Jason Roberts Cracks Open Dallas Development Code, Finds Obstacles To Pleasant Street Life

Joel Kotkin Jason Roberts is an effective urban advocate because he works in images: ‘I like cities that look and feel like this, and Dallas doesn’t. Why?’ It’s that “why,” like a four-year old pestering his or her parents to explain the world, that is so effective and annoying to the bureaucratic status quo. Today on Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, Roberts cracks open the Dallas Development Code and finds that many of the street pleasures enjoyed in other cities are either forbidden in Dallas, like fruit stands, or levied with huge fees ($1,000 per awning, canopy, café table, or flower stand). Why?

This is all a lead-up, of course, to Roberts’ urban performance piece this coming weekend, “The Better Block Project,” in which a stretch of Tyler Street will be transformed into the kind of place we would like our city to look like, this time asking, “if only. . .”

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