Planners fear for Dallas’ urban core amid suburbs’ growth

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Planners fear for Dallas’ urban core amid suburbs’ growth
Downtown Dallas from the Trinity River Greenbelt Park
Planners fear for Dallas’ urban core amid suburbs’ growth
Downtown Dallas from the Trinity River Greenbelt Park

The continuing population boom in Dallas’ northern suburbs isn’t necessarily a good thing for the entire region, especially the urban core.

Collin and Denton Counties continue to draw highly educated, middle-class newcomers from across the country. Meanwhile, Dallas continues to grapple with serving a poorer population. And the city must do so without the benefit of increased tax revenue that comes with exploding new developments and neighborhoods its northern neighbors enjoy.

Some urban planners and experts call such suburban sprawl a “Ponzi scheme.” And one of the region’s most influential government planners says that as far as transportation infrastructure goes, the push northward isn’t sustainable.

North Central Texas Council of Governments transportation director Michael Morris told the Young Constructors Council of the TECO construction association last week that instead of an ever-extending transit network, the solution is dense infill developments where highway capacity and rail service already exist.

“The more development you can get to locate to areas that already have adequate transportation, the less you have to then build in the green-field areas,” Morris said in a subsequent interview. []

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