Dallas Fort Worth Urban Forum

It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

DPatel304
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It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby DPatel304 » 28 Jan 2020 23:39

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This would require something that is long, long overdue: closing Dealey Plaza and the Triple Underpass to vehicular traffic. This space could then be transformed into a park extending from Houston Street to Martyrs Park.

It stands as one of the great shames of the city that this remains open to traffic, that the site where John F. Kennedy was struck by gunfire is marked by tawdry painted Xs. It is an embarrassment, and it is also dangerous, as anyone who has driven that route knows well, with assassination tourists dodging oncoming traffic to take morbid selfies and otherwise track the trajectory of Oswald’s bullets (or form their own theories). How long will it be until it is not just Kennedy’s murder that will require on-street notation?

A proper marker, where visitors can pay their respects and consider history, is clearly warranted. But a park here would have far greater benefits, uniting the new lynching memorial, the Sixth Floor Museum, the Holocaust Museum (just a block away), the adjacent civic museum in the Old Red Courthouse, and the JFK memorial beyond it. A memorial park would bring this ad hoc group of institutions and monuments together, forming a focal point for tourists and the city.

https://outline.com/GgsrfV

I'm all for more greenspace in the urban core, but this idea just seems ridiculous. Plus, it really seems like all the development popping up along Commerce St in West Dallas only exist because this road provides easy access to Downtown.

Anyway, I thought I'd still share this article, even though I doubt this will ever happen and I wouldn't support it even if someone did try to make it happen.

Honestly, the better approach would be to find a way to eliminate/reduce the rail lines as a barrier and extend Martyr's park that way.

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electricron
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Re: It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby electricron » 29 Jan 2020 00:35

Who owns the Dallas Morning News today?
Some history per Wiki
"Dealey Plaza was built on land donated by early Dallas philanthropist and businesswoman Sarah Horton Cockrell. It was the location of the first home built in Dallas, which also became the first courthouse and post office, the first store, and the first fraternal lodge. It is sometimes called the "birthplace of Dallas". The plaza was completed in 1940 as a WPA project on the west edge of downtown Dallas where three streets converge (Main Street, Elm Street, and Commerce Street) to pass under a railroad bridge known locally as the "triple underpass."
The plaza is named for George Bannerman Dealey (1859–1946), a civic leader and early publisher of The Dallas Morning News, who had campaigned for the area's revitalization. Monuments outlining the plaza honor previous prominent Dallas residents and predate President John F. Kennedy's visit by many years. The monument honoring President Kennedy, in the form of a cenotaph, is one block away."

It is already a park. US 67, US 80, US 77, and a pre US Highway Routes - Bankhead Highway - ran through Dealey Plaza. The roads are just as historic as the buildings bordering them.

Whenever out of town friends and family vacation in Dallas, I always drive them down Main, Houston, Elm, and Stemmons Freeway. They always appreciate the historic ride route. Closing the streets to traffic would be a great mistake and a shame, imho.

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exelone31
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Re: It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby exelone31 » 29 Jan 2020 08:44

How about we just start by taking the "x" off the road where JFK was shot? That has always seemed to me like a pretty tactless tribute to a horrible event.

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electricron
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Re: It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby electricron » 29 Jan 2020 09:03

exelone31 wrote:How about we just start by taking the "x" off the road where JFK was shot? That has always seemed to me like a pretty tactless tribute to a horrible event.

A fools errand. Neither the city nor any museum paints those "x"s on the Elm Street. Vendors or hawkers do. As soon as the city paves over Elm, or as soon as the city paints over the "x"s, the vendors selling tourist items will repaint them again. Learn to live with them, they are like phoenixes.

cowboyeagle05
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Re: It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 29 Jan 2020 09:29

They would do better to turn the parking behind Dealey Plaza into a new park and connect Martyrs Park by way of a signature pedestrian bridge over the railroads. It has always bothered me how ugly the parking is around the museum anyway. Closing the Triple Underpass completely is a no go and if anyone has seen my posts on this forum I am all for road diets and parks taking precedence over cars but I don't think we mend Dealey Plaza by making the roads into bricked walkways for example. Just seems like you are hurting downtown more and overall fueling the fire of the gob stopping the murder mystery of JFK. Dealey Plaza should be cared for respectfully restored and not torn down either. The Underpass itself is in dire need of cleaning and restoration.
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell”

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muncien
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Re: It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby muncien » 29 Jan 2020 10:18

I agree with most on this. But, I wouldn't mind if Main street were tamed to a two lane road with wide sidewalks, parallel parking, and curb bumpouts from this point all the way into the core (where it's already two lanes). It would make a nice arterial route for pedestrians to transit the downtown area, and slow down vehicle traffic. Elm and Commerce already bare the brunt of traffic, and even with that could afford to loose a lane in most areas. Main Streets primary purpose should be for immediate area, and only secondarily to manage vehicular traffic.
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cowboyeagle05
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Re: It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 29 Jan 2020 10:52

I can agree to those terms to make a positive change^ ALthough seeing parked cars inside of Dealey Plaza seems like it will take some getting used to.
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell”

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Hannibal Lecter
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Re: It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby Hannibal Lecter » 29 Jan 2020 12:22

But, I wouldn't mind if Main street were tamed to a two lane road with wide sidewalks, parallel parking, and curb bumpouts from this point all the way into the core (where it's already two lanes).

ALthough seeing parked cars inside of Dealey Plaza seems like it will take some getting used to.

I don't think we mend Dealey Plaza by making the roads into bricked walkways for example.


My understanding is that it's status as a National Historic Landmark prohibits these sorts of changes. Basically it's frozen in time.

cowboyeagle05
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Re: It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby cowboyeagle05 » 29 Jan 2020 14:09

I also thought we don't have really any options other than restoration due to historic designation. I love that the Dallas News critic failed to point that out as a major barrier to such a project. The only reason something major can happen to Dealey Plaza is if a tornado tears through it and even then they would need to rebuild it as it was.
“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell”

lakewoodhobo
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Re: It’s time to close Dallas’ Triple Underpass and build a memorial park

Postby lakewoodhobo » 29 Jan 2020 15:30

I'm more interested in the Allen Brooks memorial, if that ever happens. Imagine something in the footprint of the Elks Arch, almost floating over the intersection of Main and Akard. That would be quite ambitious.

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