Archive for May, 2015

Home Tour 2015 Sponsorships & Ads

Posted by    |    May 31st, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Download Sponsorship & Ad rate sheet


Home Tour Committee Currently Previewing Selections For This Year’s Tour

Posted by    |    May 26th, 2015 at 11:34 am

The 2015 Home Tour Committee is currently previewing homes for this year’s tour.  This year’s tour will be on October 17 and 18.  If you’d like to learn more about being on the tour or if you’d like for us to come visit your home, email Home Tour Chair Phil Leven at today. 

The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League Home Tour is the oldest and largest home tour in Dallas and one of the largest fundraisers in Oak Cliff.  Last year we raised close to $40,000 and will return almost all that money back to the community in the form of grants this summer.  

The Oak Cliff Fall Home Tour is a unique and rewarding experience.  We look forward to hearing from you!


Posted by    |    May 21st, 2015 at 10:45 pm


We, the citizens of the City of Dallas, petition the City Council of Dallas to adopt the recommendations put forth by the Downtown Dallas Historic Preservation Task Force.

The Downtown Dallas Historic Preservation Task Force derived their recommendations by carefully studying current preservation practices in Dallas, along with the best practices from other cities. The result is a set of well-balanced recommendations using a phased approach.

We ask that all of the recommendations be adopted in their entirety to have the maximum effect in preserving the historic fabric of our city with potential to become a catalyst for new development.


New Uplawn-Oaktown Route! … err, I mean, Uptown-Oak Lawn!

Posted by    |    May 20th, 2015 at 11:12 am


New bicycle infrastructure in UpLawn! 😉

Originally posted on

It’s here! Say hello to our little friend: A new bike route between Uptown and Oak Lawn! We lovingly refer to it as the UPLAWN route…

This new route uses Fairmount Street, Welborn Street, and Holland Avenue to create an easy ride from the State-Thomas area, through Uptown, and into Oak Lawn.

Uptown-Oak Lawn Uptown-Oak Lawn Route (click for larger image)

This route design makes use of a concept used in the most bicycle-friendly cities in the US– taking a one-off street that runs parallel to a major street, and designating it as a bike corridor by using shared lane markings. This design is used frequently in Portland, that bike-friendliest of biking cities (…though I am admittedly biased, having moved to Dallas from Portland a few years ago). The concept was recently highlighted by Streetfilms as one of ten best transportation practices.

Holland Avenue — what a lovely place for a ride!

In Portland, many of the…

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Bike to Work Day 2015

Posted by    |    May 15th, 2015 at 10:15 am

Originally posted on

It was definitely a soggy start to the day, but THANK YOU to everyone who rode their bicycle to work this morning! Also, a HUGE THANK YOU to all the groups who sponsored BTWD Energizer Stations and persevered through the rain showers and mist this morning. The tacos and bananas and coffee and bicycle-shaped pens were all very much appreciated. It was fantastic to see how the Dallas bicycle community is growing and coming together. In addition, some commuters who were not on bikes had the opportunity to get information about bicycling and hopefully were inspired to try it!

Here are some photos from the four Dallas Energizer Stations:

Uptown/Katy Trail Energizer Station Uptown/Katy Trail Energizer Station

Oak Cliff Energizer Station Oak Cliff Energizer Station

Dallas Central Library Energizer Station Dallas Central Library Energizer Station

St. Paul DART Energizer Station St. Paul DART Energizer Station

Thanks again, everyone, and be safe getting home this evening!

(THANK YOU to Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, Bike Friendly Downtown Dallas, DART, Uptown…

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7th Annual Brew Riot is Sunday!

Posted by    |    May 15th, 2015 at 8:50 am

Go Oak Cliff and the Texas Homebrew Society proudly present the 7th annual Brew Riot Homebrew Competition on Sunday, May 17th in the Bishop Arts District! Get ready for an afternoon of beer, friends, music, and a little good ol’ fashioned competition.

The party starts at 4 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. We’re a rain or shine crew, so unless it is lightning or deemed unsafe, we will still be on!c8a905f8bbe8cb97cbdbfadfce82084b

50 teams have entered this year’s festival and will be competing to earn your vote in the highly competitive People’s Choice Competition. Lagers, IPA’s, Stouts, the ever-popular Sours, and many more- experience them all in the best way possible…straight from the taps of the people who created the recipe! Sample as many as you can responsibly taste before you cast your vote for your 1 favorite team.10295518_10152427184884441_816380508383567915_o

Also in attendance at Brew Riot are many of our local pro-brewers! Enjoy samples and talk shop with brew masters from DFW breweries including Community, Four Corners, Franconia, as well as sample craft brews from St. Arnold, Real Ale, Brooklyn, and others!

Brew Riot is open to members of the Texas Homebrew Society, and admission is included in your annual membership dues. Membership is easy! Simply sign up online here, and your membership card will be emailed to you. Print your card, bring it with your photo ID so we can verify your name and birth date, and you’re in! No additional ticket needed!


