Here's the Six-Story Parking Garage Proposed for the Dallas Arboretum

ArboretumParkingGarage.jpg
WFAA
Arboretum officials were understandably cautious when they unveiled early plans for a Garland Road parking garage last night. The memory of the public uprising and PR debacle that greeted a proposal to park cars on Winfrey Point is no doubt fresh on their minds, so they made clear that the parking garage meeting would only be open to residents of the three neighborhoods that abut the botanical garden, Forest Hills, Little Forest Hills, and Emerald Isle.

At least, they made that clear in an email to Hal Barker, the man whose public records requests ignited the Winfrey Point protests. It doesn't seem to have been enforced very strictly, particularly when it came to the media.

See also
-Showdown at Winfrey Point: Yet Another Episode in the Saga to Preserve Nature in Dallas
-The Dallas Arboretum No Longer Wants to City to Turn Winfrey Point into a Parking Lot

And so we get our first glimpse of the proposed garage, visible in WFAA's rather grainy photo, will sit on a currently vacant lot on the east side of Garland Road facing the children's garden at the far northeastern edge of the Arboretum. It will have six stories, two of which will be underground, and 1,200 parking spaces. Visitors will cross Garland Road using an underground walkway.

Neighbors weren't exactly thrilled with the plan ("Not everything is going to be the way we want it," one woman told The Dallas Morning News) but seem resigned to the inevitable. Better than cars clogging up neighborhood streets, anyways.

And the Arboretum folks were no doubt satisfied to have successfully presented a parking scheme near White Rock Lake without inspiring a massive groundswell of grassroots rage.


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33 comments
umdad
umdad

Why doesn't the Arboretum build the parking lot on the location of their current parking lot on THEIR side of Garland Road?

Obummer
Obummer

Yo as long as Sandra Fluke be get’in her free birf controls pills what diff’ do it make?

kduble
kduble

Dallas talks a good game about walk-ability and mixed use, yet here we are again with the same old, single-use parking garage to throw a wet blanket on what could be a vital urban street-scape. They couldn't get away with something like this in the Citiplace West or Uptown areas.

I'm afraid that, until the public becomes more discering about the kind of architecture we're getting, East Dallas will continue to kill it's potential for vitality and walk ability with these mammoth, single use structures on prime real estate.

Tolldya
Tolldya

First, quit calling it an Arboretum. They lost that privilege.  It's a showcase botanical garden and playground. Second, the garage keeps the cars off the lawn..

aaronstew2003
aaronstew2003

I am excited to see something new and nice looking on garland road. even if its a garage! and it will alleviate the traffic everyones concerned about on the side streets, too. double bonus! 

packieblaydes
packieblaydes

As east dallas p1 pointed out, the neighbors are spilt. Some view the arboretum as a gaudy tourist attraction and they strive to limit its expansion with the hope of minimizing the number and the impact of visitors to the arboretum.Unfortunately this is a little like sticking your head in the sand, ignoring the inherit benefits of the arboretum and the fact that it has the political capital and the actual financial capital to expand.

What we as east Dallasites need to focus on is the how and where the arboretum expands; ensuring that the arboretum expands in a manner that not only provides benefits to itself and the city, but also to East Dallas.Meaning infrastructure improvements, enhanced streets, and design intended to promote connectivity to local businesses to promote those econ dev multiplier effects.

Case in point the windfrey point expansion, as proposed, was a poor expansion.The parking on Garland could be a good expansion, if it’s incorporated into the neighborhood and into Garland Road well.After all, it’s what a 60 million dollar total investment in East Dallas, we need to make the most of it.

nancersize
nancersize

Is this going where they just put a surface lot by Kwik Kar?

lisareneemerito
lisareneemerito

The last time I was at the Arboretum it was so crowded it you couldn't turn around without bumping someone.  Adding a parking garage is only going to make it more crowded.  I'm done with that place.  Too crowded! 

anon
anon

There will never be agreement among the neighbors because there are a lot of people in Dallas who thought they bought a house in a quiet suburb. Garland Road in that part of town is a major street. It has tall buildings. I can see objections to the parking garage, but not reasonable ones.

EastDallasP1
EastDallasP1

Well it's better than Winfrey Point, though it will look a bit odd there. Better than the trailer park that was on that site years ago though I suppose.

anon
anon

@kduble not sure what you're talking about. Uptown is nothing but garages. where else do you think all those places that force you to valet park the cars? Garland Ave isn't McKinney Ave, and even if it was, do you know how many parking garages there are on McKinney? 

kduble
kduble

@Tolldya The question is, is this single use structure plopped in the middle of a street with such potential the best they can do? I propose it isn't. Having quality street level retail in this structure would add value to the arboretum, and vice versa. East Grand deserves better.

kduble
kduble

@aaronstew2003  I think you're a nice person and you mean well. If the goal is reducing traffic congestion, however, than these mid-20th century, single-use structures are not the way to go. It's a sin to front such valuable real estate on a street with as much potential as Garland Road with a plain vanilla parking garage!

Now, I know they'll jazz it up and try to make it look nice, but 10, 20 or 30 years down the road, it will still look long-in-the tooth, have homeless sleeping in it and have the smell of urine. We this building to accommodate boutiques, shops and restaurants on the ground level to greet people coming to and from the arboretum. We could have the parking behind and above.

