FoBL Newsletter - February 2021

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness” — J. Steinbeck


THE ESSENTIALS...


The Great Backyard Birdcount is coming! We partnered with Wild Birds Unlimited and Groundwork Dallas to host birdwatching walks on 2/13 at three locations in our area: Bachman Greenbelt, Hines Park and Frasier Dam Recreation Area. Be on the lookout for our social media posts to sign-up, or go to groundworkdallas.org to sign up.


By the way, there will be a community meeting on February 3rd to chat about art along the Lemmon Ave Trail. If you are an art lover, especially public art, please come and weigh in! Just send an email to lemmonavenueart@gmail.com asking for the link to the meeting. We would also love if you could attend the February 8th Neighbors in the Know meeting, as we have Parks & Rec and Dallas Water Utilities attending to give updates about their projects. Do you row, skate, fish? Then this update is for you and all you need to do is watch our feed on our Facebook page where the live session will be streamed.


There are some great updates in this issue about what is going on with our schools along Walnut Hill and summaries from the January Good Neighbor Program Meeting and Neighbors in the Know. Read on!


***Continue to share our newsletter with your neighbors and friends!***

NEWS


Skaters gonna skate!


Team Pain was selected in November to design the skate park at Bachman Lake Park! Join Neigbors in the Know on February 8th (Facebook Live) for an update on the skate park and activities being planned by #skateparksfordallas. Team Pain is a Florida based skate park specialist working world-wide for over 30 years creating cutting edge skate parks. The company is comprised of experienced skateboarders and this passion for the sport helps them provide a unique and highly specialized product. They are keen to take into consideration all skaters, from top professional to novice.


We’re so excited about the quality of their work which you can see for yourself!





Dallas Police, Code Compliance and Homeless Solutions: Neighbors in the Know takes on big city problems!


Another great live update was coordinated in January by Friends of Bachman Lake and the Bachman Northwest Highway Community Association. We really need to give these folks kudos for making sure that the video sessions take place in English and Spanish! In addition, the fact that no special applications are needed to participate (OK, yes, you need Facebook), really helps make information more accessible to the entire community. By the way, in addition to Facebook, a repository of all videos is also maintained in the Friends of Bachman Lake video library just in case you have run out of shows to watch on TV.

Dallas Police Department - Senior Corporal Fernando Silva

Senior Corporal Fernando Silva of the Dallas Police Department presented statistics that showed a 9% reduction in violent and nonviolent crime when comparing 2019 to 2020. He discussed a partnership between commercial property managers and the police department in order to decrease trespassing and activity in empty lots. He also acknowledged that street racing is a problem, but it's a national problem too that needs to be addressed.


With respect to crime statistics, Friends of Bachman Lake has provided Officer Silva with the boundaries of Walnut Hill, Mockingbird, I-35 and Midway so that he can generate monthly reports for the area which we will share with the community since face-to-face neighborhood crime watch meetings have been curtailed by the pandemic. We hope to have the reports beginning in February and we'll announce when they become available on our site or other resources.


Code Compliance - LaShonna Slider

LaShonna Slider from Code Compliance reminded everyone that litter, high weeds and bulk trash placed out prior to collection dates are considered code violations. Check out the handy-dandy schedule tracker which allows you to validate your garbage and bulk trash pickup dates by address. Remember that there is a change to what is allowed for brush and debris vs. other bulk items and that construction debris can damage City equipment and requires a special collection request on your dime.


Homeless Solutions

We discussed some of the resources available to homeless people in our city. Currently the city has three hotels in use for rehabilitation as well as isolation to prevent the spread of Covid in our homeless population. It was depressing to hear that the city was more than willing to disband homeless encampments downtown to just push the problem to other areas of the city. Just beneath I-35 at Walnut Hill, there is a growing camp that has become a village. What's been done to address this so far? A fabric lining has been placed along the chain-link fence to obscure the site from the road. We're not sure if this is an attempt to hide the problem or to hide the site from others seeking a place to "camp." It's time to get answers. There really is no comprehensive solution. It seems like we need to facilitate a meeting with the 3 City Council representatives (Jennifer Gates, Omar Narvaez, Adam Medrano) to push for more action - a future installment of Neighbors in the Know!


Recovering from the tornado....still


It will come as no surprise to those of us that live in the area, that Dallas has moved slower than molasses in facilitating recovery. It has been near impossible for neighbors to get businesses at Walnut Hill and Marsh to just give the time of day. Why is City Council not helping? One of the property owners, Mike Hopkins, has never acknowledged multiple efforts to engage. Even with news channels interviewing neighbors, the silence has been deafening. To add insult to injury, the City received a grant from ULI to do a study of the areas along Walnut Hill, west of Marsh yet has not actioned any of the recommendations. What was the point of pulling together so many community and business leaders? It seems that all the city proposals for our area end up on a shelf to gather dust. We deserve better.


On a more positive note, there seems to be progress on rebuilding some of the schools destroyed by the tornado. The future of the former Walnut Hill Elementary seems to be pointing towards a career center for high school aged kids, where they anticipate keeping the front historic facade and then adding on to the back of the facility. On December 18th, neighborhood leaders met with DISD about Thomas Jefferson and the new K-8 school (where Cary Middleschool used to be) And were informed that BECK is now under contract for pre-construction services. The high level schedule is to complete the K-8 school in August, 2022, and Thomas Jefferson in November, 2022. Floorpans and exterior view shots will remain the same. It was good to hear that the playground size will exceed DISD standards and that trees will be a big part of the landscaping through the #TexasTreesFoundation Cool Schools program .





