Dwaine Caraway Wants to Dig Up Main Street, Turn it Into the River Walk

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thesanantonioriverwalk.com
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Right now, the City Council is debating whether to lower fees and loosen the rules governing what businesses can put on sidewalks and public rights of way, the idea being that more sidewalk cafes and awnings and creative signage and landscaping can help create a more enjoyable urban experience. Planners point to Lower Greenville and Bishop Arts as an example of what they have in mind.

Of course, such a sweeping policy change requires a lot of due diligence and debate, so, while both council members and city staff have expressed support, it's moving very, very slowly.

Dwaine Caraway for one is ready to start opening sidewalk cafes. At this morning's Quality of Life Committee meeting, he directed assistant city manager Joey Zapata's attention to the stretch of Cedar Crest Boulevard between Bonnie View Road and Stella Avenue. With a bit more sidewalk activity, Caraway thinks it's poised to become the next Bishop Arts. He's already imaging people sitting on patios eating pizza and sipping glasses of wine.

Thinking of that brought Caraway to another point. It's really not fair that your hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop goes through the same permitting "as the ones that sell the lobster tails and the T-bone steak with the $100 bottles of wine."

"You gotta always protect the smaller people," he said. "You don't want to let the big fish swim in the same lake. When the big fish are swimming in the ocean, they gotta pay the ocean price."

Now, back to the topic at hand, which is awnings and sidewalk cafes. Caraway thinks they're great. He already said that. The only thing that could make them better is if they were positioned not by the street but next to a body of water. Sort of like San Antonio's River Walk. Matter of fact, Caraway proposed digging up Main Street and turning it into a River Walk.

"It may sound crazy, but it's going to go down at some point," he promised.

It does sound a little crazy now that he mentions it, particularly given the city's recent track record on high-profile water features. But that doesn't mean he's not serious. Don't be surprised to find him down there later today with a pickax and garden hose making this thing happen. You also shouldn't be surprised if the Dallas-River Walk idea never comes up again. You really never can tell with Dwaine.


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36 comments
John1073
John1073

They had a river in downtown once. It was called the Trinity. Now it is a ditch shoved south by levees and soon to be paved over by a toll road. Brilliant ideas all around, Dallas.

BettyC1
BettyC1

caraway is correct Dallas is short on fun and entertainment for regular folk.Downtown has no place after 5 PM to eat a decent meal for less than $50.00 no live entertainment open to walk in off street . New hotel has no surrounding entertainment or place to have drink that cost less than $10.00 its just not visitor friendly. They want more foot traffic you must have something to bring people out.FUN not more high price meals. 

1dailyreader
1dailyreader

We're spraying for West Nile, running low on water and it's gotta come from somewhere.  This River Walk vision will be called the Red River Walk and the WN spraying around the area will be great for all the sidewalk diners sipping their wine.  "Would you like a spritz of West Nile spray with that?"

guest
guest

What we need is a downtown riverwalk with a toll road over it and a deck park over the toll road.

markzero
markzero

What the heck does he mean by protecting the smaller people? Does he mean less permitting for small businesses? That implies some of the paperwork now is unnecessary, and if that's the case, it should be fixed across the board. No, the quote where he says big fish have to pay the ocean price is a hint at what he really wants to do, which is to raise the prices for the bigger businesses instead of playing fair to all comers. That sounds (and smells) a bit like the shady "equity" certain Dallas leaders have demanded of developers in the past.

LakeWWWooder
LakeWWWooder

We already have an riparian feature running from Ross and Haskell through Exall Park, down to Deep Ellum and over to Old City Park.  It's called Mill Creek and it was placed into underground pipes in the 1930s.  It was to be beautified ala Turtle Creek.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

I think Caraway is a complete buffoon ........one of the reasons Dallas is such a dump is because of morons like him and JWPrice, inefficiency and rampant corruption. But that idea about a "River Walk" type destination is not a bad concept.  Now, if they had only kept the Cowboys and moved the Rangers to Dallas/Dallas County; I had a reason to go downtown.  

MaxNoDifference
MaxNoDifference

Cedar Crest Blvd between Stella and Bonnie View can become the next Bishop Arts?  I think that wine that Dwayne Caraway is sipping is actually Thunderbird spiked with LSD.

