(Leveraging & Improving Neighborhood Connections)
LINC Dallas is a community-based planning effort that touches neighborhoods adjacent to the Trinity River on both the east and west side. The total area is 1755 acres with a population is 11,806 people (including the jail population of 8,606). Within the focus area, there are six distinct areas, each offering different opportunities and challenges. The planning efforts in each area will move at a different pace, as set by the community.
The focus area is divided by the Trinity River. The eastern section is bounded by Lamar Avenue to the east, Hatcher Street to the south, the Trinity River Levee and Great Trinity Forest to the west, and Continental Avenue to the north. The western section is bounded by the Trinity River Levee and Great Forrest to the east, loosely by Morrell Avenue, E 11th Street, and Cedar Creek to the south, and I-35 the west.
The northern section of LINC Dallas incorporates the southern end of Victory, the western edge of downtown Dallas, Cedars South, and the industrial edge of Forrest Heights before reaching the Trinity River and Great Trinity Forest. Connections between these areas to one another and to the proposed Trinity Park have been challenged by major highway and rail infrastructure, undesirable uses, and a lack of predictable and consistent street framework. Development west of the railway became possible with the building of the Levees in the late 1920’s. Today it includes light industrial, jail and courthouse facilities, bail bond offices, gas stations, liquor stores, and assorted motel and fast-food establishments. Today, remnants of the original Trinity River snake their way through undeveloped land, small metal scrap yards, and other industrial uses.
The western section is conveniently connected to Downtown Dallas, The Cedars, and the rest of South Dallas. The Dallas Zoo sits directly west of this area which includes the 10th Street Historic District, Oak Cliff Cemetery, the residential area known as the Bottoms, and one of the highest ranked high schools in the nation, Townview Magnet Center. The Corinth Street DART Station anchors an under-developed intersection at 8th Street and Corinth Street where Cedar Creek winds its way from parts of West Oak Cliff and the Dallas Zoo through white rock outcroppings before emerging at Moore Park and the edge of the Great Trinity Forrest.
Current Plans for Area
Improvements to the IH30 and IH35 bridges, “the horseshoe”, and connections to existing freeways are in design with portions expected to start construction in 2013. Riverfront Boulevard is slated for a reduction to six lanes plus on street parking, while the stormwater drainage infrastructure below will be replaced with a large capacity system. Currently in design, Able Pump Station will be replaced with a new station capable of moving a larger amount of storm water at a faster rate. With the completion of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in March 2012, the adjacent Continental Bridge will be converted to pedestrian use, programmed with activities and flex space to accommodate events throughout the year. Design has begun to extend the east levee south from its current terminus further to I-45 with possible construction at an undetermined point in the future. Environmental studies are underway for a high speed north-south reliever route through Dallas with local preferred alternative that places the Trinity Parkway on the inside of the east levee. Improvements for the Cedar Crest Bridge and gateways at either end are also in design.
Proximity to the Trinity River, its future improvements, and direct connections to downtown makes the western section attractive for growth and redevelopment. However, there are a number of neighborhood agencies, community stakeholders, and local development organizations that have a vision for this area rooted in the needs and history of the community. Moore Park is undergoing construction which includes a pavilion, an overlook, an amphitheater, picnic areas, trailhead into the Great Trinity Forest and a chain of new wetlands, a connection to the Santa Fe Trestle trail, and to the standing wave. Shared community vision improvements for the Cedar Crest Bridge and gateways at either end are currently under design.