You’re probably not surprised to read that 15 years from now the population of the Dallas area is projected to be significantly larger than it is now, with Hispanics accounting for a significantly greater share. The Urban Institute today has released a new interactive map that allows you to see just how significant that growth will be as compared to the rest of the country and to better understand the underlying factors of population change: birth rate, death rate, and migration.Full Story
Question: If Dallasites were forced to move to another big city out of state (due to the zombie apocalypse, the End of Times, or more reasonably, a job change), what major city would they want to move to? What other major city is most like Dallas? — Ashley M.Full Story
Yesterday evening the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects screened a lost film about Dallas entitled “The Walls Are Rising.” Originally produced in 1967 by the AIA, the film attempts to diagnose the city’s urban ills and suggests solutions. At the time of its production, it was screened all over Dallas to community groups and other organizations, and covered extensively in the Dallas Morning News. Nearly 50 years later, interest in the unearthed film is still strong. The event drew a crowd that approached 200 people to the seventh floor of the Sixth Floor Museum, an oddly appropriate setting for a film intimately tied to the civic reaction to the aftermath of the JFK assassination.Full Story
If you’re looking for a way to squander the next couple hours or so of late Friday productivity, I have an idea for you. Head over to the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for Quality Communities’ blog where they have put together a tool to help visualize 60 years of urban decay in Texas and Oklahoma. An interactive image slider graphic, not unlike the one we use in our “Ghosts of Dallas” series, allows you to toggle back and forth between aerial photographs taken 60 or so years apart of the city centers of Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City. You can see in an instant how an era driven by new highways, new parking codes and lots, new building styles like the skyscraper, housing projects, and public facilities like convention centers dramatically — and rather quickly — transformed the American urban landscape. It’s interesting, but a bit depressing — another reason to look forward to happy hour.Full Story
South Dallas Residents Don’t Want New Toll Lanes. Wait, I thought opposing the construction of new pay-to-play roads was classist and racist and that folks south of Interstate 30 are clamoring for the opportunity to pay to drive their cars to points north? Then why were those who showed up to a Tuesday meeting at Methodist Dallas Medical Center to discuss the proposed Southern Gateway project — redoing Interstate 35E south of Colorado Boulevard — so upset about the idea to include managed toll lanes in the plans? Listen to this:
“We don’t want this. We don’t want these tollways here. Not in Oak Cliff,” said Juanita Lozano, drawing an “amen” and applause from the crowd.
“You’re creating a system where people with means can zip from one end of this area to the other while they wave at the rest of us on the sidelines,” said Michael Amonett.
And how about this?
“Where will you get the additional land you need?” asked Alicia Quintans, who lives near I-35E and observes its daily traffic flow.
“There’s maybe two hours of the day when traffic is jumbled up on I-35,” she said, “and I don’t understand why we’re building these toll lanes for two hours of the day.”
Oil Boom Headed For Bust? We’re all still enjoying the cheap gasoline, but as prices have dropped, drilling budgets have been slashed and industry layoffs have begun. Concern of a sustained downturn is growing.
Hipster Wedding Chapel Denied by City. The owners of the Bows and Arrows floral shop were fixing up an East Dallas mansion to host weddings, but their request to rezone the home for that purpose was denied last week by the Plan Commission.Full Story
Next time you hear someone complaining about trying to find parking in Bishop Arts, pass them this story. It is a report on a new report released yesterday that shows that cities in the United States greatly oversupply parking. How much? Well, in the 27 districts studied, researches found that:
The oversupply ranged from 6 percent up to 253 percent across the study areas (below, the highest over-suppliers). And in the nine areas that had believed parking to be scarce, the oversupply ranged from 6 percent to 82 percent.
The key here is in many of the oversupplied area, the general perception was that parking was scare. I think Eric Jaffe, who writes about the report for City Lab, nails it with his lead:Full Story
Late last week, Dallas Morning News editorial board member Rodger Jones penned a post about highways and development that I’ve been trying to ignore. After all, people like Wylie H. and Patrick Kennedy do a good job taking apart Jones’ argument in the comments. But the piece reminded me of a particular development not unrelated to a highway that I’ve been looking for an excuse to write about for some time. And so, I’ve founded my excuse.Full Story
Last night’s arrival of the national spotlight on our area, thanks to the first official college football national title game out in Arlington, plus the recent downtown highway debates that have centered on whether what’s good for the region is necessarily good for the city of Dallas, raise again the question of how best to brand ourselves to the outside world.
