10 Drops in the Bucket – A Visual Take

Last week, the Dallas Morning News had an editorial called 10 Drops in the Bucket (link). The focus are ten places in southern Dallas that need fixing, cleaning up, or closing. The editors said that they would focus on these ten issues, follow up, and then find another ten things to talk about (pdf map).

I figured I would take it to the next level by offering you the visual of what they are writing about, courtesy of Google Street View. You can zoom in on each picture by clicking ‘full screen’ once you get to Google.

This is the type of thing that all papers should be doing. I thank them for using their voice to try to effect change.

More after the jump. Let’s go:

(Right click to view in a separate window)

1. The house near Imperial and Montie streets cries out for code compliance – or any other inspector the city might have handy. The three tiny plywood shacks in the back yard – each reportedly rents for about $400 per month – are straight out of a Third World country. And the old toilets and trash covering nearby lots also soil the landscape (pic).

2. The pile of police reports detailing incidents at the Southern Comfort Motel stands half a foot high. Assaults, robberies, car jackings, unexplained deaths, prostitution and drug sales have been reported at the business on Lancaster Road. Neighbors and city staff members already have launched proceedings that ultimately could shutter Southern Comfort. But with an elementary school two blocks away, the resolution can’t come soon enough (pic). Note: The City Plan Commission, of which I am a member, voted to deny the Specific Use Permit for this motel to operate. They are on their last leg and fighting on multiple fronts to stay open. They have likely spent more on lawyers than cleaning up this filthy place.

3. Abandoned lots and buildings in the 5800 block of South Lamar have become makeshift parking lots and open-air markets. For sale: cinderblocks and dirty mattresses, among other things. Lack of code enforcement may have been good for business – but lousy for the neighborhood (pic).

4. The Dallas Zoo is an attraction that should lure visitors from across North Texas to the southern part of the city. But for families exiting Interstate 35E one of the first businesses they’ll see is the ramshackle Dallas Inn. One look at the broken windows and the bombed-out-looking building, and zoo-goers might be tempted to turn around and head home (pic).

5. You can’t pull up a chair and enjoy your Frosty in the Wendy’s at Lancaster Road and Kiest Boulevard. The drive-through-only restaurant wants your money but won’t allow you to take a seat, leaving pedestrian patrons to eat on the sidewalk. In the future, the city should take a hard look at requests to build eating establishments that lack tables and chairs (pic).

6. The Bishop Arts District is a bright spot in north Oak Cliff, but it’s a pretty small spot. The boundaries seem to be marked by the absence of curbs and sidewalks on surrounding streets. With the addition of basic infrastructure, Madison Avenue could offer spillover parking for the district; right now, it’s a muddy, weedy mess (pic).

7. The intersection of Hampton Road and Ledbetter Drive has become a popular destination with a Fiesta supermarket, a Subway sandwich shop and an assortment of specialty stores. But the surrounding landscape is littered with old-fashioned telephone poles and exposed lines. These relics of the past are a rare sight on the north side of town. This busy corner and plenty of other southern Dallas neighborhoods would benefit from having the lines buried (pic).

8. The car wash near Sunnyvale Street and Ledbetter Drive has become a big draw – for people who arrive on foot. Neighbors report seeing open drug use and constant loitering. But despite their complaints, the car wash continues to draw a crowd (pic).

9. The low-powered street lights along Jefferson Boulevard make this marketplace a not-so-inviting place once the sun sets. Some additional wattage could go a long way toward attracting shoppers and diners. Surely buying some brighter bulbs would not be too much to ask (pic).

10. At the original Rosemont Elementary School campus, the recreational amenities consist of a rutted asphalt patch surrounded by a rusty chain-link fence near Mary Cliff Road and Ranier Street. Replacing the asphalt with a small expanse of grass – or perhaps some playground equipment – would make this neighborhood a more kid-friendly place (pic).


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