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Live from City Hall: Complete Streets, Bike Plans & Better Blocks. An Unfair Park Best-Of!

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Welcome to City Hall, where nothing seems to have changed too drastically since Mayor Dwaine Caraway took the reins over the weekend.

Any doubts you might have had should be assuaged by item number one on this afternoon's agenda at the Transportation and Environment Committee briefing, where, as Robert told you earlier, the city's picked a cast of the usual suspects will be heading up the Complete Streets Initiative.

Peer Chacko is running through that briefing now, even as Jason Roberts and Andrew Howard wait in the wings to run through the bike plan, speaking in big, sweeping terms about what Complete Streets will mean to the city.

"We are really trying to make a huge shift in the way we do design in the City of Dallas," he says, saying it'll take a "big institutional shift" in the way we think about planning and transportation. He says they're working with a budget of $795,000 for the plan, and says they've put together "a dream team" for the initiative, led by Kimley-Horne. Chacko says the consultant team's also going to include "local sub-contractors" to test "Better Block-style" initiatives.

It's a "three-piece project," Chacko says -- a long-term vision, a design manual and ("last but not least"!) an implementation plan. Chacko says there'll be some "demonstration projects" that get done first, to get us all psyched up about the change coming to town, including a bunch more Better Block projects, of which he says he's a fan.

There's a simple timeline he's got on the board now: project launch next month, project completion in March 2012. Now it's to the council to have their say -- join me in the comments to hear more.

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