A Visionary Plan for the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, Decades Ahead of Its Time.
A fascinating and very rare map of a proposed 8-lane highway between Dallas and Fort Worth, intended for construction before 1936.
The map section, which shows a view of the region between Dallas and Fort Worth being overflown by a Ford trimotor airplane, was drawn by C.K. Chambers of Southwestern Engraving Co., Fort Worth. It was lithographed by Utter & Evans, also of Fort Worth. The driving force behind the proposal seems to have been W.F. White, Chairman Highway Committee, of Fort Worth.
The map refers to the proposal being completed for the 1936 Centennial, presumably indicating that the broadside was printed years beforehand.
The bird's eye view map represents a concatenation of two nascent 20th-century transportation technologies; the multi-lane highway and commercial air travel. The proposed highway was ahead of its time, and a true Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike was not constructed until 1955-57.
Those behind the proposal deserve substantial credit for foreseeing the importance of large freeways to the metropolitan region, as elaborated in the broadside's essay:
THIS magnificent 200-foot boulevard will supply a great impetus to a beautiful suburban section and result in continuous development between the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas, all along the route. It will greatly increase motor traffic between these two cities and will make travel safe and pleasant, while it will shorten the distance by about 2 miles and the driving time by at least 20 minutes.
The "Airline" Boulevard will leave and enter the business centers of each city and under the present plan there will be no grade crossings.
Not only will this splendid boulevard bring about more neighborly relations between the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas on account of the fact that it will unite their interests in many important developments and enterprises, but it will be the means of bringing great industries and enterprises of all kinds to the territory traversed. There have been important and state-wide institutions, which these two cities have missed, but which this new boulevard
would undoubtedly have secured. The "Airline" Boulevard should be the means of bringing the 1936 Centennial to some
point between Fort Worth and Dallas and the final establishment of the State Fair Grounds between these two cities. There are really no limits to the possibilities for important growth and development all along the route when both cities work together for the same object. The "Airline" Boulevard will soon convert the territory between Fort Worth and Dallas into one splendid, continuous, highly developed section adding large taxable values to both counties.
The territory contiguous to the highway should be zoned and restricted as to the kind of improvements permitted and, according to the plans as now being formulated will present a magnificent scenic attraction from city to city.
The following figures which were made by actual count on East Front Street, which is the most heavily traveled street in the State of Texas, will quickly reveal the immense importance and the drastic need for a new direct artery between Fort Worth and Dallas. 25,367 automobiles and trucks were checked through the East Front Street underpass in 12 hours.
1,068 street cars and interurbans leave and enter Fort Worth every 12 hours via East Front Street. In one hour, between 5:15 and 6:15 p. m. 3,352 automobiles and trucks were checked.
The completion of the new "Airline" Boulevard would not only relieve this tremendous traffic congestion, but make driving between Fort Worth and Dallas a genuine pleasure instead of a dreaded necessity.
Not in OCLC. We locate examples at the University of Texas, Arlington; and Tarrant County Archives.