Transform Columbia Ave & Abrams Rd into a Complete Street
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Columbia/Abrams needs a Makeover!
Columbia Avenue & Abrams Road is one of the most dangerous and under-utilized roads in Old East Dallas. Because of its 6 over-sized lanes and the large distances between pedestrian crossings, this road has been a source of division in the neighborhood ever since it was constructed.
The people on either side of this road were once close neighbors but can no longer reach the friends, services, or parks on the other side without significant difficulty. The harmful effects of this dangerous and neighborhood unfriendly road are evident in the number of injuries and lackluster growth along this corridor.
Further, hundreds of children must cross this street daily to reach Lipscomb Elementary, Woodrow Wilson High School, and JL Long Middle School, forcing them to risk their safety by walking or take a car to travel even a short distance.
Dallas recently released its Complete Streets Design Manual that shows how to build our streets in a way that is safer, more sustainable, and better suited to our neighborhood's character. As a part of the 2017 Bond Program, Dallas has the rare opportunity to transform this dangerous road into a street that serves pedestrians, cyclists, transit, and motorists far better than it currently does.
We are calling upon Dallas City Council Members Philip Kingston (D-14), Mark Clayton (D-9), and Adam Medrano (D-2) to make the Columbia/Abrams Complete Streets Project a top priority in the 2017 Bond Election and allocate funds to the design and implementation of this project.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Complete Streets?
Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed & operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, & public transportation users of all ages & abilities are able to safely move along & across a complete street. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, & bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time & make it safe for people to walk to & from train stations.
What would this project involve?
There are many variations of a Complete Street but it will likely involve:
- Reducing the road from 6 to 4 lanes (a "road diet")
- Adding protected bicycle lanes
- Enhancing existing sidewalks to include bulb-outs, better crossings, and street trees
- Adding on-street parking
Some other things that could be considered:
- Dedicating a lane to transit/buses only
- Creating a center turn lane
- Placing a center median with trees to create a boulevard
Why this Project and why on Columbia/Abrams?
This Project improves Safety
This road was expanded in the 1970s and destroyed homes along Abrams in a misguided attempt to create another traffic artery to downtown. This road is designed to handle around 40,000 cars per day. The most recent traffic estimates show only 14,000-19,000 cars use this road each day.
This Project is Inexpensive
Road diets are low-cost because they do not involve expensive right-of-way acquisitions or massive earthworks. It's mostly paint, plastic, and planters! In fact, this project could save money over time as it will involve fewer high-traffic lanes and maintenance while enhancing the value of nearby properties.
This Project is High Impact
There are thousands of homes and dozens of businesses along this corridor that will all benefit from this project. Imagine being able to bike all the way from the Lakewood Shopping Center to Deep Ellum, or the Dallas Farmer's Market on a safe dedicated bike lane. Imagine being able to walk across a pleasant, shaded street to your favorite restaurant on Columbia. Imagine feeling confident that your child can safely walk to school across this road.
We can make this a reality. Join us!
- Dallas City Council Member-District 2
- Dallas City Council Member-District 14
- Dallas City Council Member-District 9
As Dallas decides how to best revitalize our communities through the strategic use of funds from the 2017 Bond Program, I ask that you place a high priority on transforming Columbia Avenue and Abrams Rd into a Complete Street.
This high-impact, low-cost project would improve the lives of thousands of residents and businesses along this corridor while decreasing the number of tragic crashes along this high-injury corridor.
Please consider making this project a top priority in Old East Dallas during the 2017 Bond Program.
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