Urbanism

Dallas: The City That Hates Pedestrians, Pt. 5

Someday, this will supposedly be a lively pedestrian streetscape. Here's what we're stuck with today.

When developer ZOM Living broke ground early this month on the Atelier, a $150 million residential project in the Arts District, a press release promised that the finished 41-story building will include 364 “luxury”—code for “expensive”—units, artists lofts, gallery and retail space and “lively pedestrian streetscape.” Here’s that lively pedestrian streetscape today:

Looking north. It’s even worse coming from the Meyerson Symphony Center to the east.

The Atelier occupies some prime real estate in between the Nasher and the Meyerson, a short jaunt from Klyde Warren Park and from this other sidewalk-devouring construction site in the Arts District. When it’s finished in 2020, that lively pedestrian streetscape should be lovely. In the meanwhile, people are trying to walk here. These are the people you need to make that streetscape lively, the people who are frustrated and pushed back into their cars after they find that walking around the city is too often like navigating a dangerous, ugly maze full of booby-traps and “Sidewalk Closed Use Other Side” signs placed nowhere near a crosswalk.

Downtown development is welcome, and obviously there would be some safety issues in letting pedestrians stroll through active construction sites. But forcing pedestrians to walk in the street (as many will do, rather than backtrack or go out of their way) is also a safety issue. Making it a hassle to walk anywhere is a safety issue. So require contractors to build scaffolding or “sidewalk sheds.” Close a lane to car traffic and create a buffered pedestrian walkway while construction is ongoing. These aren’t crazy ideas. Other cities do this. Account for the people living and walking here today, not just the people who in two years may be moving into expensive apartments above a lively pedestrian streetscape that, for now, we can only dream about.


Send your photo evidence of Dallas hating pedestrians to [email protected] For more in this series, go here.

Newsletter

Get a weekly recap in your inbox every Sunday of our best stories from the week plus a primer for the days ahead.

Find It

Search our directories for...

Dining

Dining

Bars

Bars

Events

Events

Attractions

Attractions

View All

View All

Comments

  • I came here to dump on pedestrians and disagree, but I actually agree with this one. My complaints (almost entirely about jaywalking) are disingenuous when there is no sidewalk to use.

    • Alex Macon

      At last, common ground.