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.

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.

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.