Dallas Main St, a Pedestrian Walkway

Want to revitalize all of downtown Dallas in a way that helps everyone in the city and costs little to nothing?

My suggestion, written about in my zine Musea and recapped below, would do that in one step.

Make Main Street a pedestrian walkway – that’s it.

Before you read the recap, an update. I think I can make this one street walkway without cars, world class through a simple architectural addition. Here goes.

Norman Foster added a roof to the great court at the British Museum that is flat out wonderful – and so simple and elegant. It is a roof of steel and glass that covers the smaller buildings below and the spaces between them.

My idea is to set up cement posts all along Main Street, and top them with a concave vault of steel and glass inspired by Foster’s work at the British Museum. This ceiling would cover the entire street. Gradually all of Main Street would have a roof that would let in the sunshine, keep out the rain, and make the temperature for those walking under it, mild all through the year. That would also make Main Street in Dallas, a world class architectural statement!

Now, as promised. Here is the recap of the Main Street – Pedestrian Walkway, idea.

Make Main Street a no-car, pedestrian walkway from Downtown through Deep Ellum to Fair Park. Then take it the other way, across the Trinity River on a pedestrian bridge to one of the main roads in Oak Cliff. Later you can keep it going as far as you like in both directions, and/or you could add the streets next to Main.

Be sure to add these features that would make it all the better: police walking on patrol or on bikes, some lunch wagons here and there, and some electric carts to move people up and down the Pedestrian Walkway.

With this one step you’ve got a new Dallas, and a one of a kind US city. You’ve also got a world attraction for tourists.

This would be the Dallas version of San Antonio’s “Riverwalk” but with a walkway not a waterway. It would tie in all the neighborhoods mentioned, revitalize all of them, and make a reason for people to go, shop, explore, celebrate, and live, downtown/Deep Ellum/Fair Park/Oak Cliff.

This would also help get traffic and pollution out of downtown by reducing traffic in downtown. Dallas City Government you should make it clear that cars can come to downtown, or go around downtown, but they are no longer allowed to go through downtown! We don’t need that stalled traffic polluting up Main and the side streets.

Sadly the chance this would come to pass is slim, in the present city atmosphere. There is no billionaire developer pushing for his own single downtown revitalization project, and without that seldom does the city government act.

But this is worth the change. This step would help all of the real estate on Main, all the real estate on the two roads on either side of Main, and from there as this developed, the benefits would flow out to all downtown, Deep Ellum, Fair Park, Oak Cliff and beyond.

Think big fog Big D!

City (collage.)

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