For Four Days This Month, Knox Will Become Dallas' First "Complete Street"

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In June, the city of Dallas unveiled its Complete Streets Design Manual, a rather dense set of guidelines for the city as it dabbles with the idea of building certain roadways less as places that cars blow through en route from Point A to Point B and more as boulevards that are at least as accommodating to bikers, pedestrians and public transit users. The hoped-for result is increased activity, some street-level development, and an overall improved quality of life.Think small-town Main Street, circa 1940.

As Wilonsky noted last month, early plans have been scaled back considerably for budget reasons, from 15 pilot projects down to just one. That one is a stretch of Knox Street from the Katy Trail to Central Expressway, and it's happening soon. Sort of.

The city sent word today that, between September 27 and 30, it will "conduct a temporary Complete Street demonstration" on Knox between the Katy Trail and McKinney Avenue. I have a call in to Peer Chacko, the city's assistant director of sustainable development and construction, to figure out how he will go about creating a temporary Complete Street, but for know just know that the "public is encouraged to experience this as a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian and provide input to the City," per the city's release.

Also on September 27 is an open house at City Hall to give people a chance to look at and comment on the city's Complete Streets plan and conceptual designs for the four projects -- W. Davis between Beckley and Hampton, Grand Avenue from Robert B. Cullum to Good-Latimer, Meadowcreek Drive from Arapaho to Campbelll, and Knox Street -- included in the 2012 bond package.

Update at 5:10 p.m.: Chacko called me back and informed me that there are now a dozen Complete Streets funded as part of the 2012 bond package, as council members have lobbied to have them included. They are, in addition to the ones above: Henderson, from Central to Ross; Bishop Street, between Davis and Colorado; Greenville between Belmont and Ross; a stretch of Jefferson; a portion of Lamar, Main Street in Deep Ellum; Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Fair Park; and Cedar Springs north of Oak Lawn. Alpha Road between Valley View and the Galleria will also become a Complete Street but using money from a previous bond package.

As for the Knox demonstration project, it will mostly be done with tape. The city will shift the configuration of car lanes and change parking from head-on to angled to make room for buffered bike lanes, which will be partially marked by physical barriers. The demonstration includes both weekdays and weekends, so city staff will get an idea of how it performs in both circumstances. Mainly, they just want to see how it works in practice, Chacko said.

"Some of these changes can be pretty significant."

Update on Sept. 11: Below is Good Fulton & Farrell's video rendering of what a "Complete" Knox Street might look like:

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