You Know What You Want Downtown. But What About What the Stakeholders Want?

This afternoon at 2, the council's Economic Development Committee will finally get around to discussing the need for a downtown parking study that will supplement the Downtown Dallas 360 plan due to the council by summer's end. (The committee never got around to it last week, after bogging down on the subject of small business loans in South Dallas.) Which reminds me: Patrick Kennedy has boiled down MIG's 187-page January presentation to downtown stakeholders into this summation posted yesterday.

Long story short: He remains unimpressed: "off-the-shelf urban planning 101 boilerplate," nothing terribly Dallas-specific. Far as Kennedy's concerned, the planners ought to be thinking bigger -- like retrofitting for retail, for starters. Which reminds me: Look into whatever became of "Main Street District FOCUS Retail Initiative."

But perhaps more interesting than MIG's presentation are MIG's notes from its late January meetings with everyone from city and DART officials to residential developers and corporate tenants. That, more than the January presentation, gives you an idea what downtown denizens want and are thinking about. Such as, when it comes to transportation downtown, they want: "a long range streetcar network, representing desire lines for connecting downtown to surrounding neighborhoods within a 3 mile radius." They identified as the top two "Catalytic Sites/Projects" the Statler Hilton and the old Dallas High School/Crozier Tech. And then they said: How about putting athletic courts and skate ramps beneath highway overpasses? And how about jitneys and pedi-cabs? And how about we make biking a "viable commuting option"? And then and then and then.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky