“Cherie, keep walking. Shut your eyes. We are headed for the bridge. We are going to cross it.”
“Somewhere along the line, the pearl would be handed to me.”
Mockingbird station is where the DART Red and Blue (and sometimes Orange) lines converge and plunge – first into a deep canyon – and then into a subterranean tunnel on their voyage to downtown. It is weird that Dallas – the most automobile of cities – actually has a subway.
The reason for the subway is not so weird, though. North of Mockingbird the Red line follows the old abandoned Katy Railroad (full name – Missouri Kansas Texas) line. But south of Mockingbird the train tracks ran too close to Highland Park, where all the rich people live. They did not want the great unwashed riding the iron rails so close to their mansions so they exerted pressure to force everybody underground.
In the end, it was OK, though. The rest of the rail line was paved over to form the Katy Trail – which now is one of the gems of the city. Its presence raised property values along its length – making those rich folks richer.
Then out of all the darkness I see Mother’s white hands rising from her lap like they were powered and lit from inside. Like all the light in the world has been poured out to shape those hands. She’s reaching over for the steering wheel, locking onto it with her knuckles tight. The car jumps to the side and skips up onto the sidewalk. She’s trying to take us over the edge. There’s no doubt this time.
—–Mary Karr, The Liars’ Club: A Memoir
There is the Katy trail – built along the old abandoned railroad bed – crossing the city right north of Downtown Dallas. And there was the new trail system running from Mockingbird to White Rock, with its trail ecosystem noosing the lake and branches running north in two directions and south back to downtown.
The final obstacle in this maze of human-powered transportation system was Mockingbird Lane – eight or so deadly lanes of speeding steel. I mean, you could cross at a light… after walking along a cracked and narrow sidewalk and waiting for the little white-light man – only to still have to dodge left-turners and other blind killers.
But there had to be a better way.
It was way too expensive and took way too long but they finally built this huge, over-engineered cable stay monstrosity right there at Mockingbird station. It took years.
But finally, a bit over a year ago they finished the Mockingbird Pedestrian (and bicycle) bridge. And… I guess it was worth waiting for.
Mockingbird Station, Dallas, Texas
According to the DART web site, these bike lids were all bought with a federal grant and meet all homeland security requirements. I had to think about that for a while – I guess it’s harder to hide a bomb in these, compared to the old bike lockers. There are 142 of these all over the system.