A Reader Responds to Our Special Urbanism Issue

Not sure we can call this one a "win."

By now you’ve probably seen some of the content from our just-published special issue titled “Dallas and the New Urbanism.” We’ve been rolling it out online for a week or so. You can check it out here. And if this is the sort of thing that gets your juices flowing, consider attending our symposium on July 11 at the Dallas Museum of Art.

OK, that said, I wanted to share with you a letter we got from a reader. This arrived yesterday and was written on actual paper. My annotations are in italics, inside brackets.

Congratulations on your special edition of D Magazine. [So far so good. Sounds like we’ve got a fan.] A well-written and presented piece. [Yes!] Sadly I do not agree with your ideas of making four-lane streets into two-lane streets. [Dangit! At least, though, it sounds like we’ve got a civil exchange here. So, tell us, why do you disagree?] Slowing traffic doesn’t make it go away but just increases air pollution. People still need to get from point A to point B, and bikes won’t do it for most people. Mockingbird and Lovers Lane through the Park Cities are good examples of two-lane congestion.

[Fair enough. But we argued that calming traffic can enliven a commercial district. Turn those other lanes into front-in diagonal parking or protected bike lanes. Roads designed to move cars quickly kill city blocks. That was our point. We weren’t talking about residential areas like Mockingbird. And, by the way, do you think those residents along Mockingbird would prefer a faster, four-lane road? I think not.]

I do feel that at least this special edition had some relevance, unlike most of the regular editions that you put out. [See? That hurts.] I receive your magazine for free and I have tried to get your publisher to stop sending it to me. I really don’t want the _____ thing in my mailbox and then recycle bin. Is there any way you can tell someone to take my name off your mailing list?

[The blank underscore was his work, by the way. So he likes our special urbanism issue, even though he disagrees with it. But he hates regular D Magazine. Hard to call this guy a fan. We don’t make a practice of sending free magazines to people, as that can’t legally be counted in our circulation numbers. Though we do maintain a small comp list for certain people. Like my mom, for example. I’m not sure how this fellow made his way onto that list, but he has been removed.]


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  • Longest unsubscribe ever.

    It was like the magazine version of The Aristocrats.

  • Monica R

    I have been really enjoying the urbanism articles. They are on point and I’ve enthusiastically shared it on several platforms including LinkedIn. There has been a lot of positive feedback! Auto-centric development was an American experiment, and we’re now realizing it doesn’t work. Keep up the good work! Paradigm shifts aren’t easy, but I’m a firm believer in the tenets of new urbanism.

  • dallasmay

    I’ll take his free subscription, please.

  • Pants Pharmstrong

    * I’ve found myself re-reading many of the articles in this issue.
    * Likewise, I’ve enjoyed disagreeing with the premise of some of the articles, too.

    * Good job of selecting authors from inside and outside of Dallas. I always like to read new perspectives and voices.

    * You’re in a cover photo rut. Almost 5 years of stylized Dallas skyscrapers at dusk.

    * I’ll reserve judgement, but I hope Dallas’ version of New Urbanism is not commercial real estate hagiography. I hope I-345, for example, is not the latest version of the Trinity Tollway where the public is sold of a faux bill of goods, but the primary goal is to serve anonymous real estate V.I.P.s.