Garland Road has some lovely features — White Rock Lake, the Arboretum, locally owned businesses. But it’s got some warts as well — acres of unnecessary parking lots fronting big-box retailers, incomplete sidewalks, vacant old retail buildings.

The Garland Road Vision Advisory Committee, which aims to redesign the stretch from Interstate 635 to Grand Avenue, is getting closer to drafting a plan. In two meetings recently, the committee narrowed ideas from neighbors. They have hired the HOK architectural firm, and they expect to have a plan drafted in February.

Neighbors say they want to get rid of “fatigued” buildings, unprofessional signage and graffiti. They want some uniformity in the buildings and businesses, as opposed to the extreme mix of industrial, commercial, retail and manufacturing that exists there now.

Check out what neighbors say they want for the future of Garland Road after the jump.
Neighbors said their vision for Garland Road includes better landscaping and lighting throughout the corridor, continuous sidewalks, bike trails, more cafes, shopping and entertainment venues.

They also want more left-turn lanes, increased bus service, possible expansion of the DART rail line to Garland Road, and more stop signs, bike racks and crosswalks.

The committee and neighbors also decided that there should be some sort of public art or landmark to announce the gateway to Garland Road corridor at Gaston Avenue and 635.

The committee is expected to come back to the community with a drafted plan in February. Once the plan is worked out, they will take it to the City Plan Commission, perhaps in the second half of 2010.

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