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Dallas, Where the Streets Have No "Balance"

That illustration up top? Used to have one of those hanging in my office, back before our then-publisher moved us out of downtown four years ago, thanks so much. It was done by the folks at RTKL Associates on Pacific Avenue and is included in their brochure on urban planning titled Great Places Need to Be Planned on Page 30, where it talks about the need for a Dallas Main Street District. As in:

RTKL's plan calls for a unifying merchandising plan, combining the lower floors of a ten-block area into a coherent retail diagram complete with anchoring strategy, parking rationale and public space amenities. The plan also makes sense of several existing and proposed mass transit components, calling for an additional modern streetcar connecting the adjacent Deep Ellum and West End districts along Main Street. Completing the vision is a design strategy for graphic design features and streetscape improvements that celebrate a classic downtown lifestyle.

That illustration, which has to be five, six years old by now at least, resurfaces in a briefing RTKL's Erich Dohrer and Tom Brink are giving tomorrow to the city council's Transporation and Environment Committees. This presentation is titled, simply, Great Streets -- and the twosome write, for the purposes of a 66-page PowerPoint presentation to be fleshed out tomorrow at 2 p.m. at City Hall, that "the Great Streets concept is a strategy for rebalancing the street. Addressing the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, transit users...and the automobile..." I've left messages for Dohrer and Brink to get a sneak peek at their presentation tomorrow, during which they will no doubt say that Dallas doesn't have, um, great streets.

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