Pro Tip: BRING YOUR PRINTED MEMBERSHIP CARD TO BREW RIOT! This is the key to getting in quickly!

Jefferson Median Beautification Project

Posted by    |    May 14th, 2015 at 8:23 pm

 Trees, Trees EveryWhere!!!!

altThe Jefferson Median Beautification Project (JMBP) started by Van Johnson in 2010 continues to thrive today.  The Project started out with Burr Oaks and Red Maples beginning with the east median at the intersection of Hampton and Jefferson.  The second planting continued west and consisted of Burr Oak and Texas Ash.  So we have had two successful plantings and a maintenance planting to replace damaged and dead trees.  The maintenance planting replaced sixteen trees that had been lost.  Pomykal’s Tree Farm (Red Oak, Texas) generously donated the Red Oaks and Live Oaks. 

The trees from the original planting are now four years old.  The Texas Ash from the second planting across from the Rio Grande grocery have grown strong.  The trees from the maintenance planting remain small but the abundance of rain this spring is helping them.  The Maples from the original planting struggled and we lost many however the Burr Oaks are wonderful and they already produce an abundance of acorns.  The birds are visiting the medians frequently – and not just the grackles!!!

This fall, we have planned another planting, using the monetary gift made by Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia via Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, to expand our efforts.  We will have a “tree care” day on May 16, 2015 from 10:30 until noon to add soil, mulch, and stakes to various trees to prepare them for our Texas summer.

We have Challenges and Accomplishments:


Weed eater and lawn equipment damage
Litter, trash, and petty destruction
Past drought damage


50% of trees from planting 4 years ago have survived
65% of trees from planting 2 years ago have survived
79% overall success rate
No tree damage from vehicular vandalism in 3 years
Original and new members make contributions
There is now a water truck available to help us water



Adopt a tree (water and maintain it!)

Contribute financially to our efforts…your grandchildren will love you.  Mail checks to 2830 West Jefferson Blvd Dallas Texas 75211

Help with our planting efforts…we need folks to put trees in the ground and we will have the holes ready!

Pick up trash in the median and discourage your friends from littering

Join our group! We have a FaceBook page. Jefferson Median Beautification Project.  Bring your ideas.

Tell your City Council people, Commissioner, and Mayor they need to assist us in growing our efforts to improve our neighborhood.


Pocket Neighborhoods:

Posted by    |    May 13th, 2015 at 5:43 pm

A Day with Author and Architect Ross Chapin

April 28, 2015
by Karen Ray

altWhat does a small community with a population around 1,100 people on an island in the greater Seattle area have in common with Oak Cliff?  More than you might think.  The small town of Langley, Washington has a rich history, architecturally distinct character and strong community involvement where residences have definite opinions about the development within their town.  So when Architect and Developer Ron Chapin proposed putting in a “pocket neighborhood” they were both curious and concerned.  Sound familiar?

What is a pocket neighborhood? With all the current development in Oak Cliff, you may have heard the term.  The concept has been around for ages but Ross Chapin has idenitified the components and nuances that make a successful Pocket Neighborhood in 21st century America.  After spending his architecture career designing well crafted and meaniful homes, he began to see the bigger picture of “fitting into a larger fabric of community,” as Susan Susanka, author of The Not So Small House, puts it.  His book, Pocket Neighborhoods:  Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World, outlines his personal and professional observations of successful Pocket Neighborhoods while also demonstrating his own variations of well designed and award winning communities. Mr. Chapin states in his introduction that his purpose is, “[to] offer guideposts and inspiration to help restore the coherence of vibrant, small-scale communities in our large-scale world.”

With the need to increase housing city wide, density developments are a part of the approach.  Pocket Neighborhoods are one way toalt add density housing but with the community in mind.  This has become rare in the typical American residential development but common to traditional older built communities.  In an effort to bring enlightenment and discussion about the potential of Pocket Neighborhoods, Council Member Scott Griggs, Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, Dallas Homeowners League, and North Oak Cliff Residences for Responsible Urban Development sponsored Ross Chapin and invited him to spend a day in Oak Cliff and present his key design principles, understanding of human social interaction and experience in designing and developing Pocket Neighborhoods.  I was privileged to join Dr. Joseph Beckham along with his wife, Angie Mobley, in accompanying Mr. Chapin around our great city.  Meeting in the morning, we took him on a tour of the greater Oak Cliff area and gave an overview of all the neighborhoods from north to south discussing the beauty and diversity that is Oak Cliff as well as our current callenges.  Mr. Chapin was really impressed and inspired by what he saw in the fabric our neighborhoods.  He complimented us on our speech patterns; always referring to our neighbors in Oak Cliff as “we” instead of “us versus them.”  We ended our tour in the Bishop Arts District and enjoyed a late breakfast and uplifting conversation at Oddfellows.

