DALLAS, Texas (CBS 11 NEWS) – Dallas streets are like the weather…no matter what the condition everyone seems to complain. But the city council faces enormous challenges trying to keep them viable, and claims it really needs about $900 million to fix all its damaged streets.
Dallasite A.J. Heaton echoes many drivers frustrations. “They’re terrible,” she says adding, “With my Bronco, every time I hit something it bounces, all the time. It’s like, ‘Bah! Bah!’ It’s like driving through my neighborhood, and I live in Lakewood.”
Dallas has nearly 12-thousand miles of paved traffic lanes within the city. Well-designed and moderately-traveled streets can last up to 50-years. The goal is to make 87% of them at least satisfactory. A pavement analyzing truck with ground-penetrating radar takes the guesswork out determining pavement conditions.
But many streets are simply old and worn out.
“Everybody wants everything in their respective districts,” says Mayor Pro Tem and District 6 representative Monica Alonso. She may have the biggest beef. Of the 14 council districts hers has the greatest number of the absolute worst streets…followed by Sheffie Kadane’s District 9 and Jennifer Staubach-Gates’ District 13.
Right now, Alonso says she works with what she can. “Of course, we go to priorities: which is the worst, which is doing better so we can be able to work on and be able to talk to the staff about what we can do in the next bond program.”
The council must decide whether to even have a bond program in 2017 – and if so, how big and what part should go to streets. It’s a moving target and members are already territorial. ”
I have 25% of the streets in my district that are poor or very poor,” says Staubach-Gates, adding, “So to be sharing that money equally between the districts is just not logical.”
Kadane adds, “If we don’t have the streets, we don’t have a quality city. And we’ve go to push really hard to grow our streets better every year.”
Motorist Betty Jefferson agreed that this kind of infrastructure is crucial. “We need to cater to home. We cater to people coming in and visitors and get ready for this and get ready for that, but when everyone’s gone, what about the home base?”
Council members agree the road to prosperity is paved with good streets. While they are talking, they haven’t set a deadline for making decisions.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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