This roundup of Dallas news includes admirable corporate initiatives towards sustainability, an update on a controversial road project, a rally to save a woman from death row, and a push to make Dallas more poetic.
Here's what's happening in Dallas this week:
The closure of the Santa Fe Trail pedestrian bridge over SH 78 (Garland Road/Grand Avenue) in East Dallas, which was supposed to begin April 4, has been postponed until further notice. According to a release from the city of Dallas, crews need to make additional revisions to the detour route. The detour is part of a $6.3 million project to improve the intersection at Gaston Avenue. They need to close the pedestrian bridge because they're going to be widening the SH 78 lanes under the Santa Fe Trail bridge. a detour will be in place for trail users.
The bridge is part of the 3G project, which will redo the intersection in an attempt to improve right-of-way turning in the intersection with more efficient lanes eastbound and westbound on SH 78.
Dallas has its first Poet Laureate: Joaquín Zihuatanejo. Dallas Public Library, the Office of Arts & Culture and Deep Vellum launched the new poet laureate program in June 2021 to recognize poetry and the poet's role in sharing poetry. Need more poetry. The program is funded by the Friends of Dallas Public Library, Inc, the Joe M. and Doris R. Dealey Family Foundation, Office of Arts & Culture, and Deep Vellum. A native of East Dallas and graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, Zihuatanejo has authored six collections of poetry. Zihuatanejo will serve a two-year term, presenting his original poems at schools and community events, and holding regular artist-in-residence office hours at the Central Library. Madison Rojas, a student at Greenhill School, was named Youth Poet Laureate, a title she'll hold for one year. She'll work with the Dallas Poet Laureate to encourage youth poetry.
Rallying for Melissa Lucio
Politicians, both local and state-wide including State Rep. Victoria Neave Criado and Dallas City Council Member Jesse Moreno, are rallying to free Melissa Lucio, a Latina mom who is on death row, after being found guilty of killing her two-year-old daughter, despite evidence that points to her innocence. Lucio says she was coerced to confess to a crime that did not occur. Her execution date is set for April 27. Organizers are asking residents to contact the Board of Pardons and Paroles to request that Lucio be granted clemency. A petition calling for intervention has garnered 184,699 signatures, and her case has drawn national attention including a vote of support from Kim Kardashian and the attention of the Innocence Project, which fights wrongful convictions and has a list of nine facts that clarify her innocence.
- Trammell Crow Company has appointed James Murray-Coleman as Director of Sustainability. He'll oversee the company's sustainability efforts including a recently announced partnership with Altus Power.
- The Bank of America Plaza in Dallas, managed by JLL, has been awarded the first Platinum level certification in The City of Dallas' Green Business recognition program.