01 OC Trinity overlook_opt

Mayor Mike Rawlings presented a plan for realistically designing the Trinity Parkway in a meeting in West Dallas Wednesday morning.

Rawlings calls the plan “the most transformative capital project for Dallas in the 21st century.” And he says too may people are bashing the project unduly because no one knows what it actually will look like.

Here are four things everyone should know about the mayor’s comments and the plan going forward:

1. A “record of decision” from the Federal Highway Administration is expected in the first three months of 2015. The decision could say “no,” or it could give the toll road a green light.

2. If the project is green-lighted, the North Texas Tollway Authority will then decide whether the project is financially viable for them.

3. The mayor and toll road supporters have compiled a “dream team” of six urban planners. They are:

Larry Beasley, who was a director of planning for the city of Vancouver, B.C., Canada and is a professor at the University of British Columbia;

John Alschuler, a New York City-based expert in urban finance, the revitalization of urban areas and waterfront redevelopment;

Allan Jacobs, a professor emeritus of  city and regional planning at the University of California at Berkeley;

Alex Krieger, a Harvard University professor of urban design;

Elizabeth Macdonald, an associate professor of urban design at UC Berkeley; and

Jeff Tumlin, a San Francisco-based urban planner who “is renowned for helping people define what they value and building consensus on complex and controversial projects.”

4. The six are working on a design for the toll road and will present it in a series of charrettes in December and January. After that, they will rework the designs based on feedback gained from the charrettes.