City News Roundup

Buses, trains and planes send this edition of Dallas news on the road

Buses, trains and planes send this edition of Dallas news on the road

D-Link is a free shuttle in downtown Dallas
More D-Link buses are on the way. Photo courtesy of DART
Dallas Love Field airport
Southwest dominates the gates at Love Field. Dallas Love Field/Facebook
Trinity River toll road rendering
No weekly city news roundup is complete without this photo. Photo courtesy of Trinity River Corridor Project
Mike Rawlings
Mayor Mike Rawlings has many generous contributors. Mike Rawlings for Dallas Courtesy of http://www.mikerawlingsfordallas.com/
D-Link is a free shuttle in downtown Dallas
Dallas Love Field airport
Trinity River toll road rendering
Mike Rawlings

Dallas got crazy this week. When it wasn't busy blowing up buildings or mowing down historic trees, there were charrettes to plan, buses to buy and planes to fly. Transportation was a big topic, including a determination on the two finalist sites for a possible high-speed train station in Dallas.

But there's more. Here are the highlights:

Charrette charade
The Trinity Commons Foundation, whose goal is to make sure that the Trinity Parkway toll road gets built, released a set of guidelines that emerged from a planning exercise, which they'll use to guide their charrette. Hello, we need a jargon translator.

The planning exercise was carried out by the "dream team" of international experts that the foundation assembled in September. The dream team created an "actionable vision and narrative" for their toll road fluffery, and are getting six more international experts to help them do it.

The new dream teamers are Allan Mountjoy, Ignacio Bunster-Ossa, Timothy Dekker, Zabe Bent, Mark Simmons and Elissa Hoagland Izmailyan. Is 12 enough? On the bright side, now we can call them the "dirty dozen." The team's design charrette will take place in February, and the results will be presented in late spring.

Political dough
Our big city-of-Dallas election is coming up on May 9, and if you are a candidate such as Marcos Ronquillo running against an incumbent such as Mayor Mike Rawlings, you are at a serious disadvantage when it comes to political contributions.

Dallas' ethics code says the most an individual can contribute to a candidate is $5,000. But sky's the limit if you're already in office; as noted by the Dallas Observer, the $5,000 limit does not apply to incumbents. Contributions go into a totally different "officeholder's account," which is similar to a "campaign account," except different name.

The city issued a memo on February 6 detailing the particulars. But Ronquillo finds it fishy, Dallas City Council member Scott Griggs calls it a "campaign finance law loophole" and muckraker Wylie H. Dallas wonders if anywhere else but Dallas would allow incumbents to get unlimited contributions when challengers are limited to small fixed amounts.

One Love Field
Southwest Airlines has subleased two more gates at Love Field, bringing its total number of gates to 18 out of 20. The good news is that they are adding flights to new cities, with nonstops to Seattle, Milwaukee and Memphis. The bad news is that their subleasing means that United Airlines is no longer flying out of Love Field. Virgin America has the other two gates. Two carriers in 20 gates. That can't be a bad thing.

Bishop Arts joy rides
There's a date set for the opening of the streetcar route from downtown Dallas to Oak Cliff: April 13. The line runs one mile long between Union Station and Methodist Hospital, with extensions planned to Bishop Arts and the Dallas Convention Center.

DART is getting seven electric buses for D-Link, the free line that circulates between Jefferson Boulevard and the Arts District: They'll receive a $ 7,637,111 grant from the Federal Transit Administration to buy seven all-electric Proterra, fast-charge, zero-emission buses. After those are in place, every resident of North Oak Cliff will get their own pony.