The Tunnels Didn't Kill Downtown. The Lack of People Downtown Killed Downtown.

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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Here's another thing. Have you read all this crap about how the city is going to plug up the tunnel system downtown because some waffle-brow bow-tie city planner told them that's why nobody's on the sidewalks?

Downtown has pedestrian tunnels between many of the buildings. Originally they were truck tunnels. Then people finished them out and air-conditioned them as a way to beat the Saharan summer heat here.

So some waffle-brow notices that the sidewalks of downtown Dallas look like a post-apocalyptic science-fiction movie most of the time -- so empty that if you do happen to see a person walking along you want to roll your window down and shout, "What happened?"

So I guess the big waffle-brow light-bulb moment here is this: "Oh, the streets are empty because all the people must be down in the tunnels." Like we turned into Morlocks.
Anyway, apparently that's all it takes -- one light bulb from a waffle-brow -- and City Hall is ready to leap into action, nailing plywood over all the tunnel entrances. The next morning, I guess, downtown Dallas will be like Paris, people lolling all over the place playing guitars in cafes, after their eyes adjust.

Listen. I don't like to talk about how long ago it was that I came to Dallas, because it stirs up a lot of unfortunate comments. But when I came to Dallas, the tunnels were packed with people, and the streets downtown were also packed with people.

Both. Tunnels packed. Sidewalks packed. During the morning rush, at lunch and for a long time into the evening, you had to peel your way through the crowds on the sidewalks like it was Manhattan.

The streets are not empty now because people are lurking in tunnels like rats. The streets are empty because downtown sucks. Downtown sucks because it's empty. All of those old towers you see with dusty lobbies used to be packed with office workers. They're empty now, and so are the sidewalks.

morlocks.jpg
Downtown tunnel-dwellers emerge, looking for a bagel and a cup of decaf.
The only way to fill the sidewalks again is to fill the buildings with people by converting the buildings to lofts and apartments. That's the real sin in all of this affordable housing stuff I've been writing about for the last six months. Dallas has failed to generate a real community downtown because it has wasted so much effort and so much money trying to keep poor and working class people out.

Dallas doesn't get that poor and working class people are the fun. Rich people just watch.

The key to bringing downtown alive is mixing it up again, getting all kinds of people mingling on the streets again. What do you have without that? Shopping centers and dust bowls.
The idea of forcing people out on the sidewalks against their will is so stupid, so Daddy State and so Dallas City Hall. Why not just send the cops into the office buildings that are occupied, have them herd all the office workers out at gunpoint and just march the poor bastards up and down Main Street.

"COMPANEEEE HALT! COMPANEEE, ORDER LATTE!"

The answer is to subsidize rents, provide incentives, stop discriminating, do whatever it takes, just fill it up with human beings again. People. Homo sapiens. Humanity. There's your ticket.


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202 comments
Quiet I'm Talking
Quiet I'm Talking

Mr. Schutze, who are you asking to "do whatever it takes"? The same people who thought it was a good idea to block the tunnels? Where did this undying faith in the goodness of governments come from? How is it sustained?

I'm for more people living downtown, but offering "subsidized rents" puts control of rents into the same authoritarian public officials you rightfully demean in your article.  

JB
JB

"Why not just send the cops into the office buildings that are occupied, have them herd all the office workers out at gunpoint and just march the poor bastards up and down Main Street.

"COMPANEEEE HALT! COMPANEEE, ORDER LATTE!"

This made me laugh so hard and loud that I spit out my coffee and woke up my two year old son in the next room. You're a real card there, Shutze (Cagney accent).

Alex Roderer
Alex Roderer

maybe the tunnles need to become public and they just need to get rid of above ground sidewalks and then the tunnel system needs to be expanded!! BAM new pedestrian system without the controversy!!

AG
AG

We have tunnels Downtown? Huh.

Bildo
Bildo

It is not, and never has been because of the tunnels. It's because fully one third of the downtown residents look like characters straight out of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Why would somebody want to go downtown when a)It's a pain in the butt to park, b)you can find everything you want outside of downtown, and c)there are several thousand mentally ill zombies/drug addicts wandering the streets harassing pedestrians. They are especially forceful towards women, who they know they can intimidate and will eventually cave in and give them their desired drug money. How many times do you think people will endure this before giving up?

