Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Empty streets act as open arms

Dallas after 5 p.m. is depressing. The streets are left in a vacuum, nothing but panhandlers and workaholics remain. The loud hum of commuting cars, the whistle of buses passing through and the occaisional yelp from a nearby train station are the remaining voices, ringing from the pavement, echoing and reporting from the buildings once the downtown crowd clocks out.

It has been a priority for some time that downtown have a 24-hour population. People speculate that if more residential properties were delivered downtown, crime would decrease and tax revenues for the city would skyrocket. They're almost right. It's not enough that there be just any residential property downtown -- there must be affordable residential properties. The luxury tower bubble has burst, there's just no more demand in the city for pricey downtown highrises. What Dallas really needs is residential property downtown that folks who live in North Dallas, Old East Dallas, Cedar Springs and Irving can afford, not just the Turtle Creek crowd or the Preston Hollow residents. Downtown does not need to be another place for the Highland Park people -- downtown needs to be for everyone.

There are plenty of worthwhile people who would benefit the city by living downtown that can't afford the 2,000-plus monthly rents that some of these developers are asking. These are the same people that would give Urban Market its much-needed business infusion. These are the same people that have been the crux of communities throughout Dallas for years. They are voters, they are middle-class and they are educated. Why should we exclude them?


Amydell said...

Hey- I loved your post back to Belle. We Southern Gals have to stick together. By the by- WTF? I've never seen such a gaggle of bitches! Cant people just be nice?

lunaliar said...

Thanks Amydell! Good to see Southern Gals stickin' together!

Olivia said...

It looks like you have a new version of Blogger - I was unable to leave a comment in your last post, but this one is OK, only it looks different.

It is WAY past my bedtime, but I insisted on doing all the blog-rounds as I missed it all week.

I think a lot of downtowns are vacuums as you describe it. Including the City of London, the financial bit, which is as close as London gets to having a downtown(it's so sprawled, it's like loads of towns crammed fact that is the case...).
Ironically, the City is the original, oldest London (even has a Roman temple ruin) - and yet that is the vacuum, also dead on weekends, and it closes up earlier in the evening, even though many of the financial offices work late.

People just do not live there - often the finance-types live on the other side of the river with spectacular views of the City or Canary Wharf, the relatively new outcropping of skyscrapers a little way out of the City, which is also finance-related and very trendy, as well as visible from nearly every part of London.

Dude what was that all about, I wrote loads...