Tyler/Polk two-way plan moves forward

tylerroundabout
A mockup of the proposed Polk/Tyler roundabout

A plan to convert Tyler and Polk to two-way streets could make it to the City Plan Commission next month and be heard by the full City Council on May 27.

About 50 neighbors showed up to see the plan at a meeting at the Bishop Arts Theatre Center Tuesday. Many who attended are Tyler Street business owners opposed to the plan’s call to restrict on-street parking for four hours a day.

The city created the Tyler and Polk “couplet” of one-way streets about 50 years ago as a way to move traffic swiftly through Oak Cliff and to the suburbs, City Councilman Scott Griggs says. And it worked. Traffic regularly moves at 40 or 50 miles per hour where the speed limit is 30. It creates an ad hoc freeway through our neighborhood for commuters avoiding Interstate 35.

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For the Tyler Street commercial district to be more successful, and for that area to feel more like a neighborhood than a thoroughfare, Griggs and city planners believe, traffic must be slowed and reduced.

tylerconnectionThe $2.1-million two-way plan includes a roundabout near Canty Street, demonstrated above. The city couldn’t secure all the land it needed to create a roundabout at the connection on the other end, near Pembroke Avenue. So that would get a stoplight, pictured at right.

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On Polk Street, there would be two lanes of car traffic, bike lanes on both sides of the street and on-street parking on the southbound side of the street.

On Tyler Street, there would be four lanes of car traffic, two northbound and two southbound. Parking restrictions at peak traffic times would ensure that both lanes of traffic would be open and free of parked cars. Parking would be prohibited on the northbound side from 7-9 a.m. on weekdays. Parking on the southbound side would be prohibited from 4-6 p.m. weekdays. That’s about 20 parking spaces lost for those two hours in the morning and afternoon.

That is a sticking point for business owners who say there already is not enough parking.

Teresa Coleman Wash, who owns the theater, suggested there needs to be more conversation before the plan moves forward. Griggs told neighbors that he and city planners would go back and see if they could find other solutions to the parking restrictions.

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  • Sandy Bates Emmons

    This is the WORST idea ever. There is a reason why roundabouts went out of vogue in the early 20th century. They were created for horse and buggy NOT vehicles. There are constant traffic accidents. Tyler and Polk are the primary thoroughfares if you live in the center of Oak Cliff. This would be detrimental to the cool little shops and businesses that line the current streets. This is just another “elitist” idea to disrupt the traffic flow to Sylvan that travels through the heart of Kessler Park. This will further imprison us and make it impossible to get to the other side of the Trinity. Can you imagine the construction nightmare???

  • MattL1

    A rotary?! Awesome. Love rotaries.

  • Michael Dilger

    I truly believe the Saftey of the residents in the neighborhood and those visiting it should be of greater concern than those who simply want to drive through it as quickly as possible during their commutes. It’s time to slow the traffic down. Thank you Scott Griggs!

  • Michael Dilger

    Those nascar guys don’t seem to have an issue with roundabouts.

  • finski

    Just what the area needs…more traffic confusion, from the many visitors, this area gets, on a weekly basis. The “Michigan U-turn”, didn’t work here in Plano. And this will add more confusion, to the drivers, which will cause more accidents, etc. Just my opinion….

  • Andrew Hudson

    Neither of you will have a vote. There is no vote on the issue. At the first meeting on this issue last summer, there were only a half dozen residents present to see what the “proposal” was. We were told that this is a “plan” not a proposal, and councilperson Griggs said it is his decision and his decision only and that the city council members will support him. The majority of tenants, landlords and property owners on S. Tyler oppose it. So where is our representation? The traffic does need to slow, but 2 million plus bucks sounds a little steep while sidewalks and streets continue to degrade. Speed traps are regularly set up north of Davis in more affluent neighborhoods, why do they work there but not further south in the lower income part of town?

  • lakewoodhobo

    Just making sure. I live here as well so I suppose our votes will cancel each other out.

  • KeepOurFreedoms

    Yes, I live in Oak Cliff. Born and raised here. What about you?

  • Andrew Hudson

    I live in the 100 block of S. Tyler and this is totally unnecessary! Supposedly, the attempt is to slow traffic to make it safer for pedestrians and bicycles. An occasional speed trap would slow things down and would generate income and not require a multimillion dollar investment. I’ve never seen a trap in my immediate area over the last 23 years! Additionally, two way streets are more complex and therefore have more accidents than a one way.

    People to contact? We were given contact info of Lap Trinh, City of Dallas, 214.948.4258, Lap.trinh@dallascityhall.com. And there’s always the councilperson, Scott.griggs@dallascityhall.com, 214.670.0776! BTW, the meeting on 4/7 had over 70 stakeholders there, overwhelmingly opposed to this plan. Any plan that limits parking will have a negative impact on the merchants AND residents (who were barely mentioned) living on Tyler.

    If you’d like to try and unravel all this simply Google two way street conversions… there is a great deal of info about this latest fad in city planning. Much of it had good results, some were disasterous… mainly due to lacking sufficient commercial density, like Tyler. Also check out the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff and Betterblock.org to get a better idea where all this originated.

    As I have stated before, this is not a simple problem!

  • lakewoodhobo

    Do you live in Oak Cliff?

  • guest

    A roundabout is asking a lot when most people barely know how to work a 4-way stop.

  • Oakcliffbar

    Who are you to determine what we want?

  • KeepOurFreedoms

    This needs to be stopped. Obviously the people designing this thing have no clue about the neighborhood (Oak Cliff) wants. Who do we contact to stop this?