Oak Cliff, City Council compromise on streetcars

Council Member Linda Koop briefed City Council today on a plan for a streetcar line that would run from downtown to Oak Cliff. The Oak Cliff Transit Authority, which is not connected to city government or DART, has proposed to apply for a multimillion-dollar grant that would pay for a streetcar system in Oak Cliff, which at one time was designed around them. At the same time, some council members were planning to apply for grants to get streetcars in downtown. “We came up with a compromise that makes everyone happy,” says Oak Cliff Transit Authority member Jason Roberts of Ravinia Heights.

They agreed to apply for one $48-million grant, which would support a line from Main Street, past Union Station, across the Houston Street Viaduct and to Methodist Dallas Medical Center.


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  • Woodlawn

    Unfortunately, the City of Dallas was always going to get involved one way or another since it is their streets. I believe the plan is being hatched in stages and the hospital is a good start for the initial start-up, but it couldn’t be that much more to run it down Bishop right after that since the tracks are actually still under the asphalt. The question is what’s it going to do after it initially gets to Bishop and 7th: turn towards the west? backup? roundhouse? who knows? Eventually, of course, it will head west into a large loop.

    I once rode a restoration train in Jefferson, Texas that only had 2.5 miles of track laid in it’s initial stage. We road forward 2.5 miles, then we backed up 2.5 miles! Now, I believe it makes a loop around the city.

    Jason Roberts deserves a hardy slap on the back for spearheading this awesome idea! Especially for doing all of the lonely thankless research.

    Didn’t we have a vote to secede about 12 years ago? We would have gotten the new jail/courts building Dallas had just paid for LOL!

  • patrick

    That is a good start but it needs to continue to Bishop Arts and all the way to North Cliff where the old Trolley shop and turnaround are located. Would definately be a good restoration project to bring the little trolley stop and adjacent buildings back to life.
    Maybe a little cafe , trolley museum and some art and treasure shops.
    Located at Pierce and Catherine with tracks running down Brooklynn. These old tracks are all still there just paved over…Let’s go Oak Cliff, get these up and running!!!
    And make sure there are some cute Bears running it.

  • dave

    I certainly appreciate Jason’s efforts! Not to sound too terribly cynical, I had a feeling that once City Hall got their grubby little hands on Jason’s plans, they’d find a way to corrupt it. The plan was to connect Bishop Arts to downtown. So is there any way for Oak Cliff to secede/de-annex from Dallas? I am absolutely convinced that Dallas City hall is corrupt at every level.

  • eberhart

    Using the existing tracks is the way to go that’s what connected the oc to downtown all the way to fair park in the first place that is the goal.We can use the money for more phases in stead of hearing city hall tell the southern sector about how there is just not enough to finish.Let’s not ruin what so many have worked so hard for thank you all.

  • Ed in the OC

    The funding of the OCTA grant request was far from certain. I applaud Jason and others for cutting a deal to make sure the line crosses the river. A project of this size will come in several phases and the hardest is always the first. Bravo!

  • JF

    It’s annoying that the city is getting involved in this after the fact, and an extension all the way to Bishop Arts needs to be a very near-term goal.

    Still, connecting this to Main Street downtown past Union Station actually makes sense. I actually like the direction that the Main St district is taking, and as an Oak Cliff resident, I would love the option of taking the trolley downtown from Bishop Arts, grabbing dinner, and maybe walking around some.

  • RStone

    It is my understanding that there are plans to eventually have the line run from Methodist, which is Oak Cliff’s largest employer, to the Bishop Arts District. The portion from downtown to methodist is just the beginning.

  • Branden

    NThomas, 80% of the original MATA line on McKinney was existing streetcar tracks.

  • NThomas

    ^I’m pretty sure it’d be safer to install new tracks.

  • none

    There are old tracks on Bishop from Methodist to Bishop Arts. There are old tracks all over Oak Cliff. Why not take advantage of this.

  • TH

    Another great idea for Oak Cliff ruined by city hall. I have donated and supported this idea since conception, now I’m dropping it. Without the Bishop Arts District and the new Davis St. Corridor on the route, this streetcar will do nothing for our Oak Cliff.

  • jake

    Here we go. Anything worthwhile for Oak Cliff should go to Bishop Arts otherwise we shouldn’t even be involved. Who will want to go from downtown to the hospital?