Dallas City Hall

District 12


March 14, 2023

Connecting You With City Information, News, and Resources

Spring Break - Spring Forward!

Warmer weather, lots of storms, kids on school spring break and the changing of the clocks tell us spring is here!

Lots of important things are happening and I hope you'll take a couple of minutes to read below. There is important information about the DART Cotton Belt/Silver Line project with a deadline for your input.

Several policy issues are headed to the city council that could directly affect you and your quality of life and there is information below.

Save the Date - June 3rd, for District 12 Zoo Day! Free entry and we're working on some transportation options. It's going to be WILD!!

Thanks to all who were able to attend the Budget Town Hall last week. If you'd like to give your input BEFORE the budget is put together, please fill out this survey: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=nnA1KQzBCUijAoUtNp-HANqkdMETNtFAr308ShvqRSJUMVNEOEpWMUswRVdEM0s0V09RUllRVEZCMSQlQCN0PWcu

As discussed in several prior issues of this newsletter, a bond election is being prepared for $1 billion dollars of improvements to the city. There will be appointees from District 12 to the bond task force. Meetings will be held downtown, generally around 5 pm, and there will be 6+ meetings for most of the committees. If you are interested in volunteering (must live in District 12), send an email to Jandis.Price@dallas.gov, explaining why you would like to do it and any areas you have specific knowledge about (general knowledge is ok also!). We're looking for people who can advocate for our neighborhoods. Here is an article with information about the proposed bond: https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/new-priorities-for-proposed-2024-dallas-bond-referendum/3205409/?fbclid=IwAR3zvuleYeene63Pdhc_7RN3NoFr5kB0S9KqFCHlNK0ewSUfHOe5uo1wFJY

I'm on spring break this week, but the District 12 staff is here to take care of you! Be safe, Cara

Council Liaison: Madison.Johnson@dallas.gov

Council Policy Analyst: Jandis.Price@dallas.gov

Council Assistant: Luis.Delgado@dallas.gov

Visit the District 12 Website


Been a lot of great days since I was elected to serve on the city council, but this was my favorite so far. Thank you to all who made the Marni Kaner Trail naming a reality and came out for a very special ceremony. This event had the highest attendance for a park department ribbon cutting in Dallas history. Many thanks to the Parks Department and Board, including Board President Arun Agarwal for his remarks and support, Richardson ISD Board President Regina Harris, Transportation Director Gus Khankarli, and especially the Kaner family, Joey, Elizabeth and Brian, for being part of this memorable and inspiring day.

Marnie was the best of #D12 - smart, caring, involved. As we walk the trail, I hope her name will challenge us to be like Marni by giving back to the community and looking at life with gratitude, no matter what challenges are present. In life, Marni was a connector and this trail will be extended to be a connector of the Preston Ridge Trail to the Cotton Belt Trail to make a 4.3 mile triangle.

Special thanks to #D12 Park Board member Lane Conner for his work to make this happen. If you'd like to join the Friends of Marni Kaner Trail group, contact Lane.Conner@dallas.gov. Here's some fun pictures of the beautiful and windy day.

DART Bus Network Community Meetings

Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is hosting a series of meetings to obtain feedback on how the New Bus Network might evolve in communities within the service area. The meetings are designed to encourage participants to provide comments on topics that include Phase Two of the New Bus Network, Passenger Amenities, Corridor Investments, and more.  


Contracts with the City

"The deal was buried on the council’s consent agenda, a mind-numbing laundry list of contracts that the council generally rubber-stamps without discussion. That was until City Council member Cara Mendelsohn asked that this proposed award be pulled for a record vote, and City Council member Paula Blackmon asked why the city would award a contract to a firm that is suing the city."

FYI, the record vote passed the item 9-4. The no votes were cast by Mayor Johnson, Paula Blackmon, Adam McGough, and Cara Mendelsohn.



"Council members on Wednesday said they wanted city staff to look into how feasible tiny homes would be to include in the new construction of residential units. Council member Gay Donnell Willis suggested it could be another option for the city to quickly house people, and council member Cara Mendelsohn described it as a “reasonable missing solution” to help people experiencing homelessness transition out of living in encampments.

