Dallas, Texas: Park(ing) Day approved by city council


The resolution was approved Wednesday, Sept. 13.

DALLAS — When Dallas City Councilmembers were briefed on Park(ing) Day in the city, it led to a discussion about completely changing the parking code. 

In August, Councilmember Chad West submitted a five-signature memorandum for the city to recognize Park(ing) Day on Sept. 14. It also asked City Manager TC Broadnax to begin reducing required city parking and eliminate minimum parking requirements.

The resolution was approved on Sept. 13. 

Park(ing) Day is an international event aimed at turning vacant parking spots around cities into “public parks and other spaces for people to enjoy.”

According to the memorandum and resolution, Park(ing) Day promotes “community engagement” by creating “mini parks, booths for selling goods, and other art/entertainment related activities to repurpose public parking spots.”

In Oak Cliff near Bishop Arts, Elizabeth Zacharias told WFAA that, if anything, more parking spaces are needed in parts of Dallas.

“Wear good walking shoes,” said Zacharias. 

Zacharias lives in the neighborhood and opts to walk to wherever she needs. She said on some weekday evenings, and especially during the weekends, people pack Bishop Arts public parking spaces to enjoy the main strip of shops and restaurants.

She said its not enough, and people park in the nearby neighborhoods.

“I have problems finding parking in my own home,” Zacharias said. “Everyone else that wants to go into Bishop Arts, they’re having to park [in neighborhoods] so they have a spot to go to.”

Nancy Taylor owns Wow Wow Lemonade Stand in Bishop Arts. She said she hears customers talk about the lack of parking in the area, but said she sees the benefit of what Dallas City Council is trying to do by repurposing parking places.

“It is good from the perspective that everyone can come in, you know, and open a business and they have a good business plan and it fits,” Taylor said.

Taylor believes parking alternatives may be a better solution.

“Underground parking would be amazing because then it doesn’t really affect the above-ground opportunities,” Taylor said.

In a Sept. 6 city council meeting, West questioned the overall impact of what he said are many vacant surface parking lots and how city officials could incentivize owners to do something more with the land.

Not every councilmember was on board. In the same meeting, District 12 Councilmember Cara Mendelsohn said the parking situation is far different in North Dallas than it is in areas such as downtown. Mendelsohn predicted the area of town she represents would not be in favor of the idea. 

Mendelsohn said in that meeting there are hardly any surface parking lots in her district, and constituents struggle with parking.

Park(ing) Day in Dallas is Thursday, Sept. 14.