s now!—the project currently sits in the design phase.
For more in this series, go here.