Griggs: Six-lane Jefferson Memorial bridge would kill Gateway

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Among Councilman Scott Griggs’ goals for the Oak Cliff Gateway is to kill the planned Jefferson-Memorial Connector bridge.

Griggs hosted a community meeting on the Oak Cliff Gateway plan Tuesday night, and about 100 neighbors showed up for the presentation and Q&A. A second community meeting starts at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 4, at Kidd Springs Park Recreation Center.

The Texas Department of Transportation’s planned Jefferson-Memorial bridge would replace the current Jefferson Viaduct. The two-way bridge would have six lanes, including a high-speed connector to Interstate 35. The bridge would be high enough — nearly four stories — to connect to the planned Trinity Tollway.

The bridge would deter the walkable, urban development most neighbors say they want, Griggs says.

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“We need to politely ask TxDOT to rethink their plans,” Griggs said. “Freeways kill neighborhoods. Nothing wants to get near them except big-box retailers like Sam’s and Walmart.”

The good news, he says, is that the bridge is unfunded, and the highway department “has to much to do” that it is unlikely to pursue projects that are politically unpopular.

Goals for the Gateway

Regarding the Gateway plan itself, Griggs told neighbors: “We can go as fast or as slow as the community wants,” in moving it through City Hall.

Griggs wants to require the gateway zoning to be reviewed in five years because “we’re not going to get it all right the first time,” he says.

The plan also needs a thoroughfare plan, he says. And he wants to make sure there is a transportation plan for Beckley Avenue before moving forward.

He outlined points that community members have brought up to him:

*How the zoning will affect Kidd Springs and East Kessler residents

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*Minimizing parking woes, especially from restaurants

*Creating a medical district overlay for Methodist hospital and properties it owns

*Allowing the Lake Cliff Historic District to take the opportunity to review its rules

These are additional goals Griggs has for the zoning:

*Avoid cutting out existing businesses whose uses wouldn’t conform to walkable/mixed-use zoning, such as  the Lone Star Donuts factory on Beckley

*Make clear for builders and developers where we want high density

*Encourage office uses. Oak Cliff has many restaurants and personal services businesses, but no much office, so Griggs thinks there is an opportunity for job creation in the neighborhood.

*Require builders and developers to submit to non-binding peer reviews on their building designs

*Create incentives for property owners to seek landmark status

The full presentation fro Griggs is below, followed by detailed maps of the gateway zoning proposal.

OC Gateway Presentation_2014!07!29 by Advocate Media

Oak Cliff Gateway CPC Zoning Map July 2014 Presentation by Advocate Media

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