Dallas gets $21.8 million to make roadway near Fair Park safer and slower
Dallas is getting $21.8 million for a roadway project along MLK/Cedar Crest Boulevard in southern Dallas, to improve safety and prevent deaths.
The money is part of an $817 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant from President JoeBiden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for 385 Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A).
Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was identified as having among the highest rates of fatal and severe injury crashes involving pedestrians in both the City of Dallas Vision Zero Action Plan and the North Central Texas Council of Government’s Regional Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.
In the past two years alone, five pedestrians have been severely injured in traffic accidents along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
The plan is to redo the segment between Fair Park and I-45 by reducing the number of traffic lanes — currently at five (two each way with a turn lane in the middle) — down to four, and dedicate the extra space to pedestrians and cyclists.
The money will go towards treatments such as:
- reduced lanes with separated bike lanes to lower speeds
- improved crosswalks
- lighting upgrades
- traffic signal enhancements
- enhanced access to transit
The goal is to lower crash rates and increase pedestrian safety. A release calls it a "transformational project in a historically underserved neighborhood," in support of the City’s Racial Equity Plan.
The project includes $5.25 million in matching funds from the city, as well as $200,000 from DART for bus shelter upgrades.
They don't mention a streetcar, but Dallas City Council member Adam Bazaldua, who represents the area, does in a statement: “Knowing this significant investment will bring enhanced safety, community connection, and growth, this is a great step towards bringing a streetcar to the area," he says.
The City of Dallas has committed to Vision Zero, an initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and reduce severe injury crashes.
Other supporting organizations include the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), St. Phillips School and Community Center, the Real Estate Council, DART and the Federal Highway Administration.