“I don’t think it’s the universal solution for homelessness, but I do think it’s missing in our continuum of care and would love to see us allocate some money to this service,” Mendelsohn said.



Dallas Councilmembers Blast Dart Sales Tax Plan


What to make of the latest blowup between Dallas and Dart


This article has two great headlines. The first is "Dallas needs to do a Tammy Wynette on Dart - DIVORCE" and the second is "Dallas should leave Dart and build a better transit company." This article is from 2020 but it makes so much sense, it deserves another look.



The proposed policy also gives the city manager’s office increased authority to adjust housing program terms and approve projects under 100 units.

Council Member Cara Mendelsohn represents District 12. She says expanding the city manager’s control could undermine city governance when it comes to engagement with communities and public documents.

“This isn’t just about council authority,” Mendelsohn said, “It’s a lack of transparency and frankly it’s a lack of our job in oversight.”



Once a month, Timberglen Rec Center hosts a teen night. These kids are having safe fun with adult supervision. If you'd like to help lead additional activities or get involved, let us know. Our teen night has the highest attendance of any rec center in Dallas!


DART has posted another "MEMO TO FILE" asking for public input on proposed changes they are making on Coit Road. The changes they wish to make are not favorable to local residents. Your public comments will be considered by the Federal Transportation Agency to determine if they allow DART to make these changes.

If you wish to give input, here's what to do:

Email your comments on this project change to SilverLine@DART.org. For the subject line, put "Memo to File." If you'd like to copy me, I'd love to see what you write and see how many people send in comments. My email address is Cara.Mendelsohn@dallas.gov.


Comments are due by 5pm, March 27, 2023. The comments should address the project change and potential impacts.

To read the full 48 pages of "Memo to File H," go to: https://dartorgcmsblob.dart.org/prod/docs/default-source/silverline/approved-and-pending-memoranda-to-file/phase-h-coit-road-design-evolution.pdf?sfvrsn=d6f20423_1


The main items that I have heard from residents that do not want this change are:

  1. Having a large road hump on Coit Road is dangerous. Currently, the street elevates a few feet at the tracks. The community was told this would increase to 12 feet. The new plan they are asking for the FTA to approve would cause a road hump of approximately 20 feet. This interferes with the visibility of drivers on either side of the hump, making it far more dangerous. Thousands of households live adjacent to the area with the proposed 20 foot hump, increasing the danger of their daily commutes.
  2. Coit Road is already part of the High Injury Network for the North Texas Region and this change will further increase the number of traffic deaths and severe accidents.
  3. Approximately 55,000 vehicles per day use Coit Road and this change will cause a reduction in speed limit, increasing traffic and commute times.
  4. There are two large schools that will be impacted by the large road hump, Frankford Middle School and All Saints Catholic School that share a property line with Coit Road. Traffic during morning and afternoon pickups already creates a busy and dangerous situation in the area, having a 20' obstacle further exacerbates this traffic and safety problem.
  5. Thousands of people, homeowners at University Place, residents of Highland Springs, and renters at Palencia Apartments relied on the agreement between the City of Dallas and DART to make their housing purchase or rental choice. The ILA says the street will not be elevated more than 12 feet from the current level. This change affects the privacy of these homeowners, as the cars on Coit will look down into their property, their view outside their windows will change dramatically, and additional noise and pollution will be present, lessening their quality of life and property value.

Residents are asking in the letter for the State of Texas (TXDOT) and Federal government (FTA) to not allow this change which will only benefit DART because they created design plans that ignore the agreement and reduce their costs at the expense of the residents and commuters. Their project plan should have included this specification, but from the start they ignored it, hoping to get this change from TXDOT and FTA.


Here are construction updates for each of the main project sites. Obviously, the areas connecting the crossings and the park have extensive construction happening. DART is allowed to work the extended hours of 7am - 9pm Monday through Friday and from 9am - 7pm on Saturdays. Please alert our office if work begins before 7am.

