Dallas news this week includes two DART-related items, one about a pilot program, the other about a winning mural. There's news about a mixed-use project near Lakewood, and a date for the reopening of the Dallas Public Library.
Here's what happened in Dallas this week:
DART pilot program
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) begins a six-month pilot program of the South Dallas GoLink, an on-demand curb-to-curb service for areas around South Dallas and Fair Park Monday, April 26.
The South Dallas-Fair Park neighborhood has no shortage of bus and rail service including four DART rail stations - MLK, Jr. Station, Fair Park Station, Hatcher Station and Cedars Station - and 10 bus routes.
However, a survey of 200 residents in zip codes 75210 and 75215 discovered that what people really wanted but did not have was transportation for short trips to places like grocery stores and the recreation center.
GoLink is already available in western Carrollton, Farmers Branch, southeast Garland, Glenn Heights, Inland Port, South Irving, Kleberg/Rylie, Lake Highlands, Lakewood, North Dallas, Park Cities, Legacy West, Far North Plano, North Central Plano/Chase Oaks, and Rowlett. The pilot program will cost $50,000 and includes one dedicated accessible taxi, supplemented by Uber Pool, to cover an 8.5-square-mile area.
Plan says no
A developer hoping to build a mixed-use complex near the White Rock Creek Greenbelt hit a snag in its attempt to get the area rezoned.
Mill Creek Residential wants to build The Trailhead in the space previously occupied by two restaurants The Lot and Local Traveler, at the intersection of Grand and Gaston. Their project is a seven-story building with 305 two-bedroom apartments plus street level restaurants and retail.
The space is currently zoned for four stories. To get it rezoned, they first need to get a yes from the Dallas City Plan Commission, and then from the Dallas City Council.
But at its April 22 meeting, the Plan Commission voted no by 9-4, despite the fact that City of Dallas staff recommended approval. Their objections included height, traffic, too much density/too many units, and negative feedback they'd received from the public.
Mill Creek can come back to the Plan Commission and pitch it again. They can also go straight to the City Council in the hopes that the City Council might approve it, even if the Plan Commission voted against it.
DART mural winner
Collin Chon, a 5th-grade student at Greenhill School in Addison, won Best of Show in DART's annual Student Art Contest. Collin's artwork was selected from 688 entries, from students in kindergarten all the way through 12th grade.
This year's theme was "Everyday Heroes Ride DART," saluting hometown heroes who have kept the community going during the pandemic.
The winning artwork will be seen at DART rail stations, buses and inside trains, as well as on display at the Dallas Museum of Art, Love Field Airport, and on DART's website, DART.org.
Dallas Public Library is resuming in-person service at 27 branch locations and the Central Library, allowing customers to browse and check out books, and pick up their holds inside the library. They'll reopen on May 4.
There are limitations:
- Building capacity is limited to 25 at branches and 155 at the Central Library.
- Public computer access is available for one 90-minute session per day per user and can be reserved up to 24 hours in advance.
- Researchers may use the Dallas History and Archives and Genealogy collections by appointment, as well as the Creative Spaces at the Central Library.
- Seating is unavailable, but the Central floors will have limited seating to allow for charging and using personal devices.
Masks worn over the nose and mouth will be required for all customers age 2 and older, and 6-feet social distancing will be encouraged. Those using the public computers are asked to wipe it down before and after use; library staff are providing disinfectant wipes for all computer users.
Staff will be available for limited assistance, but self-checkout is encouraged. Reference service is still limited to online chat and phone, although staff will be able to help with quick answers and book requests.
Library To Go curbside service is still available by appointment.
Some services remain unavailable including programs and events, public meeting rooms, study rooms, chairs, toys, games, and other interactive items.
The Renner Frankford Branch remains closed for repairs for damages due to the winter storm. And Bookmarks at NorthPark Center continues Library To Go service only.
Teen grant program
The City of Dallas Youth Commission has launched a community service grant initiative called Teens for Dallas Grant Initiative. The grant provides financial assistance to youth organizations in exchange for completing a community service project planned by the Dallas Youth Commission.
Organizations that meet the criteria may be awarded up to $1,000. All applications will be reviewed and voted on by all Youth Commissioners. Interested organizations should apply for the grant online at on the Dallas Youth Commission’s website. Applications are accepted throughout the year, but the first round of applications are due May 1.