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Richard Patterson’s Jaguar Is Dead

If you’ve been around this blog or our magazine for any length of time, then you’re familiar with the name Richard Patterson. He’s a British painter of some renown. Every so often, we trick him into writing something for us. Perhaps you recall what he had to say about the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. More recently, last summer, he wrote a piece for the magazine about a religious experience he had at a Fort Worth Jaguar dealership. Correction: he didn’t write that story for the magazine; he just sent along an email, to keep us apprised of what was going on in his life, and then we decided the email needed to be published. Richard is something of a Jaguar nut. He drives a 1994 XJS. Or, rather, he drove a 1994 XJS. Last week, someone plowed into his car, totaling it. I thought you might enjoy the obituary he wrote for his dearly departed car:

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Poll: Development Around White Rock Lake?

In the June issue of D Magazine, Eric Celeste writes about the not-in-my-backyard attitude many East Dallas residents have about development around White Rock Lake. In discussing the debate over a proposed restaurant on Boy Scout Hill:

Given the area’s liberalism and strong sense of place, it’s understandable that lake-area residents protect White Rock as if it’s theirs and theirs alone. In 1986, it was the Arboretum that wanted to build a restaurant on the lake. Rejected! In 2005, a 25-story high-rise was proposed. Denied! The next year, developers floated the idea of turning a well-known building at the lake’s northeast corner, Big Thicket, into a restaurant. Not in my house! A parking lot at Winfrey Point (swatted into the stands) and even a floating boathouse for a rowing team (okay, but we’re not happy about it!) were dismissed for being environmentally insensitive plans of callous developers who didn’t understand the specialness of the lake.

The problem: with the Boy Scout Hill restaurant, that wasn’t the case. Burgin and Kopf were sincere and worked hard to address residents’ fears.

Their proposal was withdrawn, but it’s certain not to be the last such debate. Are residents of East Dallas standing in way of potentially great new places around the lake?

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Dallas Is the 13th-Smartest (Read: Best) City in the World

The IESE Business School in Spain has released its annual ranking of the world’s “smartest cities.” The Cities in Motion Index is the result of researchers studying 135 cities based on 50 indicators along 10 dimensions: governance, public management, urban planning, technology, environment, international outreach, social cohesion, mobility and transportation, human capital, and economy. The categories are explained in more detail here.

For the fourth straight year, Dallas is No. 13. We trail only New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia among American cities. Tokyo was the big winner, also for the fourth straight year. And “smartest” is really just the researchers’ way of shying away from what they really mean. They don’t want to seem like they’re attempting to make a definitive judgment on the comparative quality of each of these places, but they are. They mean these as the “best” cities on Earth.

IESE has a nifty interactive map where you can dive in to see how each city ranks in each of the dimensions and compare how the cities charted. Here’s Dallas:

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New York Times Credits Katy Trail For Uptown’s Success

All the news that’s fit to print includes an article on Dallas’ own Katy Trail, which the Times paints as a significant driver in the boom in Uptown’s real estate:

Along with a 21-year-old public improvement district and zoning that encouraged residential development, the trail’s construction and improvements over nearly two decades have helped transform Uptown from a blighted empty expanse into what many consider to be the only true “live, work, play” urban neighborhood in a city known for suburban sprawl.

I know, I know. You knew all of that already, but it’s nice to see those coastal elites take notice.

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Poll: What Should Dallas Do About Interstate 345?

You’ve read the argument made in the May issue of D Magazine, that Interstate 345 — the connector road between U.S. Highway 75 and interstates 30 and 45 with a stranglehold on the east side of downtown — ought to be removed.

And you’ve read much of the case made here on FrontBurner: Highways are bleeding Dallas of its people, that removal could long-term decrease South Dallas commute times, that the city has lost its jobs to the suburbs, that 345 isn’t always the best option for drivers anyway, that changes are needed to close the North vs. South gap, and that tearing down the road isn’t going to suddenly leave 200,000 drivers with no place else to go. There was more, but I’ll leave it at that.

So what do you think?

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Surveys: Millennials Don’t Want to Live in Car-Centric Cities Like Dallas

Granted, there are a goodly number of Millennials roaming the streets of our fair city. But a couple recent surveys, cited today on the Atlantic Cities, suggest that the cohort born between 1982 and 2001 want to live in walkable environments, not those crisscrossed every which way by expressways out of town.

Says one of the polls:

They found that 54 percent of Millennials surveyed would consider moving to another city if it had more or better options for getting around, and 66 percent said access to high quality transportation is one of the top three criteria they would weigh when deciding where to live. Nearly half of those who owned a car said they would consider giving it up if they could count on public transportation options. Up to 86 percent said it was important for their city to offer opportunities to live and work without relying on a car.

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200,000 Drivers a Day on Interstate 345 Is Not a Fixed Number

Recently on The Atlantic Cities site, an article examined the case of Seoul, South Korea, and its success tearing out what the author (a fellow at an urban planning nonprofit) refers to as an “apple-corer” highway. Our own Peter Simek also wrote about Seoul, along with a few other cities that’ve undertaken similar projects, in the May issue of D Magazine.

One portion of the Atlantic piece in particular struck me because it underlines the reasons that proponents of tearing down Interstate 345  aren’t discouraged when opponents swear that the idea is a non-starter because of one simple fact: 200,000 drivers traverse that connecter highway on the east side of downtown. Surely you can’t remove a road that so many people drive. Except, yes, you can. For a few reasons:

First of all, traffic is not some sort of fixed volume. People drive cars, and if a highway isn’t there, they may take a bus or bicycle to work. They may telecommute, or they may sell their suburban home and move to the city. There is no set number of driver, for which you build roads.

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How Tearing Down I-345 Could Lead to Shorter South Dallas Commutes

Late yesterday afternoon, over on the Dallas Morning News opinion blog, Tod Robberson again proclaimed himself the champion of South Dallas commuters threatened by the proposal to tear down Interstate 345:

I cannot support the proposed demolition of I-345 knowing that we will be adding yet another item to the long list of grievances southern Dallas residents have to justify their argument that this city only cares about big projects when they benefit the north.

This morning Patrick Kennedy took to his blog in response, arguing via a bunch of numbers that the highways that have hurt development at the core of the city — interstates 345 and 30 especially — have indirectly resulted in longer commute times for people in South Dallas.

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Morning News Pushes For Burying I-30

It’s nice to have the Dallas Morning News recognize the destructiveness of urban interstate highways, as they do in this editorial. A taste:

The chance to restore the physical connection between East Dallas and South Dallas, with a walkable link to Fair Park, would change the face and function of two of the most important and historic areas of the city. Both East and South Dallas suffered decline after the interstate’s construction.

Welcome to the party, guys. We’ve been advocating for this idea since 2010, and we continue to do so in our May issue.

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