Coit update - right lane closures to prepare for traffic signals at Alacasia, Sugar Cane and Osage continue. *READ THE MEMO TO FILE (article above) AND SEND YOUR EMAIL COMMENT!

Dickerson update - This roadway section is complete and the road has reopened.

Meandering Way update - only one lane each direction remains open for vehicles. Construction continues. Many of us were surprised to see the concrete being poured on the southbound lanes much higher than the original lanes. This was not shared with the community and presents challenges to the Rocky Top residents for drainage and vehicle entry to their alley. No resolution by DART has been shared to date.

McCallum update - One of the two lanes is closed on the westbound side of McCallum, before and after Hillcrest. The lane closures at each corner have impacted the safety of this street. DPD has no choice to use this street, if possible, please use another route. Pedestrians should be extra careful.

Hillcrest update - vehicle traffic remains one lane each way - NEW: the permit for DART to begin drilling has been issued effective 1/23/23 for 12 weeks. Please expect drilling and vibrations during this period. Please cross Hillcrest only at the intersections. Heavy trucks and confused drivers make this a dangerous street for pedestrians. Please use extreme caution. Work continues - a full write up was in the previous enews.

Preston Green Park pedestrian bridge update - concrete pouring and construction continues. A new consultant for the park makeover is being hired. Please make sure your children stay away from the construction site. It is dangerous and unfortunately, DART has left several panels of fencing open and accessible. The city has asked them to address this. Funding from tree mitigation on Coit will be used in the park to replace trees DART has removed.

Davenport (North-South) update - The roadwork will not begin while Campbell Road is under construction. Betterment and mitigation walls are being erected in this area. The city is trying to acquire the property on the northwest corner to convert into a trailhead for the Cotton Belt trail. This will reduce the parking at Preston Green Park and provide a convenient place for residents to join the trail.

Campbell update - NEW: the permit for DART to begin work at has been issued effective 1/30/23 through 7/6/23. Two lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction during rush hours, but only one lane each direction from 9am - 3 pm. Work has begun - a full write up was in the previous enews.

Davenport (East-West) update - The roadwork will not begin while Campbell Road is under construction. Betterment and mitigation walls are being erected in this area.


Operation Kindness has opened in the Petsmart at Coit and Campbell, formerly occupied by Dallas Animal Services (DAS). In an effort to streamline the operation, DAS moved all staff to the main location and Operation Kindness is providing adoption services for dogs and cats. You may find there are more smaller dogs and puppies than previously available. All were 100% adorable! Operation Kindness is the strongest partner agency to DAS and has recently partnered with Dallas Police Department to provide services for animal cruelty cases and necropsy services as needed. Here is the video of the ribbon cutting and some words from Operation Kindness CEO, Ed Jamison. https://www.facebook.com/reel/586028683422273


The recent strong winds remind all of us why it is so important to keep our trees trimmed and away from power lines. Oncor will be doing regular tree trimming along the power lines in the locations below. Please drive slowly and carefully around the workers in trucks and remember that it is Oncor's right to trim your trees if they could harm the lines. Oncor should put a doorhanger on your home prior to starting work. Areas they will be working to prune in D12 include:

Campbell Rd & Coit Rd

Meandering Way & La Manga Dr

Arapaho & Preston

Beltline & Preston

McCallum Blvd & Meandering Way

Queens Garden Dr & Meandering Way

La Manga Dr. & Meadow Creek Dr

Brentfield & Amberwood Rd

La Manga Dr & Hillcrest


Like other government jurisdictions, every 10 years the city of Dallas redistricts to balance population and ensure equal representation. District 12 will be changing by losing some parts of neighborhoods and gaining other neighborhoods. Overall, District 12 will go from a population size of approximately 97,000 to 94,000 people. The new areas are invited to a special District 12 meeting on March 28th at Renner Frankford Library. We'll have refreshments and do a quick question answer session to welcome you! The new map goes into affect May 6th. Ballots for the May 6th election, including early voting, will have the new boundaries in affect.

