On December 3rd, Love Field provided an update on their Good Neighbor Program and the latest update on the alternate entrance for the airport. Mark Deubner, Aviation Director for the City of Dallas, presented to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Although the traffic study was completed in the summer, the airport has not completed a recommendation. In fact, they have added two new alternatives for access options. Read on for details!
Love Field estimates that 45% of their vehicular traffic can be diverted from Mockingbird to an alternate entrance - preferably for them, a north entrance. The latest proposal is looking at entrance options on Shorecrest, with a possible plan of putting a car rental facility at Shorecrest (between Reeves and Weiss); and also a people mover which would make a stop at the car rental facility and then proceed down Shorecrest. Shorecrest would be converted to a 4-lane divided road with enough width to carry the car traffic (east to Lemmon Ave and West to Denton Dr) and the people mover towards the DART Bachman Station. You will not see this information in the presentation provided, as it was part of the Q&A of the recorded transcript of the meeting.
Deubner also stated that with the decommission of the old runway, Love Field now has 30 acres of developable land along Lemmon Ave and Shorecrest. There was mention of putting a hotel and other businesses in that space. It would be interesting to know how the businesses along Mockingbird feel about the airport siphoning off 45% of their drive-by customers, how the Shorecrest neighbors would feel about a towering structure overlooking their homes and how the Rowing Club activities would be challenged with all the incremental traffic on Shorecrest (it's not like there is more space for parking).
We disagree with Councilman Kleinman that a north entrance is preferred because of the impact this would have on the park, plans for trails and the safety of children and families coming to the planned regional aquatic and skate facilities. We do agree with him that Love Field is in analysis paralysis looking at options. In the meantime, the poor Love Field passengers waiting on Herb Kelleher Drive are causing huge amounts of CO2 with their idling cars. We really must ask ourselves why Love Field continues to insist on a north entrance. Who really benefits from this north entrance to Shorecrest? Is there a developer perhaps that thinks they have this locked in? We too could speculate ad-naseum, so let's just accept the fact that there are periodic traffic jams at Love Field and that an alternate entrance is needed for safety. If so, Love Field could immediately:
Make the inefficient traffic triangle at Mockingbird, Lemmon and Airdome Dr. into a large traffic circle
Block left-turns in and out of the airport off of Mockingbird and create dedicated u-turn lanes.
Such simple changes could have an immediate impact on traffic load/flow and this in turn could determine whether or not there is even a need for a north entrance. Think about it: Love Field cannot add more gates by law. So the amount of passenger traffic using mostly 150-170 seat aircraft is a known quantity. We think that relief of car traffic congestion can be first achieved with the smallest, least costly steps. Secondly, we believe that placing greater emphasis on leveraging two nearby DART stations would mitigate future growth in passenger traffic which, given the finite number of gates, can only come from larger aircraft in the coming years.
The next Good Neighbor Program meeting is on 1/14/2019. Love Field plans on narrowing their options by Spring and provide a final recommendation to Committee by the Summer. It's time that Love Field actively engage the community; they should be vetting their proposals with us before taking them to Committee. If you think this is important, come make your voice heard and, more importantly, fill out a comment card!
Good Neighbor Program Winter Meeting Tuesday, January 14, 2020 6:00pm-8:00pm K.B. Polk Recreation Center, 6801 Roper St Dallas, Texas 75209