It's been three years since the Wright Amendment, the federal law that restricted traffic at Dallas' Love field, was repealed.
Since that repeal, Love Field's total passengers have increased from 2.2 million in 2014 to nearly 4 million today, according to a recent Dallas Morning News story.
That increased traffic to and from the Dallas airport has taxed the sole Mockingbird Lane entrance on the south side of Love Field.The city of Dallas has awarded the UTA College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs' Institute of Urban Studies a grant to execute a study exploring what a northern entrance/exit to Love Field would do to the surrounding community.
UTA is talking to property owners, airport passengers and residents to gather what might be the best fit for the area just north of Love Field. Shima Hamidi, the IUS executive director and an assistant professor in urban planning, said the city wants the institute to look at the highest and best use of the land to the north of the airport, where the new exit and entrance could be.
"They want to know the best return on investment," Hamidi said. "Our goal is to leverage the assets that already exist in the area such as proximity to the largest city airport in the country and the unique position of Love Field in the City of Dallas to push what kind of development might go in north of Love Field. It could be high-tech or some employment hub that would complement the sectors that those travelers represent." She said the study is looking at three concept possibilities for the land near what would be a new north entrance to Love Field. Those possible development plans call for an innovation hub, an innovation office park or an innovation mixed use park. She said the city also could opt for a hybrid of the three suggested plans.
Some industry segments that have a more significant presence than others are: semiconductors and electronic components, communications equipment manufacturing, data management/hosting, and credit and consumer lending.
Hamidi said one challenge will be for the northern entrance/exit to cross Bachman Lake. However, she said the lake also could be a nice feature for some sort of lakeside residential component to the overall development plan.
Hamidi also said the study will look at traffic patterns that would most easily get vehicles in and out of Love Field and around the airport. Amanda Kronk, project manager for the IUS, said four IUS graduate research assistants are working on the Love Field study.
"The Love Field study methodology has enabled our graduate research assistants to understand the valuation of thoughtful land use composition that results in environmental, social and economic benefits," Kronk said. "It's a terrific opportunity for them to prepare a study that can give them so much practical experience. They can draw upon the experiences revealed in this project in future years."
The study should be presented to the city sometime in the fall.