DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM)- A group of neighbors in Preston Center have unified in a campaign to protest more development in fixing traffic hot spots in Dallas.
Yard signs reading, “No more towers, fix the traffic first,” dot a neighborhood near Preston Center.
An online petition, which has received 630 signatures, are neighbors’ way of fighting proposed new developments in the area.
The area around Northwest Highway and the tollway sees nearly 60,000 vehicles a day, and traffic and parking are hectic.
Traffic is a problem in Dallas,” said Reverend Dr. Christopher Girata of St. Michael and All Angels Church. “There’s just no way around it, and I think part of what we’re doing here is try to make our urban environment smarter, and that’s really what our project hopes to do.”
A debate about the fate of an archaic parking garage in the middle of Preston Center has gone on for years, one step towards fixing the area.
Last fall, St. Michael and All Angels Church proposed a mixed-use development with an underground garage, an eight story office building and a 12-story residential building.
In a 2016 study, stakeholders agreed new development shouldn’t be pursued until the traffic, parking and infrastructure problems were solved.
Former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller said development would hurt residents’ quality of life.
“Our big dreams haven’t happened,” said Miller. “There’s more development coming in, and there’s no infrastructure to absorb all the parking and traffic and pedestrian problems. Preston Center is overrun with traffic.”
While the church awaits zoning approval from the city, some neighbors said they still believe that’s what should happen.
“Fundamentally, our concern is that we’re turning four-story residential zoning in a high rise office at a point where nothing has been done to try to fix the overall traffic pattern,” said Rick del Monte, a resident.
Not all residents agree, however.
“I think it’ll bring new blood to the area,” said Richard Wells, a resident. “I think it’s good for the neighborhood.”
There will be a public meeting next Thursday night about the debate concerning the Preston Center garage.