Archive for the ‘East Dallas’ Category

DART’s Green Line Signals a New Era of Possibilities

September 13, 2009
While full service will start on Monday, Saturday was the first day that the public could ride the DART Green Line train.  There are four brand new stations, and each one had some sort of party around the station.
Despite the rain, the trains were packed! 
I started at the Baylor stop in Deep Ellum and ran into a few friends at the It’s a Grind coffee shop.  They had a great band, free cookies from Kessler Cookie Company and other fun stuff.  I then hopped on the train and rode to the south end of the line, which is the MLK station.
The Martin Luther King Jr. station is a jewel in itself. There is a lot of history that is detailed in the various art features.  Pictures from famed Dallas photographer R.C. Hickman are featured at the train stop.

The Fair Park station stops right in from of the gate on the Expo Park side.

Then the train moves to Baylor station (in Deep Ellum) where lucky residents of the Ambrose live right at the train stop and onto the Deep Ellum station on Good Latimer where we got a close up of The Traveling Man statue.

The current line will run from the MLK Transit Center to Victory Park, while connecting to the Red and Blue lines at all of the current downtown stops. The rest of the green line stations will be open in December 2010, with the line stretching from Pleasant Grove to Carrollton.
As some have said, access to jobs is an important byproduct of the green line. In a little more than a year people that live in Pleasant Grove, Parkdale, and most of South Dallas will have direct access to jobs from Love Field and to Carrollton.  While there may be bus service to some of these locations, it’s intermittent and it’s a totally different proposition to ride on the train. In terms of time and ease of travel this rail line will put a lot of jobs in reach.
In addition, as events are hosted in Fair Park and downtown the train will ease some of the car traffic that is generated when people are traveling to these destinations.  As I rode the train you could feel the excitement and there was a lot of conversation amongst the passengers about the benefits of having the green line. Once the State Fair hits, it will be a great way to showcase the progress of our city. 
I heard that Victory Station will have a party this coming Saturday. Bring it on!
Video of my trip is below.

Background music: “Car of Love” by Main Ingredient 

District Four Scoop

January 16, 2009

For some time, the usual band of haters have been trying to find someone to run against District Four Councilman and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway.

They can’t find anyone. Citizens in District Four know that we basically work 24/7 for the District and see the District is on the rise. The most disappointing part is that some of the people that are making the most noise are people that Dwaine has helped since he has been in office. That’s life.

Of course, the word would get back to me. We’re out in the streets daily.

Not even the promise of major campaign money from people that don’t like the progress that is being made in District Four is enough of an enticement for any potential opponent.

Good luck with that.

Before I forget…two more motels are coming soon to the shut down list. We’re 4-0 so far, so rent those rooms while you can!

Rebuilding District Four – A Block at a Time

December 24, 2008

For years, we have been complaining about the lights being out on the Corinth Street Bridge. This is the bridge that starts near the Longhorn Ballroom at Industrial and takes you to Oak Cliff near the Corinth Street DART rail station. In 2006, a wheelchair-bound man was struck and killed on the bridge because no one could see him.

For years, no one at City Hall would see to it that the lights were fixed. Why? I have no idea.

Dwaine Caraway made it a priority, and some months ago the project began to repair all of the lights on the bridge. For everyone that uses the bridge, I know it’s been frustrating to sit in one lane of traffic going each way.

View Larger Map

It took some time but the lights are now back on! I can’t remember a time when the bridge lights were fully functional. For those that drive it on a regular basis, you know that you used to have to drive with your high beams on just to make sure no one was in the street at night.

I hope that these improvements make the the holiday trips a little bit safer for residents of Oak Cliff.

This bridge marks the northern point of the Corinth/Lancaster Road Initiative that we have talked about since the campaign trail. The actual term came from us (well, actually Dwaine) It’s one piece of a bigger puzzle.

Here are some of the projects approved or under construction along Lancaster:
*Mixed-use development at the corner of 8th & Corinth.
*Brand-new supermarket just south of the Illinois DART Station.
*DART Police HQ moving to the Monroe Shops.
*Job training and office space complex where the Sunset and Southern Comfort Hotels once stood.

The eastern part of District Four is also undergoing change. Our “east side” neighborhoods are working on a comprehensive plan which will immediately go into effect once approved. And right in the middle of district four, Joppa is undergoing a transformation thanks to the Trinity River Project, volunteer groups, and a mass of determined neighbors.

A block at a time, District Four will be revitalized.