For Four Days This Month, Knox Will Become Dallas' First "Complete Street"

Dallascompletestreets.jpg

In June, the city of Dallas unveiled its Complete Streets Design Manual, a rather dense set of guidelines for the city as it dabbles with the idea of building certain roadways less as places that cars blow through en route from Point A to Point B and more as boulevards that are at least as accommodating to bikers, pedestrians and public transit users. The hoped-for result is increased activity, some street-level development, and an overall improved quality of life.Think small-town Main Street, circa 1940.

As Wilonsky noted last month, early plans have been scaled back considerably for budget reasons, from 15 pilot projects down to just one. That one is a stretch of Knox Street from the Katy Trail to Central Expressway, and it's happening soon. Sort of.

The city sent word today that, between September 27 and 30, it will "conduct a temporary Complete Street demonstration" on Knox between the Katy Trail and McKinney Avenue. I have a call in to Peer Chacko, the city's assistant director of sustainable development and construction, to figure out how he will go about creating a temporary Complete Street, but for know just know that the "public is encouraged to experience this as a driver, bicyclist or pedestrian and provide input to the City," per the city's release.

Also on September 27 is an open house at City Hall to give people a chance to look at and comment on the city's Complete Streets plan and conceptual designs for the four projects -- W. Davis between Beckley and Hampton, Grand Avenue from Robert B. Cullum to Good-Latimer, Meadowcreek Drive from Arapaho to Campbelll, and Knox Street -- included in the 2012 bond package.

Update at 5:10 p.m.: Chacko called me back and informed me that there are now a dozen Complete Streets funded as part of the 2012 bond package, as council members have lobbied to have them included. They are, in addition to the ones above: Henderson, from Central to Ross; Bishop Street, between Davis and Colorado; Greenville between Belmont and Ross; a stretch of Jefferson; a portion of Lamar, Main Street in Deep Ellum; Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near Fair Park; and Cedar Springs north of Oak Lawn. Alpha Road between Valley View and the Galleria will also become a Complete Street but using money from a previous bond package.

As for the Knox demonstration project, it will mostly be done with tape. The city will shift the configuration of car lanes and change parking from head-on to angled to make room for buffered bike lanes, which will be partially marked by physical barriers. The demonstration includes both weekdays and weekends, so city staff will get an idea of how it performs in both circumstances. Mainly, they just want to see how it works in practice, Chacko said.

"Some of these changes can be pretty significant."

Update on Sept. 11: Below is Good Fulton & Farrell's video rendering of what a "Complete" Knox Street might look like:


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19 comments
MaggyonMcKinney
MaggyonMcKinney

This is a nightmare on the street right now at 4pm on Wed the 26th with barricades in place.   I work and office in the area and it's more like every day, sometimes twice a day, when people unfamiliar with the area are going the wrong way on McKinney and Cole. Like it or not Dallas, Knox is an east west connector from Central into an already over burdened area, filled with stores too big for their lots, popular restaurants and  great urban homes. We just didn't find this little gem of a neighborhood, we grew up here. There's already a lack of parking, ask anyone trying to get into the Apple store or Chuy's. Then there are the cyclists who often don't pay any attention at all to stop signs or lights.  Narrowing Knox will make it difficult to get around within our own neighborhood.  Go try this in Frisco, where there's room and leave our neighborhood alone. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Knox.  Complete street.  Still a glorified suburb.  Makes me long for Park Slope.  Maybe I'll move back.

guest
guest

As another Knox resident, I can't figure out how there's room for this. The lanes are already pretty tight, and the righthand lane going east is often blocked by trucks, vans, and Buicks parked with two feet of their rear end hanging into the street (in both the head-on and angled spots). Unless they have cops on hand to tow/ticket these idiots, the ones who drift between lanes, and the ones who don't understand one-way streets, it's going to be a fustercluck.

anon
anon

I don't get it. Knox is basically already a complete street. It's one of maybe 3-4 spots in Dallas where I will park at one store, then walk to the others I'd like to visit, rather than drive. Why are we wasting this money? It's pedestrian friendly, and given how short the blocks are (which means cars don't generally have time to speed way up), it's fairly bike friendly as well.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

As a resident of the Knox-hood, I advise everyone to avoid the area during this adventure. The morons in suvs and senile old people that already create a traffic hazard will most certainly cause heretofore unforeseen mayhem and destruction.

Guest
Guest

Per the www.dallascompletestreets.com website, only 2 early demonstration projects were scheduled. Knox will be the first. Concept plans for the 15 pilot projects are completed and available on the website. 

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

Building Mock ups and Props is one thing .And to be fair a good way to see what works and fits .

 

So How much will it cost to make one of these Concept  Streets into a finished product 3D places to be ?

That seems like a good next  question to ask .

Well that and Are the businesses in the areas on board with it ?

kduble
kduble

I anticipate it would remain 2-way. That's the trend in complete streets. They phase the changes in gradually. People adapt.

desertfox73
desertfox73

 @anon

 I think it's pretty good, but as a biker who traverses from lower Greenville to the Katy Trail via Richard, Henderson and Knox, the last two streets aren't bike friendly at all...especially in the evenings. And the sidewalks aren't great places to ride, either.

kduble
kduble

I agree it's a great street already, but I'm looking forward to seeing them make it even better.

kduble
kduble

The businesses must be on board if they're paying for it. It's TIFF funding.

gmit
gmit

 @oakclifftownie Well just use the numbers from the lower greenville project and use a little algebra

 

I mean how much was that 2.5 blocks of sidewalks, street lamps and fancy concrete pavers ?

guest
guest

 @kduble Oh, I was referring to Cole and McKinney re: the one-way streets. I see someone turn onto them going the wrong way at least once a week, and quite a few more drivers attempt before getting honked at and swerving around. And I'm not too worried about the regular drivers, as we can figure out out like you said. It's the people who truck in from the outer 'burbs and aren't used to urban driving and pedestrians/cyclists that are going to be confused.

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