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  • Jim Barnes

May 4th Bond Election -- Proposition C

Example of gabion solidification


Proposition “C” on the May 4th City of Dallas Special Election asks voters to approve $52.1 million for “flood protection and storm drainage improvements”. Anyone who cares about preserving Coombes Creek as a naturalistic greenbelt through our neighborhood should also care about the details of Proposition “C”.

About $1.6 million will insert 395 linear feet of new streambed “erosion stabilization” along Coombes Creek (lining the walls of the channel with rock-filled gabions or other paving).  A further $552,000 will fund a study of watershed drainage (predicting flow rates during future floods).


Like many urban waterways, Coombes Creek suffers from slow, persistent erosion, cutting downward into the floor of the streambed at a rate of approximately 1 inch per year – the sides of the creek then sliding into the streambed, along with mature trees and other vegetation.  During periods of stormwater run-off the brownish color of the creek’s water is a sign of soil erosion.


Dallas has been trying to stop this erosion by paving the streambed since the early 1970s – it has never worked.  As it has failed in the past, we should expect that it will fail in the future.  Solidifying segments of the streambed do not lessen the erosive force of sudden stormwater surges rushing down the creek – destructive energy is just bounced to the next weakest embankment.  


Watershed experts and some other municipalities have recognized that this type of streambed solidification is not effective at stopping erosion of their streams.  New, more effective and often less expensive “green” stormwater management strategies are being implemented by some of these municipalities.  Unfortunately, no such “green” drainage plans are being proposed for Coombes Creek in Proposition “C” of the 2024 Bond Program.


In 2020 a Coombs Creek Citizen Task Force met at City Hall to discuss various aspects of the Creek’s future.  In response to new rock gabion streambed solidification then being added near Kessler Parkway, the Task Force signed a “Position Statement” – objecting to the piecemeal streambed solidification of the Creek by such streambed paving – requesting a formal study of the causes of erosion to be prepared, and for a series of public meetings to discuss Coombes Creek erosion and possible long-term solutions.  At the beginning of the 2024 Bond Initiative, that 2020 “Position Statement” letter was again brought forward -- asking that the 2024 Bond program include funds for such a formal erosion diagnosis and for community presentations to discuss long-term options for saving the Creek as a naturalistic greenbelt.  The pleas to save Coombes Creek are being ignored.  The Creek is being ruined by the antiquated, ineffective, and expensive engineering efforts by the City of Dallas. 


Please stop it!


Jim Barnes

2006 Atlantic Street

 Dallas, Texas 75208

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