The first presentation that afternoon was at Dallas City Hall to City Staff, Council Members and select developers and business people.  The presentation was geared towards the implementation and zoning ordinances for sucessful Pocket Neighborhoods.  Following the presentation was a meeting exclusively for City Staff where Mr. Chapin conducted a brainstorm session and offered his recommendations for adopting the best of combined city zoning ordinances across the nation for Pocket Neighborhoods.  It was agreed that a single zoning ordinance should be written versus specific ordinances written into particular Planned Development areas.  This would allow the development of Pocket Neighborhoods, conceivably, into any zone as long as it follows the prescribed list of requirements.  In addition, the developer must meet with the city staff and surrounding community for a prelimanry and final design review to ensure it meets the vital qualities and spirit of a Pocket Neighborhood.

The day came to a crescendo with Mr. Chapin’s presentation at TeCo Theater which was open to the public.  This presenation was much more comprehensive and detailed, concluding with questions from the audience.  Mr. Chapin covered both the dos and don’ts of Pocket Neighborhood developments.    

A few of the notable characteristics we learned are the following:

·      Though an entire development may be large, each grouping of houses should be no more than 12 – 16 households with 8 – 10 being more ideal.  Each cluster should be its own pocket with its own communal building and commons.  Less than 4 households and the cluster loses its cohesiveness; lacking identity, diversity and the activity of a larger group.

·      Each cluster should have a mix of home sizes, mixed income level and demographics.

·      Pocket Neighborhoods are not about architectural style but a carefully planned built environment; a pattern language that addresses human interaction and the human life experience.

·      Layering elements are key to creating necessary privacy within a very open community.  Landscaping with various size plants, low fences, yard and porch railing with flower boxes are part of the layered elements from the sidewalk to the front porch, and ultimately, the front door of every house.   

·      Every house must have a livable front porch that is a minimum 80 square feet and have a minimum depth of 8 feet.

·      No house has windows that look into the private spaces of the adjacent house.

·      The automobile is properly corralled but not turned outside to the adjacent neighbors or viewed from the street in disregard or disrespect.  The path one takes from their automobile to their front door is a pleasant experience. 

·      Adjacencies to existing neighbors are respectful, having creative inviting views and interface. 

·      Walkable connections between Pocket Neighborhood developments and existing adjacent residences are highly desired.

·      Clear access and readable signage for emergency services are top priory, especially fire and medical.

·      A Pocket Neighborhood doesn’t have to be a new development.  It can be a group of neighbors who share an alley or adjacent yards and they start by tearing down the fences that divide them to create a shared space.

Mr. Chapin’s complete description of the qualities and measurable elements that make for good Pocket Neighborhoods can be found in his book which can be purchased on or at Barnes and Noble.  Further resources, tools and ideas can be found on his website:

Mr. Chapin’s visit and interaction with our community, I believe, was of great value and a success.  As a community we need to continue a relationship with the City of Dallas development staff to ensure the pursuit to institute the best possible zoning ordinance and procedures for Pocket Neighborhoods and other density development approaches.  Our community and neighborhoods matter!


DSO Concert at Kidd Springs Park, Prizes for Bike/DART Riders

Posted by    |    May 11th, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Please join us at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Community Concert at Kidd Springs Park on June 3rd at 8pm.

Concert in the Park!

Concert in the Park!

We encourage all attendees to ride their bicycle and/or DART.

Participants that arrive with a bicycle or DART pass will be eligible for door prizes provided by our sponsors. Prizes include pairs of concert tickets to a TI Classical Series concert and BFOC Pint Glasses. More prizes will be announced as the concert approaches.

Face painters will be available for the kids and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff will provide bicycle parking for riders.

All proceeds and donations will benefit local school, James Hogg Elementary’s Art Program.

Hogg Elementary Students in the Park!

Come enjoy Oak Cliff the way it was meant to be appreciated: in the park on a summer evening, with your neighbors.

Bike Friendly Oak Cliff

P.S. Please RSVP, Share and Invite HERE!!!

Tour de Taco – Recap

Posted by    |    May 7th, 2015 at 12:57 pm

We consumed tacos from five different Oak Cliff taquerias.

Thanks to Louie Solomon for documenting BFOC’s first Tour de Taco.

1. Cool & Hot -930A E. Eighth St.

photocred: louiesolomon

photocred: louiesolomon

2. Taqueria Tiquicheo -110 S. Marsalis Ave.

photo cred: louiesolomon

photo cred: louiesolomon

3. El Patrino– 408 W Jefferson Blvd

photo cred: louiesolomon

photo cred: louiesolomon

4. Los Torres Taqueria 1322 W. Clarendon Dr.

photo cred: louiesolomon

photo cred: louiesolomon

photo cred: louiesolomon

5. Mi Tierrita Taqueria y Pupuseria 2838 W. Davis St.

photo cred: louiesolomon

photo cred: louiesolomon

The next Tour de Taco is scheduled for Fall 2015.

In the meantime – bike over to La Gaviota Taqueria & Grill and mention the BFOC discount to receive 10 percent off your taco order.

Cycle safe.