Dallas Plans to Deck Over a Highway — With a Parking Garage

Dallas' vision for highway lid topped with a parking garage. Image: Woodall Rodgers Deck Park Foundation
Dallas’ vision for highway lid topped with a parking garage. Image: Woodall Rodgers Deck Park Foundation

“The most Dallas thing ever.” That’s how Robert Wilonsky at The Dallas Morning News described a new plan to build a parking garage over a highway in the Big D.

The project adds an ironic twist to what has been, until now, a civic success story. Klyde Warren Park is a beloved five-acre space that sits on a lid on top of the Woodall Rogers Freeway. The new project, proposed by the Woodall Rogers Deck Park Foundation, would extend the deck with new public spaces and, on the northeast side, a bar and restaurant, offices for the park, and a parking garage with 70 to 90 spaces.

As you can see in the rendering, there is no lack of parking nearby. So why build more car storage on top of the highway?

Jody Grant of the Woodall Rogers Deck Park Foundation told Wilonsky that the garage would generate revenue needed to make the whole plan pencil out. The group is also counting on $40 million in public bonding to help pay for the $90 million project.

Even if you take Grant’s scenario at face value and assume this garage won’t be a money loser, it’s a sad commentary on the state of financing civic projects. Highway decks are supposed to heal the damage caused by urban car infrastructure. Can’t Dallas come up with a way to pay for this one without causing more damage by building new car infrastructure?

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