Dallas’ gayborhood will soon get a makeover. For decades, the strip on Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs has served as a bar district and nightlife destination for Dallas’ LGBTQ+ community. Changes are underway to make the gayborhood safer.
Work will be done on the sidewalks to make them more compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines, which will allow LGBTQ+ people with disabilities more ease of access.
“We will see a new traffic light at the intersection of Knight and Cedar Springs, where we have seen several accidents occurring,” says John Anderson, who serves as the safety, security and services subcommittee chair on Dallas’ LGBT Task Force. “There will be new bump-outs at several side streets so that the distance pedestrians have to walk to cross streets is less and safety is increased.”
Apart from the safer sidewalks, the four crosswalks at Throckmorton and Cedar Springs, along with various crosswalks along Cedar Springs from Douglas to Oak Lawn, will be painted rainbow colors.
“[The rainbow colors] will be a special plastic that is applied by heat, which will last for several years,” Anderson says. “They will be like the one installed in West Village.”
New gateways, based on concepts developed by Anderson and Brian Taylor, identity and beautification subcommittee chair of Dallas’ LGBT Task Force, will bind the strip, indicating an overall safe space within the district. The gateways will be multicolored, modern signs, with one placed at Douglas and the other in the middle of Oak Lawn, between the Legacy of Love monument and the Centrum.
Anderson hopes the new-and-improved gayborhood will cultivate a sense of belonging for members of Dallas’ LGBTQ+ community.
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“One thing about safety is having a place to call home and a safe space to be yourself,” Anderson says. “A lot of these identity changes do add quality of life in today’s climate.”
The gayborhood will also pay tribute to the Stonewall Riots, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, as well as Marsha P. Johnson and the trans women of color who led the Stonewall Riots, in the form of murals. The murals are set to be completed in June in time for Dallas Pride.
The design for the revamped gayborhood is slated for completion at the end of the month. It will then go to bid and to a vote. The renovations are expected to commence in September and are projected to take place over the course of nine months.