Ross Avenue News
Dallas plots bike/ped path on roadway between downtown and Greenville Ave
A makeover is in the works on a major thoroughfare out of downtown Dallas including the addition of a new bike path: Specifically, Ross Avenue, in a nearly two-mile span between the Arts District and Lower Greenville.
Plans by the City of Dallas would add a wide, shared-use path for pedestrians and cyclists, starting at IH-345 and extending 1.89 miles to the intersection of Greenville Avenue. There's also the possibility of a new streetcar route down the road that would run along Ross Avenue.
The new shared-use path will replace the existing sidewalk on the north side of Ross Avenue, and would be 10-12 feet wide, nearly double the size of the traditional 6-foot wide sidewalk.
To make it possible within the existing footprint, Ross's current status as a five-lane roadway would be shrunk down to four lanes. For added user protection, a new median will provide a buffer for left turns at cross streets.
Dallas City Council member Jesse Moreno, who represents District 2, helped spearhead the project. He says Ross Avenue is the perfect location for these enhancements.
“I really envision Ross as the Main Street of Dallas, connecting various neighborhoods from Knox Henderson and Greenville to the Arts District,” Moreno said. “We have so many unique communities along the path that will benefit from this."
Ross Avenue has already seen a massive overhaul, both inside the Central Business District and out, from projects such as 2000 Ross Ave. to the Academic, the apartment development that replaced the former DISD headquarters at 3700 Ross Ave., as well as numerous "Soviet blok" apartment buildings that have been built on Ross in the past 10 years.
The city held the first of many public information meetings about the Ross Avenue Roadway Improvements Project on January 17. Those will continue into the spring with local business owners and other stakeholders.
"We still have a few things to iron out, but we’re hopeful we can get everything in order," Moreno says.
If the project is approved, construction could begin as early as March 2025 on the shared-use path. Current funding does not provide for the construction of the new streetcar line, but they're planning for it anyway, says city of Dallas project manager Kristopher Johnson.
"We are designing the enhancements to Ross in a way that if the streetcar comes at a later date, we do not have any re-structuring necessary," he says. "We have made the outside lanes wide enough to accommodate a future streetcar."
The outside lanes are designed to be 13 feet wide to accommodate buses and a potential streetcar line in the future.
Moreno hopes the Ross Avenue improvement will one day connect to another ambitious downtown project he’s developing, which he dubs a “cultural trail.”
"Through a bond proposal, we envision connecting the West End, the Arts District, Deep Ellum, and Fair Park with one cultural trail," he says. "I see these two projects linking together and continuing the micro mobility that we’re building."