A Daily Conversation
About Dallas


Dallas: the City That Hates Pedestrians, Pt. 5

| 44 mins ago

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]

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Local News

Introducing Our Second Collection of Microfiction From Dallas Authors

| 2 hours ago

Hello, my name is Zac Crain and I’m D Magazine‘s fiction editor as well as its best highway driver and resident pedestrian. You may remember me from such collections as this one and, I don’t know, I guess most of the backpage columns that have appeared over the past decade or so. (Interviews with inanimate objects I suppose counts as fiction.)

I’m joking. I mean, I am the best highway driver the earth has ever seen on the open road, but I’m not really a fiction editor, except sort of nominally. I put together last year’s microfiction and this one’s, but I didn’t really do much. I gave the authors the assignment — a story between 200 and 1,000 words, set in Dallas somehow — and that was pretty much it. So I end up looking smart with the least amount of effort required, which is my favorite thing. Usually I just have to stand next to Tim for that.

Some writers returned from last year (Julia Heaberlin, Harry Hunsicker, Brooks Egerton, Merritt Tierce, Kathleen Kent), and they are joined by some names you’ll likely recognize (Ben Fountain, Will Clarke) and others that you should get familiar with (Samantha Mabry, Shay Youngblood). I’m excited for everyone to read these stories.

ALSO, tonight, most of the authors (and myself) will be at the Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff. There will be readings and it maybe will be a little hot, but we’ll all be together so it’s OK. It starts at 7:30. See you there.

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Leading Off

Leading Off (7/19/18)

| 5 hours ago

Albert Black Files Mayoral Candidacy. The Dallas businessman launched his campaign yesterday to be the next mayor of Dallas after Mike Rawlings.

1,000 Mentors Wanted for Carter High. Last year, 600 men responded to a call for 50 volunteers to mentor boys at Earl Dade Middle School. This year, the organizer wants to get 1,000 mentors for David W. Carter High School. The sign-up is tonight at the Sprague Athletic Complex.

Dog Attack Requires Man’s Arm To Be Amputated. Ronald Bell was attacked by a dog last month in southern Dallas and recently had to have his arm amputated as a result. After his attack, the City Council voted to make stricter laws pertaining to dangerous dogs.

Dallas Resident Wins Scratch-Off Lottery. The anonymous winner, who won $1 million, bought the $20 ticket at a convenience store in Garland.

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Dallas: The City That Hates Pedestrians, Pt. 4

| 21 hours ago

Should we have called this series “Dallas: Where the Sidewalk Ends” before we got to its fourth installment? Probably. Too late, though. Is it still possible to surmise that Dallas is a city that hates pedestrians, based in part on how many sidewalks are blocked off by construction for long periods of time? Definitely.

Eventually, the Hall Arts Residences in the Arts District will be a 25-story tower full of condos you can’t afford. For now, it’s a construction site engulfing a sidewalk you can’t walk on.

Of course, no one really walks around the Arts District except rebellious teen skateboarders, but surely this is an inconvenience for the valet drivers running to get the cars of patrons at Flora Street Cafe.

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Local News

Longtime Dallas Leader Albert Black Enters Mayoral Race

| 1 day ago

Dallas businessman Albert Black is transitioning out of the leading role at his 36-year-old company On Target Supplies & Logistics with the hopes of landing an even bigger job: Dallas mayor.

On Wednesday, Black filed for the May 2019 mayoral election, becoming the first candidate to enter the race. To kick off his campaign, he’s planning a community event at 10 a.m. Saturday at at the Frazier Community Center in Frazier Courts, the neighborhood southeast of Fair Park where Black grew up. Black hopes his campaign will resonate with a broad group of constituents.

“I believe we can produce an economy that no matter what neighborhood you’re from, no matter your background or immigration status, we can … include you,” Black said. “It’s going to take a lot of work. That’s the work of our campaign.”

Black, born and raised in Dallas, has served as president and CEO of On Target since 1982, when he and his wife founded the company. On Target has since become one of the largest minority-owned firms in Dallas, employing 200 people. He also serves as chairman of the Charles Sammons Cancer Center and as the chairman of the Dallas Housing Authority.

