A visual representation of the land owned by TxDOT but controlled by the city of Dallas. The space in green is where Roddrick West wants to put his soccer fields. Lot E is where Deep Ellum wants its parking. (Photo courtesy City of Dallas)

Politics & Government

Trammell S. Crow: Soccer Complex Under I-345 Requires Environmental Study

The real estate scion and founder of EarthX expressed concerns to the Environment and Sustainability Committee.

Keep your head on a swivel today. Big doings at City Hall. Today Council will decide whether Roddrick West — son of state Sen. Royce West, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, noted critic of tearing down I-345 — will get to build a soccer complex under I-345. It’s item No. 21 on today’s consent agenda, though I assume it will be pulled for individual consideration. You know what we think here at D Magazine. Roddrick has no experience with such projects. He won’t show us his plans. TxDOT won’t show us the lease. Playing soccer under a highway isn’t healthy. And next month we are going to get some studies that will help us understand what sort of economic benefit the city might get if we tear down I-345. D Magazine founder Wick Allison laid all this out in an editorial published today by the Dallas Morning News.

Into the fray steps Trammell S. Crow, the real estate investor and founder of EarthX. Yesterday he sent a letter to the city’s Environment and Sustainability Committee (council members Omar Narvaez, Tennell Atkins, Paula Blackmon, David Blewett, Jennifer Gates). In it, he expresses concern over Roddrick’s plans. After addressing the vote on Dallas’ Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP), he gets around to the soccer:

And while I’m enthusiastically looking forward to tomorrow’s vote — and passage — of CECAP, I am troubled to learn about another vote that raises many environmental concerns. As Councilman Narvaez confirmed during last week’s Transportation Committee briefing, the proposal to construct a private soccer complex underneath interstate I-345 has not yet had an environmental study. I agree with him — and environmentalists across our City — that this must first happen before Dallas can relinquish its control over the land so that we definitively know what the health implications are for Dallas residents who’ll be using that space for its intended recreational purpose.

For what it’s worth, cities across the country and around the world are proactively moving recreational activity away from parks located near highways given recent studies that demonstrate the links between particulate matter and health. I would hope that the day Dallas takes an enormous step forward on environmental leadership isn’t tainted by a step backwards with regard to making policy decisions based on data and science.

It seems to me that there are several good reasons to at least postpone a vote on Roddrick’s soccer field plan. And there’s only one reason to approve it. That reason is Royce West.

Here is the full text of Crow’s letter:

Dear Council Members,

Let me begin by thanking all of you for your environmental leadership. Tomorrow’s vote on CECAP represents a pivotal moment in our City’s history as we not only establish an ambitious framework for setting climate goals, but mobilize institutions, organizations, and residents to achieve those goals. In the midst of a pandemic, I am proud that our City’s leaders recognize that two of the greatest crises of our time — the climate crisis and coronavirus — are interconnected. Please know that I remain committed to supporting our elected representatives address these existential priorities.

And while I’m enthusiastically looking forward to tomorrow’s vote — and passage — of CECAP, I am troubled to learn about another vote that raises many environmental concerns. As Councilman Narvaez confirmed during last week’s Transportation Committee briefing, the proposal to construct a private soccer complex underneath interstate I-345 has not yet had an environmental study. I agree with him — and environmentalists across our City — that this must first happen before Dallas can relinquish its control over the land so that we definitively know what the health implications are for Dallas residents who’ll be using that space for its intended recreational purpose.

For what it’s worth, cities across the country and around the world are proactively moving recreational activity away from parks located near highways given recent studies that demonstrate the links between particulate matter and health. I would hope that the day Dallas takes an enormous step forward on environmental leadership isn’t tainted by a step backwards with regard to making policy decisions based on data and science.

Please vote to postpone any decision regarding the proposed private soccer complex under interstate I-345 until Dallas has done its due diligence and can confidently tell its residents that recreational activity underneath an elevated highway does not pose any health risks.

Thank you for your continued leadership.

Newsletter

Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...

Restaurants

Restaurants

Bars

Bars

Events

Events

Attractions

Attractions

View All

View All

Comments