A Summary of Love Field’s Neighborhood Update:


Jennifer Gates (D13) attended the Good Neighbor Program meeting hosted by Love Field on 1/12 and indicated that her staff, as well as staff from D2 and D6 are always available to answer any questions/concerns regarding Love Field. Below are quick notes from the meeting:


Lemmon Ave Enhancements - The main plan is to install a bike path/pedestrian access pathway on the northeast side along Lemmon Avenue which will tie various parks together and will connect to Bachman Lake Trail. Visioning and branding is complete as well as the master planning for the trail. The design phase will be ongoing through summer, 2021 with construction set for winter, 2021. As far as the main entrance and surrounding areas, Love Field is looking at a large “gateway” feature at the triangle on Airdrome and Lemmon before turning onto Mockingbird and the current granite entry sign at Herb Kelleher Way will be replaced.



Braniff Centre - Though not an airport capital project, the meeting provided some updates on the restored facility. It currently is built to support aviation, entertainment and hospitality venues and well as a Planet Lincoln dealership. The next phase will be an additional south hangar for corporate aircraft and an office development with 7000 sq ft. of private office space for local businesses. A brewery/restaurant is being planned as well as a Calloway’s Nursery.

Entry Road enhancements - The airport was set to award the contract for this project on after approval by City Council on January 13th. The upgrades will include removing the lighting bollards and adding pedestrian paving, fencing, landscaping, new signage and public art.

Lemmon/Bluffview intersection- This project is currently under construction. Most paving lanes have been completed but traffic signal installation and pedestrian walkways remain to be done. It's scheduled for completion in the 1st quarter 2021.

Love Field Loop Trail - This project is a partnership with National Parks Service and the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program. The airport is working to align efforts with Bachman Lake area work, including trails. The Lemmon Ave project will be the first phase and coordination with NPS and NCTCOG will drive the initiative.

Bachman Lake Area Planning Study - Aviation is participating with NCTCOG in this effort. It aims to address mobility and safety issues; access to lake and trails; access to DART station(s); and access for alternate entry. Work on the north entrance is pending completion of this study.

RWY 13R/31L Phase 1 construction - This will result in a reconstructed runway and new taxiways and better exit points for aircraft. The work is now slated to begin sometime in March with full runway closure happening beginning April, 2021 for approximately 9 months. Aircraft noise is anticipated to be “temporarily shifted” toward the Lemmon Avenue corridor and points northwest and southeast. The airport says direct mailers will be sent to homes in affected zip codes in February.


If you missed the January Newsletter, check out the Love Field operational statistics and noise complaints. We expect the runway construction will be loud!


The Love Field Good Neighbor Program meeting then turned to the Q&A session, most of which were submitted in advance.


Questions & Answers:


Q: What’s planned for the NE corner of Lovers and Lemmon?

A: Ped/Bike Trail as part of streetscapes. Zone is a bit beyond the improvements project area.


Q: Why is a 2nd entrance needed?

A: Project on hold. Address security/operational risks. Failed intersection at Herb Keller and Mockingbird is the key issue as is the possibility of traffic impedance for first responders during airport incidents. These are the same talking points as before.


Q: Does aviation real estate deptartment know what the plans are for the multi-acre vacant lot at 9311 Reeves Street?

A: This is private property. DAL is preparing lease docs for city council approval to use the land for 5-7 years as a staging area or batch plant, contractor automobile parking area and other associated uses, including the reconstruction project.

Q: Please confirm that all mature trees along Lemmon Avenue will be protected and maintained as part of the Lemmon Avenue streetscape enhancement project.

A: Our goal is to protect the mature trees as much as possible by meandering the trail. More info will be available as the design stage ensues.

Q: How far out in advance are mailers about the runway closure being sent out?

A: No specifics yet. New noise contours will be used as the basis for what households will get mailers.


Q: Is there a better rendering of the Lemmon Bluffview roadway configuration? It's hard to discern what the turn from Lemmon to Bluffview will look like in the current renderings.

A: Not sure if there will be a better rendition but there will only be a single lane. The intersection is being reoriented so the free right turn that was an issue will now be signalized at Hopkins St.

Q: Are the flights from Braniff Centre (JSX Aviation) considered regularly scheduled gate operations?

A: JSX operates out of Dalfort facility and not the Braniff facility. They operate as a subscription service and this is not considered operational gates.

Next meeting April 13, 2021.


EVENTS


Our monthly plogging event is every 2nd Saturday of the month – at whatever time works for you! Bring one of those plastic bags we all have around the house and put it to good use. Walk the path or meander off of it and pick up trash. It’s great for the hamstrings! Give a shout-out to anyone you see walking around the lake with a plastic bag - they are clearly FoBLers!



Every second Monday of the month (6PM English and 7PM Spanish) we host a multi-neighborhood virtual meeting to review the major projects that affect our area. Remember, just go to the FoBL Facebook page and watch it live! Next up, the Dallas Water Utilities and Parks & Recreation!



Also, don't forget to join us at our monthly ‘meeting of the minds’ at Bluffview Growler. It's on the 4th Wednesday of every month from 4-6PM. No RSVP needed. Note that this activity is subject to COVID related restrictions and proper social guidelines.




OUR FAVORITE IMAGES THIS MONTH



Instagram photo credits:

@txbywayofyoga

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