This is an update to our report in April about changes coming to Knox.
Some exciting news for the Knox neighborhood: Knox Street will be going on a diet within a year! Despite some resistance from businesses interests, Knox Street will soon be a safer, less aggressive, more pedestrian friendly place. With the influx of people who live in the neighborhood and visitors alike, the sidewalks will now be expanded to meet the growing needs of our thriving neighborhood. Parking will be reconfigured at an angle and crosswalks will become larger. It’s wonderful to see some of the 2012 bond money being spent in an area that is growing the tax base. As the desire for more walkable neighborhoods in creases, Phillip Kingston is leading the way to rich and vibrant urban neighborhoods.
Some are slower to depart from the car culture, but I hope that the investment in the vitality of our local neighborhood will show these businesses that better walk scores equal more local shoppers and attract more visitors alike. For some, it’s hard to understand why shoppers would travel to an area without large surface parking lots or multi lane roads, but to millennials, the attraction is clear. Neighborhoods with character, charm, personality, and reduced traffic/parking are where its at. I was disappointed to hear Sonny Williams, owner of the Highland Park Soda Fountain say this is “a feel-good proposal in my opinion for a group that does not care about Dallas’ past or history.” Most of us moved to the Knox neighborhood for its unique historic character and charm. We enjoy living in a walkable, urban neighborhood, and we do care deeply about Knox. Many of us have lived here for longer than he’s owned the Soda Fountain, and it’s precisely because of the neighborhood’s historic character. Others in opposition were Blake Weir (Weirs furniture) and Diane Nabholtz (Chuys & Mattress Firm). Blake called the turning lane a “suicide lane”…I’m not sure that a designated turning lane will be quite that perilous. I think it will make turning safer and will alleviate the need for cars to suddenly, without warning, dart out and around a turning vehicle. I think everyone is in agreement that the angled parking will be an improvement. As councilwoman Gates said, no more “close your eyes and start backing up slowly and hope no one backs into you.” I believe this reduction of lanes will discourage those who use Knox as a shortcut, which should make room for residents as well as those visiting our neighborhood to shop and dine.
It has been interesting year and I’ve enjoyed seeing our younger council members like Griggs, Kingston and Gates embrace progressive ideas of less auto centric culture and promote rich urban neighborhoods. Maybe we can teach some of these old dogs a few new tricks and lead the way for Dallas neighborhoods. Neighborhoods first my friends.
A link to the Dallas Morning News article: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20160824-knox-street-to-go-from-four-lanes-to-three-to-the-chagrin-of-some-mainstays1.ece