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  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 39« Previous | Next »


an attractively landscaped triangle of 3 acres. (See Commission Exhibit No. 876, p. 33.) From Houston Street, which forms the base of the triangle, three streets--Commerce, Main, and Elm--trisect the plaza, converging at the apex of the triangle to form a triple underpass beneath a multiple railroad bridge almost 500 feet from Houston Street.48 Elm Street, the northernmost of the three, after intersecting Houston curves in a southwesterly arc through the underpass and leads into an access road, which branches off to the right and is used by traffic going to the Stemmons Freeway and the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 2113-2116, pp. 34-37.)

The Elm Street approach to the Stemmons Freeway is necessary in order to avoid the traffic hazards which would otherwise exist if right turns were permitted from both Main and Elm into the freeway. To create this traffic pattern, a concrete barrier between Main and Elm Streets presents an obstacle to a right turn from Main across Elm to the access road to Stemmons Freeway and the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike. This concrete barrier extends far enough beyond the access road to make it impracticable for vehicles to turn right from Main directly to the access road. A sign located on this barrier instructs Main Street traffic not to make any turns.45 (See Commission Exhibits Nos. 2114-2116, pp. 35-37.) In conformity with these arrangements, traffic proceeding west on Main is directed to turn right at Houston in order to reach the Dallas-Fort Worth Turnpike, which has the same access road from Elm Street as does the Stemmons Freeway.46 (See Commission Exhibit No. 2967, p. 38.)

The planning for the motorcade also included advance preparations for security arrangements along the route. Sorrels and Lawson reviewed the route in cooperation with Assistant Chief Bachelor and other Dallas police officials who took notes on the requirements for controlling the crowds and traffic, watching the overpasses, and providing motorcycle escort.47 To control traffic, arrangements were made for the deployment of foot patrolmen and motorcycle police at various positions along the route.48 Police were assigned to each overpass on the route and instructed to keep them clear of unauthorized persons. No arrangements were made for police or building custodians to inspect buildings along the motorcade route since the Secret Service did not normally request or make such a check? Under standard procedures, the responsibility for watching the windows of buildings was shared by local police stationed along the route and Secret Service agents riding in the motorcade.51

As the date for the President's visit approached, the two Dallas newspapers carried several reports of his motorcade route. The selection of the Trade Mart as the possible site for the luncheon first appeared in the Dallas Times-Herald on November 15, 1963. The following day, the newspaper reported that the Presidential party "apparently will loop through the downtown area, probably on Main Street, en route from Dallas Love Field" on its way to the Trade

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