Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Urban Planning in Lake Highlands

If you are like me, you think the IH635/Skillman/Audelia intersection is a mess. It's not Richardson's mess. It's Dallas's mess. It's Lake Highlands's mess. But it's a mess. People have been thinking about what do with it for years. Maybe something will finally get done.
The revitalization of our neighborhood begins with fixing the 635-Skillman intersection...

The crossroads cause confusion and congestion, resulting in snarls, accidents and dangerous pedestrian scenarios that worsen with each passing year...

The thoroughfare situation, according to experts who have studied the zone for years, makes inefficient use of our land, repels quality retailers and developers, and ultimately perpetuates proliferation of undesirable businesses, problematic apartment and condominium properties, and high-crime zones.
After the jump, what's wrong with this thinking.

In short, nowhere in this long article discussing the problem and the proposed solutions does the word DART appear. There's a DART station there that should be part of any urban planning for this intersection. The apartments and condominiums aren't "problematic" or "undesirable," they are opportunities for creating a mixed-use, transit-oriented development. But reading this Lake Highlands Advocate article, you'd think the main goal is to get cars through that intersection faster. Which, I suppose for Richardson residents on their way to work or home, would probably be a good thing. But there's more to creating a livable neighborhood than increasing the traffic capacity of the streets through it.

And that's who's not listening to me now.

1 comment:

Mark Steger said...

Dallas councilman Adam "McGough brings up another interesting option for the Skillman-I-635 Gateway development that was not mentioned in our earlier feature — a park or “pedestrian cap,” which would look similar to Klyde Warren Park in Downtown Dallas. As an area of the city in desperate need of recreational amenities, he adds, we should push for this green space."

Now we're talking.