So where do we live?Full Story
Back in October, we posted an item in our Ghosts of Dallas series featuring the restoration of 508 Park by the Stewpot of First Presbyterian Church. Today, as you can see above, the project unveiled the re-creation of the mural that originally appeared on the building, which was a Warner Bros. film vault and recording studio way back when.Full Story
There’s a new mayoral task force in town. Yes, we all know about the so-called “Dream Team” task force that is studying the Trinity River Toll Way. Today the mayor and City Councilmember Philip Kingston announced the creation of another task force to look at the city’s current historic preservation policy. The task force is being created in response to the recent demolition of a 19th century Romanesque Revival building on Main St. in Downtown Dallas. The Headington Company demolished 1611 Main Street back in September to make way for the construction of a new building that will house a Forty Five Ten boutique. At the time, there was much gnashing of teeth and confusion over the destruction of one of the oldest buildings in Dallas (even if those surprised by the event missed the long lead up). The Headington Company has said they tried to avoid demolition but couldn’t make the building work.Full Story
If you have been a little tuned out over the last few weeks like we have, then what better way to kick-off the New Year than brushing up on some Trinity Toll Road news? Let’s start with Wick’s masterful take down of Mayor Mike Rawlings’ latest position on the road. Then brief yourself on the all star mega-meeting Sen. Royce West is hosting this week to try to hash out just where he stands on the road (attendees are slightly skewed pro-toll road by my reading of the list, but let’s hope our man Patrick Kennedy gets time to speak his mind).
Of course the elephant in the room—after we’ve yammered on and on about planning and cities and economics and transportation equality—is that we still don’t know how to fund the blasted road. Brandon Formby brings us up to date on that ever elusive question by peeking into Michael Morris’ magical cabinet of financial wonders to see how the COG man is fudging the numbers of late. In short, the plan is still essentially the same: find enough cash in the couch cushions to get cement in the floodway, then bully taxpayer-funded government agencies to scale it up later.
Happy New Year.Full Story
Tod Robberson just posted about a 90-minute meeting the Morning News editorial board had today with Mayor Mike Rawlings and city council members Vonciel Jones-Hill and Rick Callahan about the Trinity Parkway. Rawlings said he takes umbrage when people characterize his position on the road as unclear, so he wanted to leave no doubt where he stands: “The more I study it, the firmer my feet get in the concrete about this being an important thing for the city of Dallas.”
Rawlings repeated the oft-used argument of proponents that the votes of Dallas have twice approved this project, never minding the fact that many of those voters thought what they were going to get involved things like sailboats majestically traveling across picturesque lakes and other campaign images of the Trinity park project that will likely never be.
“What voters voted on has not changed. … The bigger question there is really respect for the rule of law and respect for democracy,” Rawlings said.
So toll road proponents are both anarchists and racists, apparently.
Meanwhile Robberson decries “scare tactics” on both sides of the debate. He buys the claims of Rawlings and other supporters that the road will yield positive economic benefits to the people of southern Dallas:
If Rawlings, Hill and other proponents stick to the basic arguments about economic impact and the positive impact on the lives of working people in southern Dallas, they will win the day. If they go that other route, this debate is going to get really nasty and threatens to widen this city’s already sizable racial gap. My advice: Just don’t go there.
Fingers of Fury has (have?) the story about a Dallas County judge throwing out a suit filed by the town of Highland Park against the city of Dallas. The suit sought to nix a zoning change that will allow a mid-rise to be built in Dallas, on the Katy Trail. Upon learning of the news, the entire town of Highland Park thought: “Wait. What? A Dallas County court surely doesn’t have jurisdiction over Highland Park, right? A federal district court, maybe. The Supreme Court, almost certainly. But Dallas County?!”Full Story
File this under “variations in the key of lying.” No one knows how the “Blacklands” toll road — you know, the road that was so hated by the burbs that residents flooded public meetings to shut it down — is still alive, not even TxDOT. Jim Schutze tries to peel the onion to figure how after much resistance and promises from officials that the road was dead, it suddenly ended up on the Texas Department of Transportation’s to-build list. It’s another journey though the deep machinations of the region’s municipal planning organization, the North Central Texas Council of Governments, affectionately known as “The Cog.”
Even without heading over to the Observer story, you know how it made it on that list. I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with Bichael Boris. But here’s why you should click over to Schutze’s piece. When State Representative Cindy Burkett, a Sunnyvale Republican who very much doesn’t want that road on the to-build list, asked TxDOT Executive Director Lieutenant General Joe F. Weber how it got there, The General refused to put his answer in writing. Maybe The General’s keyboard is missing an “M,” I don’t know. You can read both Burkett’s letter and the General’s wiggly response here.Full Story
Stumbled on this interesting report from a few of months ago that looks at what cities attract college graduates. According to data assembled by the think tank City Observatory, “The number of college-educated people age 25 to 34 living within three miles of city centers has surged, up 37 percent since 2000, even as the total population of these neighborhoods has slightly shrunk.” Why is this significant? Well, because the movement of young people and the places that attract them can help provide “a map of the cities that have a chance to be the economic powerhouses of the future,” the article asserts.
The economic effects reach beyond the work the young people do, according to Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of “The New Geography of Jobs.” For every college graduate who takes a job in an innovation industry, he found, five additional jobs are eventually created in that city, such as for waiters, carpenters, doctors, architects and teachers.
“It’s a type of growth that feeds on itself — the more young workers you have, the more companies are interested in locating their operations in that area and the more young people are going to move there,” he said.
So what cities will be the economic powerhouses of the future? Not Dallas, apparently.Full Story