Heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, teddy bears and red roses galore: You know the drill. It’s February, and love is in the air.

And with all that sappy sentiment, you really can’t help but see the world — including our neighborhood — through rose-colored glasses.

In fact, ask just any Lakewood resident how he or she feels about our neighborhood, and you’ll hear nothing but lots of love — the schools are top notch, the neighbors are friendly, and the community cares.

But let’s be honest: Every great love, even the love for our neighborhood, eventually reaches the end of its honeymoon stage. Sure, we’re all crazy about Lakewood, which is obviously why we choose to live here. But there’s always room for improvement. And while neighbors say they wouldn’t change much, there are a handful of pet peeves we absolutely love to hate.

Chances are, a few of them will ring true with you.

HONK IF YOU LOVE POTHOLES

I am enthusiastically under-whelmed by the newly repaved portion of Mockingbird at Abrams, while Abrams and Skillman between Mockingbird and Gaston are heavily patched. More traffic may travel that intersection, but if they fixed the left turn lane for southbound Abrams, the third car in line may be able to go through the intersection slower and therefore keep the street in better condition!
— Angela Pendleton

Last year, I was on a campaign to get Crest Ridge repaved, the section that runs between Wood Dale and Ferguson in Casa View. I lived there from about 1992, and it hasn’t been redone this whole time to present. Last year, I contacted the city and Councilman Gary Griffith about it. He responded, plus an actual streets guy called me, but they just said it needed to be completely repaved and that the waiting list was years down the road. They come through every year or two and make the surface worse by adding dollops of patches. This road is just one big patched washboard of a road. It’s a disgrace. I got no encouragement whatsoever that they ever intended to fix it. It’s the worst road in this area, I believe.
— Paula Brown

The traffic at the Casa Linda intersection. What I hear is that the only thing that can be done to materially relieve the peak congestion there is to take a lane or lanes of that intersection to run underground (so that thru traffic doesn’t have to stop). I also understand that the Texas Department of Transportation will “never” do that.
— Christine Turner

BEWARE OF LANCE WANNABES

I want to make it clear that I love my neighborhood and will live here as long as I’m a Dallasite! That said, one of the most frustrating things to me about our neighborhood is the risk of being hurt as a pedestrian — cars speeding down neighborhood streets, cars and bicyclists running stop signs. My house is on a corner lot with a two-way stop sign in Wilshire Heights, and I can’t tell you the number of automobiles that have run through the stop signs without even braking. I am amazed a major accident involving a pedestrian has not occurred. I live close to the stretch of McCommas that runs between Skillman and Abrams, and I think a lot of drivers use McCommas as their personal autobahn. A number of families with little children and pets live on this stretch of McCommas! God forbid someone’s child or pet accidentally wanders into the street.
— Roger Turner

This is what I just can’t believe: the pedestrian bridge near Mockingbird! If you had a landscape architect do it, they’d nix it in a minute. It ruins the view as you drive across. Your eye is always supposed to be drawn to the distance, and it is like a guardrail on an otherwise peaceful view. Major bummer. In addition to that? Riding a bike now is a big hazard since the walkers and the toddlers are in the way on the pedestrian bridge, and the lane has been taken back for cars on the Mockingbird bridge. Boo Dallas planning, once again.
— Victoria Harvey

WE LOVE OUR FEATHERED NEIGHBORS, JUST NOT THEIR LEFTOVERS …

My big complaint is not wanting to drive around the Lakewood Shopping Center area, or Mockingbird and Abrams, or down Greenville around 5 p.m. due to being attacked by blackbird droppings! They seem to have quadrupled! Why? People feeding them? I always wish they could be trapped and released in another state!
— Lisa Bautz

IS A LITTLE PEACE AND QUIET TOO MUCH TO ASK?

“Boom-box” cars — Aren’t these against the law now? Had one wake us up early every weekday morning. Couldn’t even get a police officer to come on private pay duty to nab the jerk. “Thumper” has been quiet for a few weeks now. Maybe he got nabbed.

Weekend do-it-yourselfers and contractors — there’s a city code that says you can’t do work on your house or property outside on the weekends or after 6 p.m. during the week. (Exceptions are storm damage emergency situations.) I’ve called to report violators (like roofers still going at it at 9 p.m. in the summer), and you have to call 911 and say “non emergency” to get anyone to come out. If they ever do.

Barking dogs left in back yards — Get an alarm system! I’m sick of your @#?**##!!?? dogs! Again, it’s a hassle to have to report this and stay after it to get notices sent to offenders. And if they don’t comply, you end up dealing with going to court.
— Sara Guettel

WANTED: FRESH ZUCCHINI AT A REASONABLE PRICE

NO good grocery stores! Minyard’s stinks, Albertson’s stinks, and Tom Thumb is just so-so. Every other city I visit has better stores. Whole Foods and Central Market are lovely, but way too pricey for most.
— Philomena Aceto

BUILD IT UP, TEAR IT DOWN OR LEAVE IT BE? WE’LL AGREE TO DISAGREE

“The Plan” for redevelopment of the Garland/Buckner area (includes the 25-story White Rock one finger salute to greed and elitism). Don’t any of you folks know when enough is enough? Please leave us alone! (But all new businesses that understand our desire to stay more low-key and have low-profile, slower-paced and thoughtful development are welcome.)
— Sara Guettel

The biggest thing that annoys me are the anti-change, anti-anything mindset of certain activists. They scuttled the Emerald Isle project, which had the potential to kick-start the greater Casa Linda area into becoming the next University Park.
— Aren Cambre

I hate McMansions with a PASSION!  Who are the people who build them and WHY? They’re horrible (thrown up in a matter of days) and ugly. It will be a shame if we let this beautiful, graceful part of town give way to ruthless, soulless builders who rip out the very heart of a neighborhood in order to build those monstrosities. We’re just such a disposable society; we seem to value nothing of “yesterday” or in preserving our history. Just tear it all down, forget the past and put up a quickie cardboard house. Where would Tuscany or most of Italy be if they tore down everything old in order to build anew?
— Sharon Magill

We need more construction. All these people who want to throw their property rights away to the city of Dallas, that’s ridiculous. I hate conservation districts.
— Anthony Campagna

BUGGED BY LITTERBUGS

I am increasingly concerned and frankly disgusted by the amount of garbage the DART riders (or other vagrants) toss on the ground all over the bus stop area near Minyard’s. I have spoken to the store manager, and he has told me that he has to have his employees go out daily to collect the trash that accumulates throughout the day. I have to drive past this stop several times a day, and my kids (4 and 5) have even asked me why there is trash all over the ground.

We have enough problems in this city with the crime rate, graffiti on vacant buildings and people’s fences, public school problems and streets in poor shape. We should at least have clean bus stop areas and a responsible public transportation system that believes in keeping our neighborhoods tidy. DART needs to hire a crew to clean its bus stops and monitor them or supply more garbage cans for the riders of the busses to do it themselves … I’m just sick over the deterioration of our neighborhoods due to littering, thefts, gunshots just to the south of us, etc. It is sort-of all rolled up under the same umbrella — lack of respect for property and Dallas being ill-equipped or overburdened to do anything. I feel like a grandma complaining about stuff like this, but it really bugs me that the city lets people get away with it.
— Heather Brooks


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.