Councilman Angela Hunt’s blog summarizes an almost laughable commentary today from a Brookings Institution/Univerity of Michigan guy saying Dallas is on the cutting edge of urban pedestrianism — that Dallas is becoming a great place to walk around. (The Brookings Institution, fyi, is one of the nation’s best-known think tanks.) I had to chuckle when I read that, as Hunt apparently also did, because she then spends a few paragraphs knocking down the guy’s thesis and talking about things she’s going to work on downtown and elsewhere to try and make his commentary a reality.

Still, at this point, "pedestrianism" and "Dallas" really don’t belong in the same sentence. It’s not as if people don’t like the idea of walking around the city; we just don’t seem willing to commit the economic resources and zoning chutzpuh to embrace higher densities, which are really going to be the key to making pedestrianism a reality here.

Hunt cites a number of places she’s planning to focus on — Victory, Uptown, Arts District, West End and others — and naturally they’re in relatively high-density (for Dallas) locations. Higher gas prices and environmental concerns give us all a good reason to think twice about turning on the car — hybrid or otherwise. And there’s nothing more invigorating than a walk through a high-density commercial/retail/residential area. The problem in Dallas today is that you have to go to Europe, New York, Chicago or Boston to do that…

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