A study will be launched around August to plan renovations to the “Gateway” intersection of LBJ, Skillman and Audelia. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and the City of Dallas are looking to streamline the street network, increase “multimodal” transportation options, and revitalize the surrounding neighborhood.

This means biking, walking, driving and using transit will hopefully be easier after renovations to highways, roads, sidewalks and signal lights, according to NCTCOG senior transportation planner Patrick Mandapaka. Since this may be a long-term fix, in the meantime NCTCOG and the city will also focus on developing nearby vacant lots. According to David Schleg, senior planner in the city’s Strategic Planning department, this could include communicating with private owners of nearby unoccupied property about future plans for land use. If realigning the roads frees up public land, the planners would also then have to decide what to do with it.

The project has been in the works since before August 2009, when it was selected for a sustainable development grant from NCTCOG. The $125,000 study, which will last about a year, is funded 80 percent by the grant and 20 percent by the Skillman Corridor Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District in the city’s Economic Development department.

Once the study is completed, the city would be expected to foot the bill for a redesigned Skillman-LBJ, and Schleg mentioned the possibility of public-private partnerships. In an initial “needs assessment” for the 2012 City of Dallas bond proposal, $4.8 million was requested for the LBJ-Skillman Gateway project. In City Manager Mary Suhm’s recent recommendations, roughly $1.7 million would be earmarked for the LBJ-Skillman interchange.

If you missed the District 10 bond proposal town hall meeting Monday night at the LH Rec Center, other meetings are scheduled this month.