Guest
Guest

@aaronstew2003 Agreed. I would rather a parking garage be on Garland Road than on the lake. Nothing worse than the sound of squealing tires and slamming doors, while sailing or kayaking. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@aaronstew2003 How exactly is increased parking going to alleviate traffic in the area?  You're increasing the parking capacity by 1200 MORE cars than can currently be parked at the Arboretum.  That's 1200 MORE cars trying to get there at the same time, on the same streets (that aren't being expanded) that are getting clogged with the current capacity.

kduble
kduble

@packieblaydes I particularly like your remarks about "design intended to promote connectivity to local businesses to promote those econ dev multiplier effects." Yet, it is on these grounds that I question this project. This is a business-as-usual, free-standing parking structure. It's itself a lifeless structure plopped down in the middle of what could be an economically vital destination. The way this parking structure is conceived goes against the principles of good urban design.

Let's put this in a human perspective. It's a hot Saturday in June. You're walking back to your car. You'd like to share a beer with your visiting family members. All of you get into the car and drive away. Or, let's say it's a pleasant autumn evening, and you're with your spouse and would like a nice dinner. So, you walk to the parking garage, you get into your car, and you drive.

As the design of such a building gives patrons no reason to linger, it is, in itself, a traffic multiplier. If people had a reason to stay in the vicinity after enjoying the arboretum, this would level out traffic demand, and it would take stress off of these peak periods.

Los_politicos, you speak of new sidewalks. What good do these do when there are no pedestrians and no places to walk to? If we want less traffic, we need to design areas for pedestrians. There is no reason there couldn't be a retail strip sharing the ground floor of this parking garage with fine dining and sidewalk cafes. For the second time this week, we've had announcements of structures in East Dallas that follow a 1950s-era mode of drive-up and park design in what would otherwise be promising locations. If the citizens of East Dallas, and particularly, Garland Road and East Grand, want to see improvements, they're going to have to become more demanding about their architecture and not just accept whatever comes along as progress.

Los_Politico
Los_Politico

@packieblaydes Exactly. Let's get some street calming, landscaping, and new sidewalks out of this. It should also allow for better access across garland rd to the lake.

CornyDoggy
CornyDoggy

@packieblaydes

"Meaning infrastructure improvements, enhanced streets, and design intended to promote connectivity to local businesses to promote those econ dev multiplier effects."

Well said

kduble
kduble

@anon @kduble  You wouldn't know it by walking through there now, would you? It's possible to erect garages in such a way that preserves walkability. West Village, Cityplace West, the Quadrangle and other Uptown developments are only a few locales that come to mind.

kduble
kduble

@scottindallas @kduble  Do you see them? I guess that's my point, then, isn't it.

Go back and read my comments. I'm not anti garage. I'm anti bad-garage. I'm pro good-garage.

anon
anon

@kduble @Tolldya I assume since ground level retail makes so much sense, you are waiting to fund its construction, or at least take on a lease for space at the market rate rent they've have to charge to make money by putting in retail?

tedbarker45
tedbarker45

@kduble @Tolldya  using the estimates gleaned in Open Records and from the SMU study of last year, the new lot would only be a temporary fix.  With a 2027 estimate of over 3.4 mil persons per year any increment before that won't make any model work.  Houdini would be needed.

anon
anon

@kduble @aaronstew2003 ground level retail would not solve the problem, as this would simply create more demand for parking that is already at a premium. simply put, it would exacerbate the problem that the garage is intended to alleviate. 

furthermore, maybe what needs to go is the wasteful single family housing on impractically large lots. as long as we're trying to tell people what they are supposed to do with their money, we should let the homeowners know that if their lots were divided or turned into condos and townhouses, Garland Rd would be able to support significantly more dense retail/commercial in that section. I'd love to see that zoning meeting!

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@kduble @aaronstew2003 a parking garage would be less an eyesore and an impediment to walkability than the vast parking lots they use now.  You haven't really thought your argument through kduble.

aaronstew2003
aaronstew2003

@RTGolden1 @aaronstew2003 uh huh, 1200 cars all at the same time all day and night long every day trying to get in.  i think some believe it'll keep people from having to drive around on the side streets or, heaven forbid, park on them, to visit the arboretum. its a novel concept i know..


anon
anon

@kduble @packieblaydes sorry, but you're barking up the wrong tree here. the only thing the residents of the adjacent area like less than the arboretum is the idea of turning their section of Garland road into a destination for restaurants or bars. seriously, they will object to anything that can be perceived as "urban" if it means more people walking around the area they believe to be exclusively theirs.

kduble
kduble

@anon @kduble @Tolldya  Garland Road and the neighboring Arboretum are public assets. Permits are required, and the public has a say in what goes there.

kduble
kduble

@anon @kduble @aaronstew2003 The problems include, but are not limited to, car dependency, and people entering and leaving at peak periods. Yes, ground level retail would address these issues by providing a more inviting destination for public transportation, and encouraging folks to arrive earlier -- for brunch perhaps -- and stay for dinner sometimes. So, yes, ground level retail could have a positive effect on traffic issues.

kduble
kduble

@scottindallas @kduble @aaronstew2003  The problem isn't that I haven't thought through my argument, but rather, that you haven't read it. Go back and read my last sentence in each paragraph.

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