Taking it to the Streets | Classic Schlock | Roadkill

"taking it to the streets," by kimberly thorpe, June 4


Living downtown would be much more attractive if the 65 percent to 80 percent of mixmaster traffic could be eliminated that originates from outside Dallas for destinations the other side of Dallas. Such traffic should use the loops around Dallas. Technology to help such diversion of traffic to happen more easily is available.

I have lived downtown for 3 1/2 years. I've been encouraged by some movement in the right direction, but overall, downtown Dallas has a very long way to go before it will be what we want it to be. A recent trip to New York City cemented this in my mind. It's going to take groundbreaking shifts in thought for our downtown to achieve the street life we want. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be around to see it; I'm jumping ship and heading to Manhattan in a few years.

Courtney from Dallas, via

If mixmaster traffic can be cut in half, then living downtown would be even more attractive! Pollution and noise would be less. The alleged need for our Trinity River park to have a noisy toll road going through the floodway would be eliminated.

We need to continue to make life downtown more attractive. Cattle trucks driving from Florida to the Texas Panhandle through the mixmaster do not make living downtown more attractive.

Bill Betzen from Dallas, via

I love hot dog carts! I recommend adding carts to Lower Greenville for feeding time for the lovely bar clients. The hot dog guy in Austin who set his up by his favorite bars does nicely. Just beware of the crazy dude with his camera and his pepper spray and his racist rants.

Tex from Dallas, via

Good article. And not to be dismissive, but no analysis of downtown ever mentions the underground tunnels, and I feel it is a key element. Downtown will always look like a ghost town (at least during the day) so long as all the business people are under the city like moles. I think most people don't realize how much commerce goes on under the city or how far those tunnels extend.

Mark, via

"Classic Schlock," by Ben Westhoff, May 21

Rock Stars Wanted

I just read your article, "Classic Schlock." I have to disagree with your stance. Now before you think I am an Oldie Olderson defending my generation's music, I must tell you that I am 29. While I enjoy some of the artists you seem to champion (My Morning Jacket, etc.), I would have to take Van Halen over them any day of the week. To me, the most obvious thing missing from most of these new artists is FUN.

I think there are several downsides to dismissing what has come to be known as classic rock. For one, those bands seem to have a reverence and respect for the artists that paved the way for them. When I hear TV on the Radio, I don't hear any musical influences. I hear art and fashion and frankly, little musicianship. I am not a big fan of Rush or Queen, but those guys can play circles around today's bands. And I have respect for that. I also think today's bands are nameless and faceless. I don't know anyone who can name a single member of Death Cab for Cutie or pick their faces out of a lineup. But I bet you half the population can name all the members of The Who or Mötley Crüe.

I do somewhat agree with your point about listeners being lazy, though. However, I think the listeners get lazy when they stop purchasing the new CDs by the classic artists. Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the most consistently popular bands that tours and plays large venues every year. But when they put out a new CD, it barely sells. It's not because it's bad, it's because people just want to hear the stuff they already know. And today's bands are missing another element I enjoy about the classic bands: They just don't seem like rock stars. I actually saw Death Cab last year; they look just like my next-door neighbors. And nerdy ones at that. I don't want bands I go see to look like me. I want to go see a band that wears its rock star lifestyle on its sleeve. The best rock music was always about having fun and being rebellious.

Mike Lowrey, via e-mail

"Scene Stealers," by Pete Freedman, June 4

Pest Control

In your article you use the phrase "pesky neighborhood association" with so much derision I can almost hear you spit the words out to the sidewalk.

Yes, the city needs a cultural center and a music center and a skateboard center and a place for free whatever. Just do me a favor and stop whining about how those pesky neighborhood associations are screwing you over.

We live here, and if collectively we decide that bogus event permits, large crowds, heavy traffic and trashed-out streets are what we really want to live in, as well as give up our parking spaces for your friends, we'll let you know.

Just don't hold your breath that it will happen too soon.

Avi Adelman from Dallas, via

Dear Avi Adelman: I also live in this part of town, and I do think your neighborhood association is pesky!

Guess what? People post-college are no longer moving to the 'burbs. They are moving to more urban and more population-dense places. Guess where that is at in Dallas? It's the Lower Greenville area! Guess what young people want? Art, culture, music and friendly people!

So be mindful of the rules and politics you play with OUR neighborhood with your neighborhood association. The young outnumber you, and if we choose, we can take over your association.

Bleh from Dallas, via

It's apparent between the boot and Freedman's recap of recent events that the city thinks we're all best off indoors. The city budget sucks, and we have $$ for the police to chase all these rabble-rousers out for not celebrating in an approved locale like a Victory Park. I guess that makes sense since the city gets a cut when the fines roll in.

I'm happy [Angela] Hunt had a good vacation in the Pacific Northwest, but just look at Austin or Houston. Are they having this problem? Does their budget really impact the issue?

As far as Avi goes, here's some derision. Just picture him waving that Taser around listening to some Ultramagnetic MCs to get his adrenaline going before he's off to film COPS Greenville. Just don't get in his shot—he's an auteur.

Doug in DFW, via

"Roadkill," by Jim Schutze, June 4

Road to nowhere

This is the craziest battle I have ever witnessed in my life—even since 1998, when I first saw the drawings for the toll road inside the levees. I could not believe Laura Miller was so dumb. You don't need to be an engineer to know it was a disaster waiting to happen.

Maybe there is some good to all of this after all. By the time the project dies, it will be several years. Maybe by then our citizens will support mass transit and densification as an alternative for our city core.

Juan Valdez from Dallas, via

All your comments about putting a toll road in a floodway apply to putting a park there, also. Any features taller than a running track would collect snags and impede the flow of flood water and probably cannot be tolerated. No trees, no gazebos, no footbridges, nada. Since there is little financial constituency for it, look for the city to cancel plans for any park as the flood control study advances.

Instead of being the man who bankrupts Dallas, Leppert could be the man who saves Dallas from flooding. But first he must face reality. If lives and property were not at stake, one could almost feel sorry for him. Mayors Kirk and Miller got this tar baby rolling (somehow not perceiving that it was a tar baby), and Leppert's backers thought they could install him as mayor to send the gravy train their way. A simple assignment for a hard-working former CEO. But reality cannot be ignored forever.

By the way, what about Laura Miller? She seemed pretty clear-headed about the nascent Trinity fiasco when she was a reporter. Is it possible that as mayor she was suckered by the same pretty but meaningless advertising brochures that suckered a majority of voters? Tsk, tsk. The first rule of PR is never fall for your own PR.

Richard Schumacher, via

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