Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Better to Listen to Mark Twain...

...than comment on articles.  I can't let this go.  There is a new article up on the Morning News' Transportation Blog interviewing Downtown Dallas, Inc., CEO John Crawford about the highway tear-out idea.  I met with Crawford and his team about two months ago.  And as the article states, I'll be speaking tonight to the Dallas AIA about how I'd rather them designing housing in the middle of the city than house by kit going up in Oklahoma as part of "Dallas's growth."

However, I could make it no further than the first comment, where somebody shrieked, "ehrmagerd, I can't drive on free roads and take advantage of free parking from my tax haven in wherever-a-stan Oklahoma.  Nobody will ever go to downtown ever again."  Dutifully reciting all the mistaken logic that has failed this city whilst proving reading comprehension is a learned skill.  Ya know, that part about repositioning 245 acres into 25,000 new residents that would no longer be driving on highways to get to downtown in the first place?

A mistake, I know, to ever venture into GenPop.  There be dragon breath there.  It's a personal pet peeve of mine that every place in the metroplex must be "drive-to" friendly.  It has "to be a destination."  Never thinking that that the drive-to nature of everything opens the place up to fragility, to cannibalization by the next, exactly the same wannabe regional destination, just newer.

Like I told D Magazine in an article several years back, that Fair Park, South Dallas, and Green Line ridership needed to first be a desirable residential area before it could ever hope to be a destination again.  The thing is, people like to be where other people are.  Where there are no people...  On the other hand, why do you think there is so much bitching about parking in State Thomas?  Or Lower Greenville?  Well, it sure is a bear to drive and park in central London!

I'm reminded of the Yelp or whatever site where an Angeleno posed an innocent enough sounding question, "why is it so hard to drive through San Francisco?" To San Franciscans.  The next 20 or so responses were filled with various snarky replies like, "because we love our city." "Because we don't want you driving through." "No thanks, we don't need your smog." It was pretty amazing to see the response from a people who also fretted once taking out a freeway.  And then two.  And now they're working on a third (third, if you count extending the Embarcadero tear-out another half mile).

Better to be thought a fool, or not thought of at all, then to comment on websites and remove all doubt.  That's Twain, right?