DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – From his perch inside the Rec Shop skate shop, Jimmy Short looks out onto one of Dallas’ most infamous intersections. “I do have a front seat view,” he says.
Every day, though, it’s the same. “Lots of horn honking, lots of tires screeching,” he said. “It kills our business the way traffic backs up.”
Crashes are common, and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has been working on a solution for years.
The state agency’s proposed fix, though, has some neighbors upset. “The curve they’re trying to initiate there will increase traffic to come into Gaston at a much more rapid speed,” said Alberto Orozco, who already struggles to get out of his driveway onto Gaston Avenue.
The current intersection looks like a tangled knot. TxDOT’s plan would create a more natural flow from Garland Road to Gaston.
Critics, though, are organizing support for an earlier proposal, known as Option 1, that would direct Garland’s main lanes onto Grand Avenue.
“Grand is a state highway and it’s designed for much heavier traffic. Gaston is a neighborhood street that needs to have traffic calming if anything,” said council member Phillip Kingston.
TxDOT says it has the support of Dallas City Hall, but Kingston says it’s never gone to vote. “Council has never seen that question and I believe staff has exceeded their authority.”
Despite what look like campaign signs going up around the neighborhood, the public won’t get a vote either.
A TxDOT spokesperson says it’s held several public meetings to discuss the options in detail and that its preferred option “takes into consideration safety, better traffic flow, and shortened pedestrian crossing…”
Those who drive through the intersection are left wondering when change is coming and what it will look like. “It’s hairy. It’s hairy out here. Absolutely dangerous,” said Short.
Council member Mark Clayton whose district also borders the intersection told CBS 11 News there are plenty of less vocal resident who do support “option two”. He and Kingston say they are working on a compromise.
TxDOT’s timeline, meanwhile, shows construction isn’t slated to begin on the intersection for nearly three more years.