On Tuesday we got a couple of sneak peeks at the Lower Greenville of the future -- meaning, the end of next year, all things go according to plan. Late yesterday, council member Angela Hunt, who's spearheading the streetscaping with Pauline Medrano, posted to her blog a recap of this week's press conference and offered a few addenda -- one involving Madison Partners' plans to plant a mobile-food court on the site of the late, great Arcadia Theater.
I've gotten a couple of questions about these plans for Lower Greenville that I wanted to address. First, there was some confusion about the city's involvement in Madison's project. Madison's project is an entirely private investment with no city subsidy.
Second, some folks had wondered if we could get rid of the overhead powerlines on the east side of the street. We would love to! The powerlines are visual clutter and impede the sidewalks. BUT, it's very expensive to bury powerlines -- it'd cost $5 million to do so from Belmont to Bryan, and perhaps a third of that to do the two blocks that will be done next year. At this point we don't have the funds. However, we're trying to figure out a way to do this and I'll keep everyone updated on our progress.
Update at 8:51 a.m.: Over on the Better Block website this morning, there's an item about Hunt and Medrano's plan -- and how, according to former Dallas City Manager Ted Benavides, it's very reminiscent of long-ago plans to one-way Greenville and Matilda from Mockingbird to Ross in order to alleviate congestion due to Central Expressway construction.
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When this "solution" was revealed to the neighborhood the reaction as you guessed was negative. So negative that the neighborhood demanded the Collector designation be removed from Greenville and the city stay out of their affairs. As a local streets, Greenville has missed out on funding opportunities for improvements and local maintenance has been sparse. Angela Hunt is focused on making Greenville back into a main street and she is doing it with local support. You might even say she is following her constituents. Directing precious city funds towards projects that will have an immediate community and economic impact is exactly what this city needs. That and food trailers!