Ever cross the street in front of Hunkys or JR.’s? Notice those pretty crosswalks?
Who are the straight people at Dallas City Hall who don’t get it? We can fix that for you.
When the Mayor’s LGBT Task Force asked about painting the crosswalks at the Crossroads — the corner of Throckmorton and Cedar Springs roads — the group was told “We don’t do that.” Several times.
Well, yeah we do.
This is the new crosswalk painted at the corner of Lemmon Avenue East and McKinney Avenue adjacent to West Village in so-called “Uptown.”
When the LGBT community is told “no” and “Uptown,” a community that encroached on Oak Lawn, is told “yes,” we have a problem.
If you look at the city plat, “Uptown” doesn’t exist. “Uptown” was a developer’s creation. Ironically, the first use of the term “Uptown” was by LGBT community leader and businessman Mike Grossman. In the early 1990s, he opened a real estate company called Uptown Realtors. That company was based in an old Victorian house on the east side of the Katy Railroad tracks — now the Katy Trail.
The first building boom along McKinney Avenue began along with the re-bricking of the street and the re-installation and then the expansion of the old McKinney Avenue Trolley. But developers had a problem. McKinney Avenue was part of Oak Lawn and Oak Lawn was synonymous with — oh horrors — gay and worse — AIDS. So that part of Oak Lawn was rebranded “Uptown.” Straight people could feel comfortable living in Uptown, but not in Oak Lawn. Kind of the way people hate Obamacare but love the Affordable Care Act.
So after repeatedly being told “we don’t do this,” imagine our surprise when we found this:
I thought we don’t do that in Dallas.
Well, apparently we do. Just not in Oak Lawn.
Look. What we’re asking for is this:
This, which will do a number of things. First is safety. How many car/pedestrian accidents have there been along Cedar Springs Road? Several resulted in fatalities. The brightly painted crosswalks are much more visible than the faded white markings.
Second, it will be good for business. What? Business? Oh, did that perk up some Dallas ears? Yes. Business. It will encourage renewed interest in Cedar Springs. It will bring people back to the Crossroads to see the rainbow crosswalk and stay to shop, eat out and visit a bar. And the more people who do that, the more tax revenue is generated for the city.
Let me break that down a little further: When I ate at home last night, tax revenue generated was $0. When I ate at Hunky’s on Wednesday, the bill for two of us was about $18. Tax revenue generated was $1.45. Multiply that by thousands of people who will come to see our rainbow crosswalk over the next few months.
Thousands of people? Absolutely. I took this picture on Tuesday morning:
While I was taking it, three other people walked by, stopped, looked and admired. On a Tuesday morning. Before 10 a.m. Not all the West Village stores were even open yet.
So my question to the City of Dallas is this: Are you going to paint the crosswalks at the Crossroads rainbow colors or should we just do it ourselves? Or will the painted crosswalk in Uptown be removed? As far as I see it, that’s the choice.
“Uptown” can have this amenity while Oak Lawn can’t just isn’t an option.