There are mixed feelings among people who travel the stretch of Knox Street between McKinney Avenue and Travis Street on the city of Dallas’ plan to shrink the road from four to three lanes, a change that would allow the road one lane of traffic in each direction with a continuous center-turn lane and add a two-way cycle track on the north side of the road.
“I don’t like this at all,” Tamara Davis, who often shops in the area, said. “There’s too much traffic already. How are they going to get more cars through less space?”
Dallas city council has been exploring ways to improve traffic flow in the area since 2012. The Knox project is part of the Dallas Complete Street initiative that aims to build roads that are more than just traffic conduits. The stated goals include designing thoroughfares that provide for multiple forms of transportation, including cars, pedestrians, bicyles, and public transportation.
The lane reduction on Knox Street will allow for a wider sidewalk on the north side. Street parking spaces will be reconfigured so that cars can park at an angle instead of perpendicular to the road.
“The parking here is kind of hairy,” Steve Hobson, who works a couple of blocks away on Cole Avenue, said. “I can see the pros and cons of the argument, but at the end of the day, I think there will be lots of traffic here regardless.”
The influx of traffic is being driven in part by several large residential and mixed-use developments. Most of the developers are not speaking publicly about the issue. However, representatives from area businesses including Weir’s Furniture, Chuy’s, and Highland Park Pharmacy voiced their discontent during an Aug. 24 city council meeting.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017 and is expected to last 12 to 18 months, a prospect few are looking forward to.
“I’m not looking forward to that at all,” Hobson said. “I hope it’s worth it.”