Squandered development opportunities and planning decisions over decades have put Dallas in jeopardy of becoming just another city.
One such costly error was the virtual abandonment of a vital downtown as white Dallas fled north, initially to avoid the desegregation of Dallas Independent School District. Then in the 1970s, the mandatory tunnel system under our skyscrapers stripped the streets of humanity, killing our remaining street-level retail. It was the second terrible blow. Finally, the confusing one-way street grids engineered to move masses of automobiles in and out quickly made the casual navigation of downtown for pleasure or shopping almost impossible.
Today, hundreds of dedicated individuals are grappling with the problems caused by these decisions in a huge collective effort to reverse that damage.
Most of us treat these problems as a child deals with the monster under the bed. We totally ignore them, hoping that they may not exist. But as more businesses and residents migrate to “the Canyon” (our downtown), the pressure to resurrect our great inner city will increase. More daytime population and residents create more demand for service retail, entertainment, restaurants, and, eventually, soft goods. Soon schools, hospitals, and cultural activity will develop.
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