Jbarn wrote:Speaking of Austin, our downtown has more residents, workers, hotels, museums, performance venues, convention attendees, etc...., so what is it about our downtown that makes the streets so much less vibrant?
I think a great lack of cohesiveness between the various nodes of activity is a major reason, but I also am beginning to think it has a lot to do with the Dallas mindset. The vast majority of folks I know here don’t know what’s downtown, haven’t been there in years, and have no desire to go there. And when you ask them why they don’t go downtown, the common response is “why should I go down there”? And to tell you the truth, I can’t come back with a good response.
The city of Dallas leaders need to get out of the way and let downtown become a real downtown with character, grit, activity, noise, smells, vibrancy, etc...., get rid of the antiquated city codes that charge yearly fees for street awnings, charge annual landscaping fees if you want to put potted plants in front of your establishment, disallows sidewalk sales, street vendors, street performers, allows construction contractors to block sidewalks for months, sometimes years, but makes it hard to set up sidewalk cafes, etc... in other words, stop treating downtown as a sterile Plano office park, and let it become a real center that is befitting of the 9th largest city in America located In the 4th largest metro area in America. If you make it something different and special, maybe folks will want to actually go down there just to hang out.
Like you said, the lack of cohesiveness is a big one, and Dallas simply has an urban core. In addition to Downtown, you have areas like Uptown, Victory Park, Deep Ellum, Bishop Arts, etc.. In the suburbs there is way more competition as well. If you live in Plano, you have Shops at Legacy, Legacy West, Downtown Plano, GrandScape, and The Star not too far from you, so I'm not surprised some people don't go Downtown. Whereas in Austin, you really only have the Domain and the Mueller area.
I still think Dallas can and will get there, but it'll be a much more uphill battle for us considering the factors that both you and I listed.