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This is page 1 of Futurepaths

last edited on:
hursday, October 13, 2005, 9:31 PM, Central Daylight Savings Time

lookat desktop magazine presents: Futurepaths

Futurepaths is my idea of what new types of urban transportation will be required in the decades ahead as cities grow larger in population.
Some of the most basic issues regarding transportation in the city, as from home to work and to school and the post office and emergency vehicle access and so on, are covered in this section.

It is apparent that we need more side walks, better and bigger bridges and safer and better access on and off the freeway system. 

We're running out of time, room and patience!

Road rage is prevalent. Think about the every day commute to your place of employment. The time it takes many workers to get to work is well into an hour and a half because of the sheer size of Dallas, and the traffic jams due in large part to constant road surface maintenance and digging for new underground water mains and telecommunications and gas lines. 

There isn't a day that goes by I don't see a road in terrible need of repair that is not being fixed, but instead, I see an entire 3 lanes of a major road that will take perhaps several months to re-surface once they get what ever they're doing done, to it! 

On the other side of the coin, I see, in Oak Cliff, Dallas, attempts have been made to create ramps for people with handicaps, to get on and off the curb to cross a street on foot or electric wheel chair, or crutches. But it's a little bit dangerous still to walk down the street in front of my own house. Just 5 days ago, I witnessed a woman who was on the ground, having slipped on the wet street, trying to get to the corner bus stop when 2 cars nearly impacted each other to avoid her. The thing is, it ain't safe to walk down some roads in Oak Cliff because of drivers going way too fast!

That is an issue! Speed that is. :)

My idea of a future path is a path in the future, the very near future that has become people friendly!

My ultimate idea of a future path is one that is pleasant to walk on. In the city there is way too much concrete and way too much blazing heat. 
Too many cars with one person in each of them going too fast and for no apparent reason and barely enough space between the white stripes on the road to avoid collision for even the safest of drivers what with all the SUVs and the heavy duty pick up trucks. They seldom stop to say a prayer when they drive by a road side memorial with flowers and ribbons to mark the site of a recent death due to being run over by a drunken driver going 80! But, take note of it.

It's a wake up call brothers and sisters.

Now, one thing is for certain I do like the way they created a sky bridge going from across the multi-level parking garage on Harry Hines Blvd. to the front entrance of Parkland Memorial Hospital. They have a well designed sky bridge that is both attractive and pleasant to walk down to the steps and/or the elevators. I was so inspired by that bridge I figured I had better mention it here. Also, there is an elevated open pedestrian sky path that leads across from the one of Parkland's adjoining hospitals to another in a way that blends right in with the road system, prefabricated super stressed concrete.

Both ideas are new and inspiring. 

What if, I figured, there were multi-level freeways that went around the entire Metroplex, and provided everything from light rail, pedestrian, bicycling, cars and trucks and buses and the like, stacked on top of each other and provided a way to get around the entire city of Dallas, or the entire Dallas and Fort Worth Metroplex, with links to all the public transportation systems, making it almost entirely unnecessary to drive anywhere!

Impossible sounding isn't it?

If it could be done it would have already been accomplished?

Hey, I see the Hampton Road bridge to Inwood  and the Westmoreland bridge looking pretty worn out to say the least of the Commerce Street bridge and the Sylvan bridge!

They all look like they could stand a little bit of a face lift!

It's not that we need to build million dollar bridges that look like they were meant to cross over the Mississippi or look like the Golden Gate, but rather we need to make wider bridges and higher ones to avoid flooding and to accommodate more vehicles and as a matter of fact, I think I will show you a cut a way view of one of my own ideas:

a cut away view of Jefferson Blvd. overpass from Oak Cliff to Downtown Dallas,Texas,
 *concept by Anthony Davis July 2004.

It isn't easy to actually do a scaled down drawing. But if you take a lookat the one below:


A perspective of a multi- level over pass bridge linking Downtown to the South: Oak Cliff, with a stairway that leads to the loading station for a Dart Light Rail as the upper level veers to the East allowing motorists to exit onto 8th street to the Jefferson Blvd. *concept by: Anthony Davis 2004

And to give you an idea of what a Dart Transit Center would look like if it were designed to connect to the Jefferson Overpass bridge of the future:

The image above is a very large byte file. If you want to take a look at it in full detail, then just save to disk or click ' view image in your browser '. This is one in a series. I have done several others but this is one of my favorites.  *concept by: Anthony Davis 2004.

diagram7.jpg is a cut away image of an elevated median walk path.

The thing about this idea is that you could in theory rise above it all by taking a walk on a futurepath like this one. Made mainly of concrete, you would walk up a stairwell and walk for miles higher than the tallest 18 wheeler truck and look out the cut out windows, free from the harsh weather and free from the limits of traffic stops at every inner section. Concrete benches would be for setting and resting. Maintenance would be a key issue. 

Keeping this walkpath clean and free of unsavory individuals who would try to use it for sleeping and pan handling and such would have to be dealt with on the City Government level of course. If enough people walked on such sky paths, there would be little or no opportunity for the crimminal to do his dirty deeds. Oh well this is not a perfect world now is it? But the idea of a median walk path that rises above the traffic in my view is a good idea to work on further.


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