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In Dallas, a Community Transforms a Street

7:15 AM PDT on April 21, 2010

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 Cliffis being asked to recreate the Better Block in two other cities inTexas to help showcase the potential for revitalizing their respectiveareas, 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 costmillions of dollars. We didn’t have to hire consultants from otherfaraway places to make this happen. It took us a day. And all we didwas slow the street down. We made room for everybody. For cars, forpeople, 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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