Despite the claims of a certain Mayoral candidate, The Bridge, a $26 million example of political stupidity, has brought more homeless to the streets of downtown, not less. It is not a shelter, and it is not even close to a solution. It is a place where the chronic homeless can go to get medicine, food, clothing, and government aid, everything they need to stay living on the street. Yes, there's some counseling and workers try to get them into homes, but for the most part it is an enabler. A place that helps them stay on the street, and living in the gutter.

For the business owners downtown, the homeless are a constant problem. Every hour of every day they are a constant issue. From the harassment of customers, destruction of property, assaulting employees, to defecation on sidewalks, there is no bigger challenge to business owners. Why would a business even think of opening shop downtown when they can locate in other parts of the city, or [shudder] the suburbs, and have more customers and few, if any, crackheads?

Unless you are willing to see the problem for what it is, we will always have empty sidewalks, and a national embarrassment of a downtown.

Joe Roberts
Joe Roberts

A lot of the comments here have focused on the successes of Bishop Arts and Highland Park Village and Lakewood, asking why those successes cannot be transferred to downtown.

Of course, there are zoning differences which contribute, but what all of these thriving neighborhoods have in common are that they are NEIGHBORhoods. Bishop Arts is a commercial success because the residents there take an active role in supporting growth and patronizing such businesses. Downtown Dallas does not have a neighborhood feel in this respect, and solving the residential issues there is the only way to stimulate the center city.

It is not a question of coming up with some new innovation out of left field. Developers and City Hall simply complying with HUD guidelines when accepting HUD money will go a long way toward fixing downtown. Then places like Jason's Deli will not close at 5:00 because there would be a financial incentive for them to remain open.

Furthermore, stores and businesses would pop up that would not only serve the residents there, but also would attract those from the outside. For example,I do not live in Oak Cliff, but Bishop Arts and the Kessler Theater and Norma's Cafe are frequent destinations of mine. People would stay downtown if there were a reason to do so (although DART rail running later on weekends would be a big help, also). However, small retailers and restaurants are not going to sink money into something without a core community to keep it in business.

Kaydoe
Kaydoe

Downtown is dead because there are no middle-class families present. There are no families for two reasons:

1. There are no public schools that a family would be willing to pay top price for a house (excuse me, apartment) to send their kids to in Dallas, sans Highland Park. Fix the schools, and the middle-class would move back in.

2. There isn't any large apartments that are reasonably priced that can compete with the suburbs. Essentially, the middle class is priced out; the poor is subsidized to stay; and the rich and/or the singles w/ no kids are able to afford to stay downtown. And there you go, a lifeless bare downtown. Don't forget to sprinkle on a little city council corruption to finish the picture.

Fox
Fox

There are so many issues with downtown Dallas it hard to know what to pick to fix.

Other cities have tunnels/sky-ways that work fine. Minneapolis has sky-ways, Montreal has an entire underground city for the winters. They work in those cities because they connect all the buildings, have very good access, and are really nicely done.The tunnels here are pathetic only a few buildings are connected some of them are are dirty, the floors are always wet, and there are too many dead ends.

While other cities remodeled most old buildings Dallas seems to like blowing everything remotely old down and having nothing but a parking lot to replace it.

Downtown is is busted up into to many districts with no good way to get from one to the other. The only places that seem to have any traffic after 6 are west end/AAC and deep ellum you have to get in your car to go from one to the other, Dart really doesn't cut it for the short hops a trolley loop or something would help . And there really is nothing in between the two worth stopping for. Ive never been to deep ellum after 11 years here(except for burgers). Its way to far to be driving back to Arlington/Grand Prairie after drinking. No mass transit options.

