City News Roundup

Santa's naughty-and-nice list and Sam's Club protest top this week's city news

Santa's naughty list and Sam's Club protest top this week's city news

Santa on the Terrace - The Long Center 2014
A Santa's "naughty and nice" list composed by Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston reveals who is for the Trinity toll road and who is against. Courtesy photo
Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston
Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston, aka Santa this week. Photo courtesy of Dallas Voice
4 Texas Central Rail high-speed bullet train rail
Transportation officials are considering a high-speed train between Dallas and Fort Worth. Photo of the N700 courtesy of © JR Central
Sam's Club
East Dallas residents refuse to remain quiet about Sam's Club in their neighborhood. Courtesy photo
Santa on the Terrace - The Long Center 2014
Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston
4 Texas Central Rail high-speed bullet train rail
Sam's Club

It's not Christmas yet, but Dallas City Council member Philip "Santa" Kingston has already created a naughty-and-nice list of who's for the Trinity toll road and who's against. Another high-speed train is being considered in North Texas, and there was a protest in the streets over Sam's Club.

These are some of the biggest things that happened in Dallas this week:

Naughty and nice
Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston put together a list of who is for and against the controversial Trinity toll road, broken down into who's "naughty" (for the road) and "nice" (against). The naughty include Mayor Mike Rawlings; former city manager Mary Suhm; Craig Holcomb of the Trinity Commons Foundation; Greater Dallas Regional Chamber; Dallas Citizens Council; city council members Jerry Allen, Rick Callahan, Monica Alonzo, Lee Kleinman, Vonciel Hill; and more.

The nice include Angela Hunt; city council members Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano and Sandy Greyson; architects Larry Good and Robert Meckfessel; architecture critic Mark Lamster; Patrick "Walkable DFW" Kennedy; and many more.

Just say no
Architecture critic Mark Lamster offers advice to the design experts drafted by Mayor Mike Rawlings to reexamine the proposed Trinity toll road: "Don't come. Please. There is only one legitimate answer to the question you will be asked, 'What should we do about this road.' That answer is 'Kill it.'" He warns them that they are pawns in a political game and recommends they "just say no."

Sam's Club protest
Neighbors opposed to the Sam's Club near CityPlace held a protest on November 19 during rush hour to make the point that, once it's built, rush hour traffic will only get worse. Protesters say that any kind of megastore will destroy the heavily residential area — one that also has two schools, including the Lighthouse for the Blind. Despite Trammell Crow's lead-footed intractability, residents in the neighborhood are determined not to give up.

More high-speed trains
The Texas Department of Transportation and the Federal Railroad Administration hosted a series of public meetings to solicit input on a high-speed rail line under consideration between Dallas and Fort Worth, including a stop in Arlington. Proposed routes include alongside I-30 or alongside the Trinity Railway Express. TxDOT got a federal grant to conduct an environmental impact study. Michael Morris, director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, says that there's a private sector entity interested in building it.

Horse pucky
Assistant city manager Jill Jordan has cleared River Ranch Educational Charities, the company that will operate the Texas Horse Park, of violations that included clearing land and erecting a barbed wire fence. River Ranch is the Plano outfit headed up by Wayne Kirk, who has previously been accused of cruelty to animals. The company has yet to finalize its insurance requirements, however.