MattL11
MattL11

Let's make sure that Caraway never visits Venice.

mcdallas
mcdallas

Just wait for the Trinity Tollroad.  We might be able to put (waterproof, floatable) tables, chairs, canopies, and plants in that sucker.  

Can't wait to get Shutze's opinion on this opinion.  We should call that an opinionsquared.

iwearblack
iwearblack

Main? Nope... A much better placement would be through Victory Park... Might as well keep the failures confined to one area...

DMZ3
DMZ3

That's, like, *so* characteristically Dallas.

Instead of taking something that's unique to the city and building on it, we need a Blue Ribbon Task Force to assemble and figure out something some other city is known for, and copy it. And then we'll be like that city! Except no, you'll be a cheap imitation and Everyone Will See Through It. And then they will laugh at you.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

Does Dwaine know that a vital ingredient for a river walk is... a river?

Chuck_Schick
Chuck_Schick

Awesome! We can connect the solar powered water taxis from the Trinity. No more need for that second downtown DART rail line.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Just tell Dwayne to wait til the levees break, then Main, Commerce, Elm, and all the rest will be waterfront.

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

@mcdallas 


but we are still waiting on that bleeding  sullen turd called The Standing Wave; if you wait on Dallas, yer backing up. 

Daniel
Daniel

@DMZ3 Wait! I thought of something. Our level of collective self-loathing, as exemplified by my very own comment above, is unique. Shit, even people from Detroit and St. Louis love their cities more than we do. People from Baltimore LOVE their city, and it's what urban planners and sociologists like to call "a real turd." 

The question now becomes, how to parlay that self-contempt, that self-disgust, into a world-class water feature? And which rich man's wife should we name it after?

Daniel
Daniel

@DMZ3  Quick! Name something unique to Dallas. There's .... well ... um ... er ... there's ... no ... hmm, no again ... there's ... brisket tacos, I guess. Turn Main Street into a giant brisket taco. It may sound crazy, but it's gonna go down at some point!

NewsDog
NewsDog

@DMZ3  Who do I have to 'contribute' to so I can get appointed to the Blue Ribbon Task Force? 

NewsDog
NewsDog

@everlastingphelps All they have to do is re-route the Trinity, which is what they did in San Antonio.

The big question is will running the river through downtown make the river smell any better or will the two stenches combine? 

DMZ3
DMZ3

@Daniel @DMZ3 Wait. I just realized... *everything* in Dallas is just a simulacra of something found in another city, like The Matrix. The only thing unique about Dallas is that it exists for the purpose of copying and repackaging ideas from other places. So building a copy of the River Walk would be strangely appropriate? 

Dammit Caraway! You win this time.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@NewsDog @everlastingphelps The San Antonio river is as much a river as the one at Six Flags that you take a boat ride on. In S.A. they drain the thing to wash it every so often. It's just a big water feature, without a filter.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@TheCredibleHulk @fracquestions @guest Whitewater river running is an exciting challenge. The city spent over $4.2 Million of taxpayer money building a worthless piece of shit excuse for a whitewater park in the Trinity River near Corinth Street in a section of the river that is rated by TCEQ and the EPA as "unsafe for contact recreation." On a good day it MAY rate as Class II or II+ whitewater, the highest rating being VI, which is unrunnable and unsurvivable by all but the very best boaters.

I propose a different whitewater park for Main Street and a different classification - a Class VII park of flowback and produced water that is unsurvivable unless wearing an E-suit. Now, THAT would be a challenge that NO other city offers and would make Dallas truly unique. We could encourage other Barnett Shale cities to dump their wastewater from fracing operations in our Main Street canal so that we do not have to use freshwater to sustain our supremely dangerous "feature" park.

And, just to complete the scenario for Dwaine Caraway, we could add some pig blood!

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Vegas without the vision or bankroll.

NewsDog
NewsDog

@Montemalone @NewsDog @everlastingphelps   Actually they re-directed part of the old river for a combination of flood control and retail development. 

The flood gates and pumps  control the flow and level of the river (they can actually make the flow of the river go upstream).  For a while in the '90s they would drain the channel for a week in January to clean out all the trash and the restaurants and bars started what was known as MudFest. It was a Mardi Gras like party.   

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