Some neighborhoods will be split and have two councilmembers. I will miss working with the residents moving to District 11, but feel certain I will still see you at the park, grocery store, and community events.


The City of Dallas has been talking about regulations for Short Term Rentals since 2019. The issue was taken up by a committee called Quality of Life (I am not part of that committee) and it has languished there for years, with various task forces and without resolution for the full council to vote on. Last year, the item was brought to the full council for a briefing, and then sent to the plan commission, as required by state law. The plan commission has made its recommendation to define short term rentals as a lodging use. Still, the item has not come to the full council for a vote.

Several councilmembers have requested the item be briefed again to the full council and put to a vote the following week.

There is a political timing to this issue, as the councilmembers are split, and some may vote one way before the upcoming election, and another way after the election. If you feel strongly about this issue, you should let your councilmember know. If you have friends in other parts of town, you may want to ask them to do the same. Arlington and Fort Worth have already passed strong regulations and Plano is set to consider the same next month. If Dallas allows short term rentals, we'll be the party city of the area. Specifically in Far North Dallas, we don't have the code compliance, parking enforcement, and police officers to address the nuisance issues and a return of housing units in the market would be welcome. If this passes, homes will still be able to rent a room or the whole house for 30+ days at a time.


It was an honor to participate as the Honorary Chairman for the Women U-Night Event hosted by 24Dallas on International Women's Day. The goal of the event was to focus on women's safety, especially at night. There was a fantastic panel discussion and opportunity to mix and mingle with folks who are committed to this issue. Thank you to Mayor Johnson for issuing a proclamation for the event and supporting women's safety.


District 12 Senior Affairs Commissioner Beth Mond has some handy information about transportation services available for seniors:

DART PARATRANSIT – If your disability prevents you from using fixed route services. This is a door-to-door service which services all 13 member cities at a cost of $3.00 per ride. Dart follows the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 to determine eligibility. Contact customer relations 214-828-6736

DART RIDES PROGRAM – Dart handles enrollment and oversight of this program but partners with companies such as Uber and Lyft for riders not requiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Anyone 65+ or persons with disabilities are eligible. Riders pay 25% of the trip costs until they spend $50 out-of- pocket in a calendar month, at which point they will have to pay 100% of the trip cost. The subsidy resets on the 1st day of each calendar month. For example, if the cost for an unsubsidized 5 mile trip for 10 minutes is $14.14, the subsidized rate is $3.54. Customers pay for their rides by either mailing a check or money order to Dart in advance or by leaving a credit or debit card on file. To schedule rides, customers can either call, go online or use a smartphone app. There are two ways to apply to the program: Either call 214-828-6717 or apply online www.dart.org/rides

MY RIDE DALLAS – Free source of information for personalized transportation planning; however, they do not book rides for you. Find their Ride Guide on their web site www.myridedallas.org or request a hard copy. For personalized help planning a trip or filling out applications, call 972-855-8084


Reduce your water bill and save our precious resource. Register at www.SaveDallasWater.com or (214) 670-3155.




Dallas Crime Analytics Dashboard

Dallas Fire Rescue Dashboard

Dallas Open Data Portal

Dallas Census Datahub

Office of Homeless Solutions Dashboard

Forward Dallas Land Use Map

Dallas Public Zoning Map

COVID 19 Response Funding Dashboard

Pavement Condition Map

Councilmember Mendelsohn's Appointments by Mayor Johnson:

*Government Performance and Financial Management Committee (Chairman)

*Ad Hoc Committee on General Investigations and Ethics (Chairman)

*Public Safety Committee (Vice Chairman)

*Housing and Homeless Solutions Committee

*Transportation Committee

*Ad Hoc Committee on Legislative Affairs

*Regional Transportation Council Member (Primary Member)

*North Central Texas Council of Governments Executive Committee

Need help, got a question, or want to give input?

Email: Cara.Mendelsohn@DallasCityHall.com
Office phone: (214) 670-4067
Text phone: (214) 490-1036