City News Roundup
Although Ebola was the No. 1 topic of the week, other things happened in Dallas, especially involving planes and automobiles. (Sorry, no trains.) We've collated the highlights below:
Michael Morris avoids report he knows he won't like
North Central Texas Council of Governments director Michael Morris is pointedly ignoring a report by the Texas Public Interest Research Group that called the Trinity toll road a "boondoggle." The report showed that the toll road would have laughably small impact on alleviating traffic. Drivers would go only about 2 mph faster in 2035 than they do now, and congestion won't go away.
Not even the suburbs like Michael Morris
Approximately 1,500 people from Rockwall, Collin, Hunt and Dallas attended a meeting with the North Central Texas Council of Governments and Texas Turnpike Corporation to discuss the Northeast Gateway, a toll road that will connect I-30 with Bush Turnpike. The crowd's response to the proposal was scathingly negative; Wylie resident Christine Hubley, who accused the NCTCOG of being dishonest, has created a petition at Notollroad.com. You'd think if anyone liked Michael Morris, it would be the suburbs; but nobody does.
New plane fits Dallas' grand self-image
Airline story No. 1 was the landing at DFW Airport of the largest passenger jet in the world, the Airbus A380, which will fly the longest nonstop route in the world. The plane will make six nonstop flights per week, from Wednesday through Monday (sorry, no Tuesdays), on Qantas Airways between DFW and Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney, Australia. The flights will take about 15 hours. To give the announcement the proper celebrity buzz, Qantas drafted John Travolta's beard to usher in the first flight; Travolta serves as the airline's ambassador.
Delta gets dumped
Airline story No. 2 was the horrid squeeze-out of Delta Airlines at Dallas Love Field, effective October 13. With the Wright Amendment about to go away, a scramble is underway. Love Field has 20 gates total. Southwest Airlines controls 16, and United controls two. Virgin America just got two. Delta was about to increase its number of flights as well as destinations. Getting Delta out of the way helps United, which is handing over one of its two gates to Southwest and will use the other gate for flights to Houston.
D Magazinelaunched a new blog called StreetSmart that will fold in Walkable DFW, the 6-year-old transportation blog of urban planner Patrick Kennedy. It will focus on urban planning, housing, neighborhood and transportation issues.