FoBL also attended the Love Field Good Neighbor Program (GNP), which provides an update on community-focused efforts by the Aviation Department. A copy of the presentation can be accessed here.
The airport has plans to upgrade fencing surrounding the field and to improve auto and pedestrian access along Herb Keller Way, the main roadway leading to and from the main terminal. Pedestrian access around the airport perimeter was also discussed, mainly along Lemmon Avenue, as there are barren stretches of land with no sidewalks or trails. FoBL has urged airport representatives to prioritize this access – along Denton Drive as well – so that the eventual connection to Bachman Lake Trail can be made sooner than later.
Questions at the meeting from the community centered around two key issues: water quality at the lake due to airport runoff, and a study for an alternate entrance to the airport that could be ready for review by City Council in November. We want to make sure that citizens have a say before the Council gets a vote so we're keeping a close watch on this activity.
Where does airport runoff go?
With respect to water quality, the airport asserts that very little runoff from airport activity winds up in Bachman Lake despite there being twelve drainage locations surrounding the airport. Most of the runoff comes from surrounding neighborhoods, according to officials. The airport says that it does test for pollutants in accordance with environmental quality rules at outflows that fall within the scope of industrial permitting. However, not all outlfows fall under this scope and thus do not require a monitoring permit.
Despite relatively mild winters, there is an occasional need to apply de-icing fluid to aircraft before takeoff at Love Field. We asked about the runoff from these chemicals. The response was that the airport takes great care in containing any de-icing runoff by shutting off affected outflow valves and collecting the waste at that location for proper disposal. The airport also can direct the runoff to locations on the field that can later be serviced, ensuring none of the residue is discharged outside of airport grounds. We were told that de-icing fluid is only applied in specific locations to help with this mitigation.
[insert answer about where to find quality tests]
North by northWHAT?
The other issue looming large is the study the airport has commissioned for the creation of an alternate entrance into Love Field. This could greatly impact the quality of life for the communities around Bachman Lake. The study is due to be reviewed by the City Council in November, but FoBL wants citizens to have a say before that time. The driving force behind the study is the reported congestion on Herb Keller Way where it meets Mockingbird Lane. An alternate entrance to the airport could ease some of that traffic, according to airport officials. The question is: "where will this entrance be and will it move the congestion to Northwest Highway instead?"
FoBL vehemently opposes any solution that will take vehicular traffic over the lake itself. Let's hope that's not even under consideration. What we do advocate for is a smart solution that takes advantage of the multi-modal opportunities from the Bachman or Burbank DART Rail stations. Motorists and DART riders can use the stations as a walk-off or drop-off point before accessing a mobility solution into the terminal area. There once was a people-mover proposed when the DART stations were being built along the Green Line, but it was considered too expensive at the time. With runway reconstruction and other infrastructure projects at the airport set to occur between late 2020 through 2022, we feel this is an ideal opportunity to once again consider tunneling into the terminal area to give passengers a car-less option into the airport. Motorists should have the option of driving to the original airport entrance, or to the drop-off points at the DART station(s). We'll see if this is even under consideration once the study is complete. Though the focus has been on a "northern" entrance, Dallas Love Field officials acknowledge that they are actually open to alternate entrances at any ideal location along the perimeter of the field.