Dallas is just a city run by corrupt morons. Seems like every week someone is getting busted for something. Hell even with all the corruption in Chicago they manage to get some shit done. The lake front up there is 1000 times better than it was in the 70s and the place is jumping now.Look how much business showed up after the AAC was built. That was a wasteland. They could have increased traffic by building the stadium downtown, or quit wasting money on fancy bridges and trinity "studies" and build the damn trinity river project. Get people into the area and the chances for growth are better. They cant seem to budge enough to get the stuff done that needs to be done to get downtown growing, because half of them are on the take, and it wont fit their "Business Partners" plans.

As it is, I go downtown to the AAC and thats about it. Even when I do that, going out to eat after is limited because a lot of the west end places close at 9 or 10. I can only eat at Dicks and Hooters so many times. Dallas just closes too early compared to other cities downtown areas.

Rb_mtz
Rb_mtz

Bad idea for city hall...the tunnels are unique to Dallas and should stay open. As for the suit & tie attire, I think businesses all around the US should reconsider their required attire or dress codes according to weather and such. As hard as people work, with economy being how it is, stress levels high, etc...their should be a more relaxed dress code overall for all companies instead of just allowing Fridays and certain holidays. i think it would take some getting use to, but eventually people would be just as productive in a polo style shirt w/jeans or slacks as opposed to suit and or shirt w/tie. That just makes u uptight and adds to your stress of everday life!

CJ
CJ

Wow. That's so simplistic. Almost as simplistic as the idea you're dogging (actually more so, as gov't incentives would have to be incredible to make renovating all of those vacant buildings into cheap apartments that no private sector company would tackle for valid, extremely weak economic reasons). Kudos for the brain vomit.

Dallas Morlock
Dallas Morlock

Downtown streets not having viable businesses open because people are underground is about the dumbest logic I have ever heard. People aren't moles. We do venture into sun light, even when it is 110. The tunnel dwelling Morlocks could make the decision they want to eat at the place on the sunny side of the earth, but there isn't anywhere to do that. Most business moved to the suburbs, which account for the empty buildings. It's just a fact.

Epink
Epink

hilarious. i remember walking those tunnels as a young worker downtown and as a mom with a baby with all the stuff you have to lug--it was nice in the heat or rain or the odd blizzard with howling wind. i've since wised up and moved to (gasp) Plano...

guest
guest

Funny that you mention the lack of low income housing, since something like half of the Hamilton's new property, the old Atmos buildings, will be LIH subsidized by the city in an attempt to see if your line of thought plays out. Personally, I disagree with you and think growth in downtown right now is steady and sustainable. The residential buildings are filling up, DPL is at capacity and Mosaic is showing activity again after the crap it has been through in the last year.

amberdiann
amberdiann

I'm utterly confused.

When I decided to move from my downtown loft to another my experience led me to believe we're definitely filling our residential spaces.

The Davis Bldg - zero 2-bedrooms available and the only 1-bedrooms were for downtown housing.

Third Rail - a couple of options available, very affordable (1100 - 1400 for a 2 bedroom)

Kirby - only downtown housing available

1800 Elm - see Davis Building

Mosaic - cheaper than Third Rail.

Gables - no 2 bedrooms available

DPL - only downtown housing available

Wilson - see DPL

So, in my experience from January 2011, we're in no short supply of subsidized housing for the low-income. Which makes me wonder why so many think the answer is downtown housing. It's here!

In fact our makes it more difficult for people who are not low-income to find a home.

GhostJob
GhostJob

Parking Kills downtown pedestrian traffic; there's virtually no free parking. I can speak from personal experience that I don't want to run to the meter every hour to drop some change in. Plus, who carries around hoards of quarters anyway? Parking is free aft 6pm on Main street but a lot of those spots get reserved for valet parking. So downtown becomes just another money pit. Also lack of parks downtown kills sidewalk traffic. There is one decent one off Main but you may get a meth-head or two wanting to join your frisbee game (to be fair, I know of two other parks being built). I email former Mayor Tom Leppert suggesting a parking holiday at least once a month but I received a voice mssg from someone in his office that I should send my email somewhere else; he didn't say where to send it.

DK
DK

I've lived in Dallas (specifically Lakewood area) for eight years. I regularly go downtown and Deep Elum to eat and all kinds of events. My wife works in Deep Elum and takes classes at El Centro.

