Guerilla Urbanism: North Oak Cliff residents create their own Complete Street

The block heard round the world.

Go Oak Cliff finally wrapped-up the video outlining the Better Block event and posted to their site. View it to see how the new non-profit along with residents and members of BFOC took a street that was dominated by cars, and converted it to a place for pedestrians, bicyclists, and cafes. Since the corner lacked development due to its pre-war form being stripped in the 1970’s to a car-only design, activists created a temporary coffee shop, gift/flower market, and kids art studio to show the type of community based businesses that could develop if people were given adequate walkable/bikeable access from the surrounding neighborhoods.

We’ve just gotten word that the event is starting to go viral nationally with Transit Miami picking up the story yesterday.

And how exactly successful was the Better Block? Immediately after the project, Dallas transportation staff have begun looking at making many of the changes permanent, Go Oak Cliff is being asked to recreate the Better Block in two other cities in Texas to help showcase the potential for revitalizing their respective areas, and Congress for New Urbanism will feature the event at their 18th annual exposition in Atlanta.

More press surrounding the event can be found here:

http://oakcliffblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2010/04/looking-to-build-on-success-of.html#comments

More videos posted by the Advocate

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/2010/04/what_made_a_better_block_oh_ju.php#comments

http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/2010/04/12/leading-off-41310-%e2%80%93-youtube-edition/

http://www.dallasobserver.com/slideshow/the-art-crawl-and-better-block-project-in-oak-cliff-29654196/2/

http://www.carfreeinbigd.com/2010/04/emergent-urbanism-in-oak-cliff.html

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5 Comments

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  1. Love the sharrows! Those should be painted on every lane of every road in Dallas. I hope this demonstrates to everyone in charge how to create a livable, walkable, bikable street.

  2. This is incredible, I wish I had heard about it – i’d have come and helped out.

    Inspiring. You guys are role models. Good job!

  3. I’m so sad I had to miss this great event. It looks like a major success, and I hope it’s something that happens again in the future, on a more permanent basis!

    This is what makes me love living in OC! Keep up the great work.

  4. So good to see the power of many small iterative changes done in concert with each other, and chosen by the community itself. I heard one mention of price in the video, that “it only cost $1,000 dollars” was this the total budget for doing all this to the block? Congrats, Go Oak Cliff!

  5. That was the total budget for the lighting, plants, paints, and goods we brought in. We had some temporary historic lighting, tables, and planters donated from others. We also had to get a permit to turn the street into a one-way for the weekend, insurance, as well as hire security (a pre-req when you close streets in Dallas). Those three items together were closer to $3K, but we separated them out since they weren’t part of the overall aesthetic changes.

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