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5-2-12 Trinity Speech as Prepared

5-2-12 Trinity Speech as Prepared

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Published by: cityhallblog on May 02, 2012
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Remarks by Mayor Mike Rawlings As prepared for Trinity River Corridor Press ConferenceMay 2, 2012
 As Dallas moves into the 21
century, I see an opportunityfor the Trinity River to redefine us as a city. Like any redefiningproject, it will not happen overnight but if we are thoughtful,diligent and focused on our future, we will see a great planunfold.Each of us wants the Trinity River to be more than what it is.We want parks; we want lakes; and we want trails; we want totransform the river into a vital component that builds onto avibrant core of our community rather than the barrier it hasbecome. How we develop this corridor will be one of the mostimportant things we as city leaders do.
For the most part, I found that people are aligned behindthose goals but there is a division over our transportationstrategy. While running for mayor, I knew then as I know nowthat my decision on the parkway would be important but Ipersonally wanted to take time to study and think on this issue.Why has it taken me this long? There are many smartpeople with differing opinions of this multi-sided issue. I respectthem and wanted to understand their point of view.
I’ve listened
to experts, citizens, regionalists, urbanites
young and old. Forme it was an important process as I started to come to my ownindependent point of view.This has not been simple because I seem to agree witheveryone and with all of their sentiments: I want more beautyand nature; I want less traffic; I want less concrete; I want
cleaner air and less pollution caused by auto emissions. And I amempathic that city tax dollars on transportations systems benefitthe citizens of Dallas not people living elsewhere.So I needed to simplify my exploration by asking 3 bigquestions:1. Safety
is the parkway safe to build? If it is not,
it’s a
 showstopper and we must not proceed.2. Beauty
will the parkway compromise the aesthetics that weall want for our corridor and will it delay the construction of thetrails and lake? I am most excited about these possibilities thanany road. And lastly,

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