I have no idea where to find one of these mythical tunnels.

Jpgreenan
Jpgreenan

I think we need to careful to understand what closing the tunnels means. The only part of the system that the City of Dallas controls is where the tunnels cross the right-of-way under the street. So the businesses under BOA Tower or the food court at Renaissance wouldn't be directly affected--you just wouldn't be able to walk them from other buildings that required crossing under city streets.

The most likely method of implementation is to raise the yearly rental payments for the use of the land under the streets high enough so that someone would really, really have to want to have tunnel access in order to pay for it. Buildings could still rent out their basements for retail or restaurant use, but unless you wanted to pay for it, you would have to cross the street at the ground level and then go down into the lower level from the building itself.

I don't see the provision as a silver bullet, but it might do some good in the longer term. If your business is at street level with public access, then you could keep it open in the evening if it made economic sense--and maybe someday it will. If your business is in a building's basement that closes at 6:00 p.m., then you don't have the choice to remain open even when (or it) downtown gets populated enough to make it worthwhile.

So I don't see it as a major or immediate improvement, but assuming downtown does get more lively, and assuming businesses will relocate to ground level to get business from more than one building, then it could somewhat speed up the incentive to keep longer business hours.

Sleepyhead420
Sleepyhead420

been on Main Street between St. Paul and Griffin on a Saturday night? That is all, socially and linguistically challenged persons.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Nothing in this town gets done without some developer getting rich on the deal. So who profits from the closure of the tunnels? Not "from increased street traffic" but "closure of the tunnels". Somebody must want that real estate for something.

EastDallasResident
EastDallasResident

Amen to this! Working downtown and heading to a restaurant is beastly, to say the least, in Dallas summer heat. The tunnels offer a refuge from heat, traffic noise and panhandlers. Those fools over in city hall (yes the "waffle brows") need to find better things to do.

Bret Youknowwhoavich
Bret Youknowwhoavich

There are 13 hours in every day you can barely drive in Garland, during half of those same hours Dallas is ghost town. Not good for us or Dallas.

JimS
JimS

Mr. Mean has got a good point. Why doesn't City Hall hold off shutting down any more businesses until after it gets ONE of its own ventures -- grocery store, furniture store, whatever -- to make a solid nickel.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

The city needs to tend to it’s own affairs instead of adding to their track record of shutting businesses. Never a month goes by that I do not read of some long established business being hassled about being where they are. We have seen attempts by the council and former council person Bill Blades to close the Overhead Door company and give the property to a developer, we have seen council woman Hunt go after Woodward Auto Paint on Ross and more recently we have seen editorials by the DMN about the established metal recycling businesses that are near property that the DMN has along the Trinity River and in West Dallas. So as President Regan said: “There they go again”.

Laewoodhobo
Laewoodhobo

There will be way more residents downtown in the Main Street corridor once the Atmos Lofts and Continental Building are done. The JLB complex at Ross and Hall will add people to the Arts District. 1400 Hi Line will bring people to the Design District and even Victory Park.

Downtown is continuing to add residents, and pretty soon it will be economically feasible to open a movie theater there. That will be a big step toward making it a nighttime destination again.

MattL1
MattL1

You know what? I like living downtown. For that matter, so do a lot of people I know. It may have something to do with growing up in the suburbs and hating what I perceived to be a cookie-cutter, self-centered nature to that experience. I understand why others may feel differently. However, don't so easily dismiss the efforts of downtown residents who want to see positive change in their neighborhood by saying it can never happen or isn't worth the effort.

Many of us have seen great leaps forward in the area over the last 5-10 years. Is it so wrong to seek additional avenues for continuing this momentum? Whether or not the tunnels play a role in hampering the growth of downtown, their impact deserves to be a part of the conversation. I understand some don't care whether or not there is a "street scene" downtown. That's fine. However, many of us do. Don't dismiss it as pure folly.

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

I remember the Blue Plate, and those navy beans. But I also remember the Waldenbooks over by the Elm bus-station.

Oh yeah, that was a swinging place when all the buses stopped there.

