Thursday, May 19, 2022 May 19, 2022
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Urban Design

If You’re on Foot, Keep Avoiding the ‘3G’ Intersection

And hope for some future fixes, which are underway.
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The work at the Garland-Grand-Gaston intersection is not great for pedestrians. Tim Rogers

Earlier this month, we caught sight of a pedestrian attempting to cross the always-treacherous Grand-Garland-Gaston intersection in East Dallas. Construction crews had removed the median and left a pit, forcing walkers to stand in it while waiting for traffic to pass. She’s waiting to cross the southbound lanes of traffic; meanwhile, cars turning right on Gaston can merge without having to stop. She has taken refuge in the pit.

This is a Texas Department of Transportation job that began in early December and will continue through the spring of 2023. That project includes the construction of “new access points for pedestrians and cycling traffic to safely cross through the intersection.”

The median as it existed prior to this project was hardly safe and more like a reprieve from human Frogger. TxDOT spokesperson Kenna Mitchell notes that this portion of northbound State Highway 78 doesn’t have a stop or a light heading toward White Rock Lake. There were some “inadequate” pedestrian markings in the center of the interchange, which forced pedestrians to cross active lanes of traffic only to find areas without sidewalks on the other side.

“This project will address those needs by reconfiguring the traffic patterns at the interchange and constructing safe and accessible pedestrian crossings across the entire interchange including the highway lanes,” Mitchell says.

She adds that TxDOT is aware that pedestrians are entering areas blocked by cones as they’re trying to cross the street. That’s “very dangerous to them, to traffic, and the crews.”

“We are working with the contractor to put in temporary signs and measures to better help direct pedestrians across the highway,” she says, which will take “the next few weeks.”

That should have come first. But alas. The end goal is to add stoplights in all directions with the aforementioned access points for walkers and cyclists.

But first, the medians are coming up and contractors are working on drainage. Until then, pedestrians, do your best to avoid it. The city of Dallas didn’t comment, instead referring questions to TxDOT.

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Matt Goodman

Matt Goodman

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Matt Goodman is the online editorial director for D Magazine. He's written about a surgeon who killed, a man who…