Steve Mansfield, President and CEO of Methodist Hospital System, responds to the East Kessler Park Neighborhood Association, and the Oak Cliff gateway Steering Committe, on the suggestions to change traffic patterns on Beckley Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. You can see the street proposals here >> https://oakcliffgateway.wordpress.com/street-proposals-draft-ii/.
Letter to Oak Cliff Gateway Steering Committee:
November 21, 2011
Dear Christian and Oak Cliff Gateway Committee:
There are a couple assertions in the Oak Cliff Gateway Recommendation document (attached) from Timothy Herfel representing the East Kessler Neighborhood Association that I feel warrant some additional perspective for the consideration by the committee.
We at Methodist Health System cherish the neighborhoods around Methodist Dallas Medical Center and know they bring tremendous value to our area. We are certainly supportive of Oak Cliff Gateway changes that enhance our area. However, the reduction of lanes on Beckley Ave. from I-30 to
Colorado Blvd. and on Colorado Blvd from Bishop Ave. to I-35 would impede emergency vehicle traffic and cause additional traffic congestion.
By maintaining those lanes, the committee will not only minimize potential disruption of ambulance and other emergency traffic but will also accommodate the additional demand that would be essential to our, and other, planned developments in the zone east of Beckley Ave. and west of Zang Blvd.
In comparison, I would ask the committee to consider roadways surrounding other major hospitals in the Dallas area. Those that I visit most frequently do currently have lane numbers that appear comparable to Beckley. For instance, Harry Hines Blvd. which runs in front of Parkland and UTSW and Walnut Hill Rd. fronting Presbyterian-Dallas.
Methodist Health System encourages and supports healthy lifestyles for our employees and community. We have been recognized locally and nationally for being on the leading-edge for some of our employee health initiatives. We believe however, that it is possible to have a healthy lifestyle
without necessarily riding a bicycle on the main thoroughfares around Methodist Dallas. I am one of those people who cycles for my aerobic exercise. I’ve ridden thousands of miles through north Oak Cliff over the past five years without riding on Beckley (other than to cross over it).
The committee has a tough job trying to blend a multitude of perspectives, some of which are asynchronous. It is our hope that the committee can establish a plan that enhances the Oak Cliff Gateway but also maintains the current lanes around the Methodist Dallas Medical Center campus.
Stephen L. Mansfield, Ph.D., FACHE
President and CEO
Methodist Health System