RussP
RussP

Downtown Dallas, the only place I've ever seen a 7-11 only open 6AM until 10PM and closed on Sunday; and it's the one in the same building as the corporate headquarters.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

If you want a downtown, you need some urban pioneers who have young families.

Here's what they're going to need:-at least 100 small but stellar single-family homes. closely spaced, maybe, but separate residences for what a comparable home in Frisco would cost-a K-8 application-only public school on site-a pool for residents w a toddler splash ground-a Super Target-a Starbucks-free annual passes to the zoo, the musuems, and free valet at Baylor for when the kids get sick

Anything less won't work.You have to offer what people are currently using their feet to vote for.You have to have a core of families and not just singles.

You've got to give people what they are now going to the suburbs to get.

busterkeaton
busterkeaton

I'm a crack addled, gin soaked zombie and I approve of this message!

Expensive Hassle
Expensive Hassle

If the tunnels aren't the reason downtown is dead, try this:Downtown is an expensive hassle.

One-way streets, parking costs, expensive DMA/Symphony/Winspear/Dallas World Aquarium.

No thanks.

NYC, on the other hand, gets it. It can be inexpensive and it is the exact opposite of a hassle.

Downtown Dallas seems like a handful of rich people now in their 70s got together and forced a plan on the city so it would maximize their profits and reflect their interests. They're too old to realize why it isn't working.

Until the city hands over the downtown-planning reins to some not-so-rich 30somethings, nothing is going to change.

Paul Burrough
Paul Burrough

"Dallas doesn't get that poor and working class people are the fun. Rich people just watch."

Congrats on sneaking one of your favorite (see: ridiculous) p.c. generalizations into another lunatic rant. Sorry your financial aspirations didn't pan out, Jimmy.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I don't really buy that, though those are fair points. DART makes it so easy to go Downtown. Soon, there will be a critical mass that will make that a destination. Further, since Downtown holds to the hub and spoke model, this too puts Downtown in an opportunistic position. I notice that no one is riding the Green Line, though the Red and Blue lines are full. It took a while for them, and will take a while for Northwest Dallas.

scottindallas
scottindallas

It may never be feasible to open a movie theater again.

IQ
IQ

Are you serious? You've been listening to that propaganda being put out by the City and organizations like Downtown Dallas ("hey, Downtown Dallas is really happening.....Rah, Rah, Rah.......these people get "paid" to be the "cheerleading squad"). Look really, really hard, and you'll see that the actual population of Downtown Dallas has diminished during this recession/depression. Alot of those apartments are sitting empty, and landlords are losing their shirts. At the rate the City is adding "potential" residents, including Atmos and Continental, it'll be ten more years (or longer) before the demographics of the "downtown neighborhood" will support the kinds of amenities you're talking about. Schutze is right; fill up Downtown Dallas with as many people as you can find. That is the REAL ANSWER!!!!!!

Noah Jeppson
Noah Jeppson

Yes, but why concentrate so much effort on regulating private building owners when the tunnels are only a small part of downtown's retail problems? Planners use the tunnels as an excuse for all of downtown's retail failures. When the tunnels are closed and retail fails to relocate to the surface will the blame shift to one-way streets, lack of transit or homeless annoyances? Focus on giving downtown residents, visitors and employees vibrant streets that become THE place to eat, shop and dine downtown and the market will follow to fill empty spaces.

Instead of abandoning the tunnels in an act of penance for 1960s decisions, why not make what we already have (infrastructure wise) work with what we want the downtown of the future to be?

Laewoodhobo
Laewoodhobo

AMEN, dude. If you hate downtown Dallas, DON'T COME HERE. Leave the rest of us who enjoy living here, and seeing the residential community grow, worry about how to make downtown more livable.

3rd Wheel Marketing
3rd Wheel Marketing

Strip Clubs & Sex Shops, like I said. I'm for the pool, too – like the one at the Men's Club.

