Visual unity, balance of cars and pedestrians wanted for West Davis

This sunflower garden was a public art project near West Davis and Vernon last summer.

The city has almost $1 million to spend on improvements to West Davis between Beckley and Montclair, and neighbors gave their input Thursday night on how to spend it.

The City Design Studio asked for input on how best to improve the street, focusing on four areas: Zang at Davis, Vernon at Davis, the Kessler Theater area and Kings Highway at Davis.

Most neighbors agreed that the corridor needs a unified look. West Davis has so much visual clutter; streetscaping and consistent sidewalks could help piece it together.

Since the Oak Cliff streetcar is expected to stop at Zang and Seventh, neighbors suggested changes to make that intersection more convenient for tourists. It needs a signature identity that says “welcome to Oak Cliff,” neighbors say. Way-finding signs, places to sit, street trees and a connection to other modes of public transportation are a must, they said.

At Vernon, the priority is making the street friendly to pedestrians with wider sidewalks and landscaping.

That objective is a little different from the one closer to Winnetka Heights, where the Kessler Theater is. Some neighbors suggested making the lanes 10 feet wide instead of 12 feet wide and increasing the size of the sidewalks. That sounds nice, but it’s likely to cost more than the $979,000 the city has to spend. And it could affect the quality of life in Winnetka Heights if drivers bail off Davis in favor of Seventh or Eighth to get around traffic on the main street.

At Kings Highway, calming traffic at Seventh and Kings is a priority, as well as finding additional parking for retailers at Tyler and Davis.

The money comes from the Davis Garden TIF District. The City Design Studio will put together a plan for Davis this summer. Then they will call another public meeting if necessary and then send it to Public Works.


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