He served as the first African-American chairman of the Dallas Regional Chamber from 2000 to 2002. There, he worked with former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk to develop international joint trade missions and build business partnerships for the city. He also previously served as the chairman of the board for Baylor Health Care System, where he once worked as a cook in the kitchen of one of its hospitals. At Baylor, he helped oversee the merger with Scott and White and established The Baylor Diabetes Health & Wellness Institute, the first health center in Frazier Courts.

Black sat down with me yesterday to lay out his priorities for the city. Here are the issues he plans to address during his campaign:

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Visiting Dallas’ 11 Top Butcher Shops Made Me Famous

| 1 day ago

I have not been bitten by a Lone Star tick. I have not been infiltrated by Alpha-Gal antibodies that might otherwise punish me for enjoying the pleasures of the flesh.

No, I have been spared. Spared to consume more red meat in greater quantities and varieties over the past couple of months than ever before.

For our July feature on Dallas’ best meat markets, Eve Hill-Agnus and I visited 11 shops from McKinney to Oak Cliff. And then, because I like a self-imposed challenge, I spent two days driving around to 10 of the shops and hosted a dream meat cookout for some of my coworkers in my backyard.

All of this has led to an unexpected side effect: people want to talk to me about meat. A lot.

At parties. On the tennis court. Beside the pool. They want to know about sausages, and elk steaks, and why I’ll buy a chuck steak over a Wagyu steak for the grill, and whether you can really taste the difference between a 45-day and 25-day aged rib-eye, and what the heck I put on those pork chops to make them taste so good.

We are sitting on a treasure trove of protein, people. So please, ask away. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll just have to do a little more research.

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Local News

Leading Off (7/18/18)

| 1 day ago

Texas Instruments’ Fresh CEO is Out, Old CEO Back In. When Rich Templeton retired six weeks ago, 22-year TI veteran Brian Crutcher took his place as CEO. Yesterday, TI announced Crutcher resigned in light of code of conduct violations and Templeton is back—indefinitely.

Yesterday’s Water Rescues. An 11-year-old boy got stuck in mud trying to cross the Trinity River. A good Samaritan kept him safe until police and Fire-Rescue showed up; sounds like he’s ok. But over at Grapevine Lake, a mother jumped in the water to save her drowning teenager and now they’re both in critical condition.

Here’s What Campaign Fund Filings Show. Lupe Valdez has $222,000 in the bank as she vies for the Texas governorship; Greg Abbott has $29 mil. Filings also show Angela Paxton and Phillip Huffines have spent a combined $12 million in the Republican primary for the Collin County state Senate seat, making it the most expensive in state history.

Duncanville Man Gets 5 Years For Swindling Struggling Homeowners. While working for a housing counseling nonprofit, Javier Gonzalez convinced homeowners to give him their mortgage money, which never made it to the bank.

What It Feels Like When the Devil Yawns. The “upper high that’s settled over the region” means today and the next few will hit around 106.

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Local News

Activists Call for Recount of Rejected Petition for Paid Sick Leave Vote

| 2 days ago

The Texas Civil Rights Project wants a recount.

A day after the city secretary said a petition to put a paid sick leave ordinance to voters this fall had fallen just hundreds of “valid signatures” short of the necessary threshold, the legal nonprofit is calling for the city to give thousands of rejected signatures a second look.

A lot of numbers incoming: As was reported Monday, activists last month submitted close to 120,000 signatures supporting a ballot vote on whether the city should require employers to give workers paid time off when they are sick. About 41 percent of workers in Dallas do not get paid sick leave. For the petition to succeed, it needed to get the signatures of 10 percent of the registered voters in Dallas, or 53,765 people. Despite seemingly being well over that mark, the city secretary’s review found that only 52,885 signatures belonged to qualified voters—meaning actively registered voters who live within the city limits of Dallas, and signed the petition within the 60-day drive period. That’s more than 60,000 signatures that were tossed, leaving activists 871 names short of what they needed. City Secretary Bilierae Johnson defended her office’s signature count on Monday, and said there had been a quality control check after the initial tally. (She said most of the rejected signatures belonged either to people who were not registered to vote, or did not live in the city of Dallas.)