But seriously, no one downtown wants or expects single family homes - especially ones stapled, glue-gunned and tyveked together like the burbs. There are some amazing buildings with good bones, languishing. If those fucks building owners had to pay property taxes in proportion to how I have to pay property taxes, they'd get off their ass and do something with them.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The single family homes in places like Frisco are not stellar. I'm not talking about my opinion of a nice house style versus yours. I'm talking about the quality of the construction. They are junk, cheap construction homes. I am perfectly comfortable admitting that those places are growing at a fast clip. But let's not distort reality. I'd also point out that you need to remove subsidies to compare the cost on an apples to apples basis.

Beda
Beda

There are no street-side shops (bookstores, clothing stores) that would make someone venture out of the office building or come specifically downtown. I was amazed and glad when 7-Eleven and CVS opened up stores downtown. It seems like these building ownerrs would prefer a viable shop, even if they had to offer low rents, over the empty spaces that currently fill downtown office buildings. I miss Sanger Harris and Titches, and the restaurants that were in them. Fort Worth's downtown beats Dallas's by a long shot.

Downtowner
Downtowner

Times Square was a shit hole in the 70s and 80s. It took people with vision, money and guts to make it what it is today.

JimS
JimS

I'm not kidding. Those guys are lookin' at you, buddy.

Ghost F. Job
Ghost F. Job

My apologies regarding the long response but you do bring up a good point, and I’d like to express why I think more free parking is important downtown. Remember what the article is about, sidewalk foot traffic in downtown. I am taking the same position as the author of the article in that the tunnels should not be close. I am simply adding an observation that I have made with my experiences downtown.

1st think of the places where you have to pay for parking downtown: Main, Elm, Deep Ellum, Trammell Crow, DMA, Winspear, West End/Aquiarium…(Does anyone remember when parking in Deep Ellum was free?)

And then think of the free parking in successful areas with foot traffic: West Village, Lakewood Town Center, Henderson, McKinney, Oaklawn, Davis/Jefferson in N.O.C…

Please note that all these places have DART accessibility. According to your logic, Dallas has the advantage because of DART yet Downtown does not have the Critical mass that you are referring to. I’ve read a lot of good ideas in the “comments” section of the article but I believe the first step to any of these ideas is to increase free parking downtown. This will increase accessibility and in turn increase sidewalk foot traffic. If a place is inaccessible then it is likely that people will not go there. Think of K2, a lot of people want to go there but not many get there because it is inaccessible. Though the lack of free parking may not "kill" downtown foot traffic as I wrote earlier, it definitely contributes to it.

Sure, DART is a part-fix to the accessibility of downtown but it still supports one of my conclusions that simply touring downtown is a money pit because the DART is not free. Another unappealing factor of your point is that DART also limits personal freedom, “were” you are and when you are “there” is dictated by the DART schedule. I used the Redline during the St. Paddy’s day celebration and we waited 20 min for the train, this was compounded with a quarter-mile walk. This didn’t bother me but it did bother my friend because we were missing the parade. Also recall that the DART rail was immobile during the rolling blackouts during the 2011 snowpocolypse of Dallas. I don't think the DART system is appealing to some tourists who may lack the savvy to navigate public transportation. I'm not so sure that I would like to take a date on the bus to shop or eat downtown; well at least I wouldn't on the 1st date. These reasons may keep some people from using the DART.

Sure a critical mass may find their way downtown but it is a logic error to say this is solely as a result of having the DART system there. This depends on many factors the primary being accessibility. I believe that the true flaw in your argument is that it assumes that it is the consumer’s preference to use public transportation; one may not want to use public transportation. Though DART has contributed and will continue to, free parking will add to a more accessible downtown, more business downtown and more foot traffic downtown. As I wrote earlier, I believe that a parking holiday will increase foot traffic.

Testimonial regarding downtown parking issues: In the past 4 months I along with two other friends have been ticketed for not getting to the meter in time. That's a $35 slap in the face for supporting downtown businesses on Sunday. I received my ticket while parking in front of the Mercantile on Super bowl Sunday. That day I got some coffee at the Mercantile Coffee house and toured the Lofts at UNT among other historical buildings. I've also had my car booted during lunch while parking in the twisted root lot because the maid misread the meter; luckily I had my receipt with me and got them off. A friend of mine also got a $35 ticket for parking in front of July Alley on a Sunday evening (they have $1 zeiganbock on Sunday). See, Deep Ellum has reversed meter hours; a policy that we were not aware of at the time. Another friend received a $35 parking ticket for using an unmarked lot in Deep Ellum to watch a concert at Sons of Hermann Hall. Why would someone go to these areas when parking off McKinney/Henderson/Lakewood Town Center is Free? Keep in mind that these areas are also accessible by DART.

