In Dallas, a Community Transforms a Street

The people at Bike Friendly Oak Cliff tipped us off to this video about a truly inspirational event that happened in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas a couple of weeks ago.

With about a thousand bucks and some elbow grease, neighborhood residents transformed a rundown city block for two days, creating a vibrant streetscape — a truly complete street. They painted a cycle track, opened a pop-up café in an empty storefront, put up some outdoor seating and calmed traffic. It’s a brilliant example of how, with a minimal amount of money and a full commitment from the community, places can be transformed quite literally overnight, revealing a wealth of untapped economic and social potential.

The event has gotten a lot of positive feedback from city officials, among others, according to Bike Friendly Oak Cliff:

Immediately after the project, Dallas transportation staff have begun looking at making many of the changes permanent. Go Oak Cliff is being asked to recreate the Better Block in two other cities in Texas to help showcase the potential for revitalizing their respective areas, and Congress for New Urbanism will feature the event at their 18th annual exposition in Atlanta.

In the video above, organizer Jason Roberts sums it up:

We’ve got the first complete street in Dallas…. It didn’t cost millions of dollars. We didn’t have to hire consultants from other faraway places to make this happen. It took us a day. And all we did was slow the street down. We made room for everybody. For cars, for people, for bicyclists.… We’ve changed the psychology of the street.

Anyone else out there want to try something similar? We’re sure the folks down in Dallas would love to help out. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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