In a letter to the city secretary’s office., the Civil Rights Project hones in on 31,473 rejected signatures it says were not re-reviewed, and another 2,841 signatures it says were invalidated because “the signature line lacked both a date of birth and a voter registration number.” In the case of the latter signatures, there wasn’t enough of an effort made to match names to registered voters, according to the Civil Rights Project. It wants the city to re-examine both.

Without a recount, the lawyers representing the coalition of progressive groups (including the Texas Organizing Project and Faith in Texas) that led the petition drive raised the specter of pursuing “legal options.” If Dallas were to adopt a paid sick leave ordinance, the city would likely wind up in court with the state, which is already suing to block a similar policy adopted in Austin in the latest Texas battle over local control. Instead, now Dallas could find itself in a legal fight with the workers and workers’ rights activists themselves.

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Millennials Are Happier Living in Cities, If They Can Afford It

| 2 days ago

Here’s a new study that serves as further rebuttal to the wrong-headed notion, already rebutted once last week, that young Dallasites want to live some kind of Leave It To Beaver lifestyle with white-picket fenced homes and milkmen deliveries and two-car garages and heavy-duty insulation from unforced human interaction.

Researchers at Baruch College exploring the subject of “urban malaise” turned to data from a sort of happiness survey that has for the better part of a century tracked the general contentedness of five distinct generations, including those buzzy Millennials (born between 1992 and 2004) that chambers of commerce in Dallas and elsewhere are so eager to lure in. They found that while older generations have historically tended to feel better about life in the country and the less dense suburbs, Millennials are significantly happier in urban areas, here defined as cities with a population of more than 250,000.

But wait, you say, some of Dallas’ booming suburbs, like Plano, have populations of more than 250,000. Ah, I say, the researchers accounted for that by distinguishing between cities and suburbs. The study also acknowledges the possibility that young people want to live in the city because there are things about city life—the bright lights and hustle and bustle and all that action—that appeal and have appealed specifically to the interests of young, single people throughout history. To control for this, the researchers, turning to those 100 years of happiness data, isolated how previous generations polled when they were younger than 35. It didn’t change the results. Previous generations just suffered more from urban malaise. There is something unique about these city-loving Millennials and their return to urban areas.

The study’s conclusion: “Millennials are least happy in small rural areas, much happier in small urban areas, a little less happy in the suburbs and the most happy in the largest metropolitan areas.” In other words, one of the ideas propelling our new urbanism issue—that people, especially young people, want to live in dense, vibrant cities—remains sound. We’re happier in cities. Whether we can afford that happiness, the high costs of urban living and disproportionately low incomes of Millennial workers being a possible factor in driving the suburban and exurban growth that is particularly pronounced in the Dallas area, is another issue. At least even the suburbs are getting more urban.

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DFW Restaurant Week

DFW Restaurant Week Reservations Are Live

| 2 days ago

It’s time to reserve your spots for the 21st annual DFW Restaurant Week. The list of participating restaurants goes live today. (Click here.)

Dining begins in less than a month, the week of August 13, at more than 150 participating restaurants. Many are extending the run through Labor Day (September 3).

A reminder for those new to the rodeo (yes, we know some of you just arrived in droves and don’t know what to do with yourselves now that every day resembles an inferno). The answer: dine!

Participating restaurants offer three-course prix fixe dinners for either $39 or $49, or two-course lunches for $20. Twenty percent of the price of each meal is donated directly to the North Texas Food Bank or Lena Pope.

A few bells and whistles this year:

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Leading Off

Leading Off (7/17/18)

| 2 days ago

UNT Professor Will Attempt To Set Record Teaching World’s Longest Lesson. The subject is Texas history.

Young Man Shot to Death in Duncanville. Police are looking for the suspected shooter.

DeMarcus Lawrence Hit With a Franchise Tag. The Cowboys defensive end is totally cool with it.

Yep, Still Hot. Woo-wee!

Website for Dallas’ City Magazine Does Customary Early Morning Local News Aggregation Blog Post Later Than Usual. Whoops!

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