The Trinity

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The Trinity


In 2003, Mayor Laura Miller brought together a dream team of urban planners and landscape architects to develop a comprehensive plan for the Trinity. The resulting Balanced Vision Plan (BVP) was intended to balance recreation, flood control, and transportation in the form of the Trinity Toll Road. The city spent upward of $14 million on detailed engineering schematics of the BVP, hydromorphological assessments of the floodway, topographical renderings, soil analyses of the basin, and a comprehensive landscaping plan. Finally—in 2015—the Corps of Engineers approved the BVP. Considering this was Dallas’ eighth attempt to design a Trinity park, it should have been a monumental moment in our city’s history and been cause for celebration. But the approval of the park coincided with massive public opposition to the approval of the high-speed Trinity Toll Road, known as 3C.  

Analysis from the Federal Highway Administration demonstrated that the construction of 3C would have a negligible impact on traffic in Dallas and recent environmental studies have shown that proximity to highways can have longterm effects on residents’ health and well-being. Thankfully, the Corps of Engineers approved two versions of the BVP—one with the high-speed road and one without.

Where we stand:

After years of plans and infighting, the city of Dallas now has the opportunity to move forward with a Trinity park. Let’s use the BVP as our framework and start tomorrow building a park that embraces the natural habitat and provides residents and visitors alike with the opportunity to enjoy a space that will be uniquely Dallas. We can build hike and bike trails throughout the corridor, pedestrian bridges over the river, a handful of vehicular access points, and modest parking areas inside the floodway. As part of the ecological restoration, we can reintroduce prairie grasses and other native vegetation and work with wildlife biologists and botanists to recreate wild habitats.

Let’s move past the ill-conceived high-speed Trinity Toll Road that neither makes sense from an urban planning or environmental perspective. The time to build the Trinity park is now. We’ve got the resources. We have the vision. Let’s get it started.

What they’re saying:

Maybe the true nature of our city — the thing we tend not to see but anybody from elsewhere would see right away — is its unique porosity to nature, especially if we framed that quality in a wonderful central park. If that’s true, then the fact that a major toll road project in the river bottoms has been stalled by controversy for 20 years may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to us.

– Jim Schutze, Dallas Observer: “A New Park Idea For the Trinity That’s Just Too Cool to Ignore.”

D Magazine: “We’ve Got the Beginnings of a Great Park. What Are We Waiting For?”

Dallas Observer: “A New Park Idea for the Trinity That’s Just Way Too Cool to Ignore”

Candy’s Dirt: “Could the Trinity River be the Site of a Sea Change in Dallas Public Opinion?”

Dallas Morning News: “Council unanimously refuses to affirm support of the bigger Trinity Parkway, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead.”

How you can have an impact:

Join us on Earth Day (April 22nd) at Fair Park for Earth Day Texas, an annual event that convenes environmentally conscious citizens interested in reducing their carbon footprint and improving the environment. We will be encouraging attendees to join us in our fight to “Save the Trinity” by electing council members who’ve pledged to oppose the construction of a Trinity Toll Road.