Tyler and Polk, one-way couplets since the 1960s, will become two-way streets.
Dallas City Council voted 14-1 Wednesday to implement a plan to turn Tyler and Polk into two-way streets, adding a roundabout at Canty and a stoplight at Page.
Supporters say the plan will improve storefront visibility, slow traffic and contribute to a more walkable neighborhood.
City Councilman Scott Griggs read a petition from residents who live between Tyler and Polk who favor the plan because car accidents happen frequently, and they believe the change will make walking through the neighborhood less dangerous.
“The rush of traffic affects their quality of life,” Griggs said. “In some cases, their houses are 10 feet away from three lanes of traffic with cars traveling 60 miles per hour.”
The change benefits commercial real estate holders and developers in the Tyler/Polk corridor. There are businesses, such as Jed’s Grill, whose customers tangle with the two-way daily. And commercial real estate holders say it causes less access to store fronts.
“This is the only spot in Oak Cliff that has empty retail that can’t be filled up,” Griggs said.
There were five public meetings on the traffic change, and the plan was modified twice based on feedback gathered from them.
Still, there are neighbors who say their voices have been ignored and that City Council gives more weight to the desires of commercial property owners than to those of residents. Two Oak Cliff residents spoke at Wednesday’s City Council meeting to say the plan should “go back to the drawing board.”
City Councilwoman Carolyn Arnold sided with that contingent in her vote, saying she was voting with the people. There are commuters in Arnold’s district who would benefit from the one-way couplets as a way to zoom through northern Oak Cliff to Interstate 30.
Design work will begin soon, Griggs says. But work on the two-way conversion would begin after other road construction projects in Oak Cliff, such as Beckley between Colorado and I-30, Sylvan between I-30 and Singleton and the I-35 construction related to the Horseshoe project.
The plan received 244 letters of support and 54 in opposition. It is supported by all four neighborhood associations surrounding the couplet, the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, Preservation Dallas and the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce.