Great moments in Trinity toll road history

The Dallas City Council is expected to vote Wednesday to reject plans for a Trinity toll road, ending a decades-long fight over whether to build a highway between the Trinity River levees.

Oak Cliffers have a long history of opposition to that plan, so we compiled these great moments in Trinity toll road history.

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That time in 2014 that Go Oak Cliff threw a New Orleans-style funeral for the toll road, complete with a coffin, mourners and a jazz band. As it turned out, the thing still had some life left in it.

When City Councilman Scott Griggs caused the whole city of Dallas to google the word “Boondoggle.” During City Council open microphone in April 2015, Griggs gave an impassioned speech in which he said the unfunded $1.5-billion proposed Trinity toll road “is the biggest boondoggle there is.” Just FYI, boondoggle means “work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value.” Griggs also noted studies that showed the road would not relieve traffic congestion and said “it’s the biggest mistake in 100 years, to ruin our park land.”

Photo by David Leeson

When we found out that a Trinity toll road would require the Jefferson bridge to be torn down and replaced with a five-story flyover. That would’ve trapped the old Burnett Field and Oak Farms Dairy, where Cienda Partners has been planning a mixed-use development, between the interstate and a flyover. Griggs contended that the giant new bridge would’ve made that land good for big-box stores and not much else.

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When we found out that a Trinity toll road would require destroying, at least partially, the Continental Pedestrian Bridge, which City Council named after a pro-toll-roader, Ambassador Ron Kirk. Now that it looks like the road is dead for good, can we finally get a connection between the eastern end of the pedestrian bridge and the Trinity Skyline Trail?

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When we decided there are better ways to spend our money. The city has $185 million earmarked for the road. That could fill a few potholes or maybe help out with our Police and Fire Pension System crisis.

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