Confession: I don’t know with certainty that tearing down Interstate 345 is a good idea. I realize I work for a magazine that recently centered an entire issue on the transformative power of removing that highway/barrier from the east side of downtown Dallas, and I believe our articles and blog posts here on FrontBurner have made a strong case for the possibility. However, I’m also overwhelmed by how much I do not know about the workings of transportation networks or the typical interactions of urban environments.
I’m no expert, but I am an interested party with an inclination towards considering every option with as much rigor as possible before making any decision. So when the immediate response of so many opponents of the removal of I-345 was to dismiss the idea out of hand and paint its proponents as naive, or self-interested racists, my sympathies shifted strongly toward the New Dallas camp. Let’s at least thoroughly study the damn thing, right?
My personal ignorance when it comes to matters of urbanism makes me grateful that Dallas has someone like Patrick Kennedy pushing it — however reluctantly — toward new modes of thinking about how to shape this city. Patrick’s blog, first known as Car-Free in Big D and then Walkable DFW, has been an invaluable conversation starter that we’ve referenced and linked to countless times on FrontBurner. He briefly wrote a monthly column in the ink-on-paper version of D, but today he joins us in an even more significant role.
We’re pleased to announce the launch of our newest online community, StreetSmart. Walkable DFW has been adopted into the DMagazine.com family, and the renaming signifies an expansion of its mission. StreetSmart will focus on intelligent — and occasionally irreverent — urban planning, with discussion of the important housing, neighborhood, and transportation issues and decisions taking place in Dallas-Fort Worth.
While Walkable DFW has pretty much been a one-man show, StreetSmart will feature a new slate of contributors — as well as posts by some of our own D Empire employees. Patrick remains the primary editor of StreetSmart and will publish his customary insights, research, and commentary.
D Magazine has a long history of driving debates on how to make this great city even better. We’re pleased to open this new channel on our website and look forward to seeing the vital, intelligent discussions that StreetSmart’s contributors and readers will engage in there.
As Patrick puts it:
“People care about their homes, their neighborhoods, their city. Infrastructure networks are integral to creating great places, when done right. Or, they can—and do—undermine growth, opportunity, quality of place, and vitality,” he said. “The aim of this website is to explore why some places succeed and some fail as we try to build a 21st-century Dallas that provides choice in high-quality neighborhoods and transportation for all.”
Today’s launch doesn’t mean the end of the discussion of transportation and urbanism issues on FrontBurner. It just gives us another place to dive deeper into the subject. We’re excited. Enjoy.