As a side note, I am a bicyclist and ride Downtown/Uptown/NOC/East Dallas/WRL so during the summer months I don't care so much abt parking. I also feel that my input is relevant because I work/hangout/bike/walk/drive/park/shop downtown and Deep Ellum often.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I think it's going both ways. Commercial property hasn't really hit the wall economically, in fact, Texas is lagging the nation. When the budget cuts go through we will experience a double dip recession and many of the buildings will go bankrupt downtown. But this is good, it will mean new owners with a lower overhead. They will be able to operate at lower cost. We will continue to enjoy stagflation, which I predicted when some were worried about rabid inflation or deflation. No, they can manage the economy fairly well, avoid deflation, but we get commodities speculation. That is driving people to reconsider their lifestyles and the urban alternative is a market with more demand than supply. These new projects, the broken dreams of some of these upper scale developments will mean more affordable housing downtown. It's happening.

But, I really want to reiterate opening up the tunnels, with terraced landscapes that terraced tiers that allow an auditorium/park feel. One Main Place, Thanksgiving Square and perhaps the Deck Park would be good locations to do this now. I don't know downtown's parks, tunnels and how they intersect well enough to name other opportunities but these three would really tie the place together, offer the Tunnel diners the opportunity to dine outside in our 8-9 months of pleasant weather and to duck out when it's inclimate.

MattL1
MattL1

I would first ask whether we actually know what part the tunnels play in downtown's retail problems. From what I see, the evidence of their impact on both sides of the debate is largely theoretical, anecdotal or some combination thereof.

Beyond that, it may be a chicken-and-egg deal. Folks won't take to the downtown street unless there's stuff to see and do, yet there won't be stuff to do unless there are enough people out there to justify investing time, money and effort into that stuff.

I'm always hesitant to assign blame for a complex and long-term problem to a particular cause. I don't know how many shops and restaurants exist beneath me, as I've never been down there. My biggest problem with the tunnel system is that it creates two downtowns: one for the residents, one for the workers, and never the twain shall meet. That's just not cool.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Hobo, this is the attitude that I don't get. Do you want a living, vibrant downtown or not? If not, then I guess nothing further needs to be said. If you do, however, you can't expect people to come downtown when there is nothing there that appeals to them.

What do we have downtown right now? Expensive boutiques, expensive restaurants, expensive hotels, expensive valet parking. The only people who can afford to do anything even remotely productive have disposable income to burn. Those of us who don't have that, but who would like to participate in some sort of social activity, stay away from downtown because it's futile. Downtown isn't for regular people anymore.

DUB
DUB

You sound like someone trying to convince themselves that the shit hole, we call downtown, is good place, because your ass is stuck down there.

Keep telling yourself that, sounds like your really convincing yourself!

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Good grief, people.

I meant stellarly constructed and finished out, but at Frisco prices.Otherwise, what's the draw? They can get cheap crap in Frisco without the bums.And they can look like brownstones, but they cannot be actually connected.

I'm telling you: no families, no downtown.It's about the only thing that hasn't been tried.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Mostly it just took Disney throwing around cash and pressuring the city to keep the prostitutes and unsightly people away. I don't think Dallas should replicate the Times Square model. It's a boring, if busy, place for tourists (seriously, I never once set foot in it in my time living in New York). Dallas has already proven that it doesn't know how to pull that off successfully. Let's try things that will appeal to residents.

Expensive Hassle
Expensive Hassle

I completely agree.Times Sq. is one part of NY I merely walk thru if I must on my to somewhere else.

I live all the "everyday" parts of NYC: the schools, the homes, the fire dept, and all the creative and interesting places between them.

NYC is enjoyable to visit bc most of it couldn't care less about visitors.

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