Calculating Deck Park's Return on Investment (And, Bonus, a Road Trip Through Texas)

Whenever we bring up the Woodall Rodgers Deck Park, as we did yesterday, it sparks quite the contentious debate amongst those who think it the proverbial game-changer and those who think it nothing short of folly doomed inevitably to failure. Which is where Patrick "Car-Free" Kennedy comes in with his sort-of sequel to yesterday's post -- especially the part where Linda Owen, the park foundation's president, tells USA Today that building this deck park out of thin air is "essentially like creating oceanfront property. It's an economic engine."

Patrick thinks that an "outlandish claim," but criticisms are constructive. He's an urban designer; he wants it to work. He makes many points and raises myriad questions; those fer and agin the deck park should take a look. Not to spoil anything, but toward the end of his piece he writes:

Think about this: how do you walk from the Ritz to the American Airlines Center?

Possible answers:

  • Are you crazy?
  • Walk? /quizzical look
  • I just drive or cab
  • Umm, I have no idea

The distance is little more than a 1/4 mile, but perceptually it might as well be miles away. All of these roads (Field, Akard, Cedar Springs, etc.) deliver traffic to other parts of the Metroplex but function as barriers to connectivity locally. If great cities are built on a foundation of great neighborhoods, wrecking areas for the sake of others further out is anti-city.

It's a good read with which to begin your Friday. So too, on a vaguely related note, is Jim Atkinson's piece for the Sunday New York Times Travel section about a stretch of road I think we can all get behind: U.S. 281, especially the 300 miles from Glen Rose to San Antonio. Writes the frequent traveler up and down that stretch, "It invariably delivers those three staples of great road tripping: revisiting a favorite old haunt, seeing something you've been meaning to see for years and discovering something new." And now you've got your weekend plans.

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