Two ways to solve the parking problem in Bishop Arts

Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 9.33.59 AM
photo by Danny Fulgencio

It’s simple physics. In the Bishop Arts District on a Thursday-Saturday night, there are more cars than parking spaces.

You could valet and tip the $5, although that doesn’t solve the overall excess of cars — valets still have to squeeze them in somewhere.

If you live in Winnetka Heights or Kings Highway, the easy answer to where to park, of course, is don’t park. Ride your bike or walk.

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For our Elmwood, Oak Park Estates and Kiestwood neighbors, it’s a little too far to walk. Plus, some 3,000 upscale apartments are planned in West Dallas. Will all of those young professionals ride their bikes uphill to Bishop Arts? Maybe sometimes.

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We asked politicians, real estate developers and neighbors how they would solve the parking problem in Bishop Arts, and we came up with two solutions.

1. Build a parking garage. If the land could be found and purchased, and a proposal made it past the nimbys and naysayers, who would pay for it? Parking garages are very expensive to build. Some say the city should pay for a Bishop Arts parking garage, perhaps with bond funding, and they could try to recoup the money by charging a fee to park during peak times. Others say the people who make the most money from Bishop Arts — landlords and business owners — should pool to pay for a garage.

2. Density and strategy. Creating more density in north Oak Cliff is another way to ease parking clusters. When there are more attractions than just Bishop Arts — for example, the Jefferson Tower, the Tyler/Davis area and the Oak Cliff Gateway — that spreads the people and cars around the neighborhood. Add to that some parking strategy. The city could stripe spaces in Bishop Arts a little tighter. And in Bishop Arts and the surrounding neighborhood, where so much of the overflow parking winds up, there could be limits to how long people are allowed to park. Putting two-hour or four-hour limits on parking allows enough time to eat and shop but turns over parking spaces faster. That also prevents Bishop Arts workers from parking in spaces that would be better used for customers. Employees could park further off site, and business owners could strategize on how to get employees to and from their cars safely.

Tell us: Do you think parking is a problem in Bishop Arts? How would you solve it? Comment below or email rstone@advocatemag.com with your suggestions.

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  • T.Matt

    Great idea! Leave the Bishop Arts to the bars and rowdy young millennials that are ruining it.

  • Renee

    Hi “Neighbor” who chooses to not use a real name. Don’t personally attack me because I am not comfortable walking at night through some of these neighborhoods as a woman by myself. You are either not aware of the crime statistics around the area or you are a male and don’t think you can become a victim of crime because you are “big and strong”, think again. I have family roots here for many generations and I am a home owner in the area. So don’t act like I am a visitor in this area. And we both agree on one thing, Highland Park is very nice BUT so is Kessler. Before the area around Bishop Arts will be safer, the vacant squatter houses need to be gone, etc. Are you a member of the Nextdoor neighborhood online group? If not, you should be and then you would see what goes on around the bishop arts after dark and in the surrounding areas. So sorry if you are offended that I would not walk through your neighborhood at night, then maybe you should work harder to improve it.

  • Neighbor

    If you’re not comfortable here, then don’t come here. I hear Highland Park is nice.

  • Neighbor

    You’re an idiot. I live here.

  • Kathi

    A parking garage is not the answer. They have been trying to do that on lower Greenville for years. Taking public transport/walking or riding the bikes is the answer. We still need to make using public transport easy/fun and get it thru our heads it is not a bad thing. If you still want to drive then know you will be walking a bit.

  • Rob Browning

    Yes.

  • Rob Browning

    NO Parking garages in Oak Cliff unless they are hidden underground where they wont ruin the scape.
    DART, Uber, Lyft, cab, etc.. I’m at B.A. everyday and I don’t own a car.
    Bishop visitors don’t have parking problems; they have mental problems with that imaginary umbilical to their car.

  • Andrew Howard

    We need more Bishop Arts type districts in Dallas… Then people would not need to drive to our cool place. Look at old streetcar maps of Dallas, every other stop had an assemblage of buildings like Bishop Arts that are just waiting to come back on line!

  • Ryan Behring
  • Mick

    I have used the D-Link several times (taken rail to Pearl, hopped on D-Link, zoomed over to Bishop) and it’s been great. The ride is free, the bus is new, and (still) clean. No qualms at all about D-Link (oh .. one … it doesn’t run on Sunday).

    After reading this article my first thought was to buy up some of the land off of Singleton (in the Trinity Groves vicinity), build a large, well-lighted, and safe parking lot (or 1 or 2-story garage), then run a shuttle bus system (a mock cable car type bus?) up & down Beckley to/from the Bishop Arts area. The shuttle could be of the “Hop On and Off” variety, making several stops along its circuit. Who would pay for all this is worth another series of articles !

  • lakewoodhobo

    Yeah, tell that to the people who live all along Bishop, 7th, 8th, Melba, etc., whose driveways are blocked by B.A. visitors.

  • Renee

    Bishop Arts in not a neighborhood. It’s an entertainment district and the actual neighborhoods surrounding it are Dallas land and loan and Kidd Springs.

  • Sylvia Wilkins

    Uber is the only way I’ll go to Bishop Arts – for a little more than it costs to valet they take you anywhere in NOC door to door…

  • Ryan Behring

    D-Link??

    I dont know that we have a parking problem, but a mono-transit problem. Number 2 has some helpful points, but until people driving across town are willing to enjoy a 5 minute walk from parking or a pleasant bus ride, than the “problem” will persist. Designing multi-modal streets would encourage those in biking and walking distance to do so more frequently.

  • Robbie Good

    Beyond some of the smart solutions mentioned in the comments (ie anything that doesn’t involve a parking garage) I think we can solve the “parking problem” by refusing to call it a “problem”.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if West Davis or Elmwood or Wynnewood or Zang and Beckley or Tyler-Davis or any other part of our neighborhood had a “parking problem”?

    There is no solving the suburbanite’s entitlement to park 5 feet from the door of their destination, so let’s not even try.

  • Stephanie Behring

    I agree Jon. We live close enough to walk (10-15 minutes) and even on busy nights I only see parking backed up maybe a 5 minute walk max away from Bishop. If North Oak Cliff wants to retain its distinctive character, it must utilize a different solution than other popular (car-centric) areas of Dallas. Invest in bike infrastructure for locals, connect to public transit for people from surrounding areas, and spread the love further south towards Jefferson. Bishop’s character and draw is that it is a walkable district – if you cater to the car, then that character is gone. I think it even makes sense to have the first few blocks of Bishop south of Davis pedestrian/emergency vehicles only.

  • I’ve lived in North Oak Cliff for 17 years now, and have seen it rise to stardom! It’s very exciting that this is even a problem. The new bus system and proposed light rail should help bring new visitors, and (I hope) relieve parking thru “Park and Ride” solutions. There is already pay parking at the Methodist Hospital (which is on both the bus and proposed rail routes). Adding lot parking along the current and proposed routes would allow visitors to park in many different areas and visit multiple locations in the area.

    But please… lets ABSOLUTELY avoid the pay-parking problems of areas like Deep Ellum. That part of town is impossible to visit without being scammed by city owned pay-lots, crazy street parking rules, confusing signage, and over zealous lot owners.

    Easy-to-use and free – or discounted – lot and street parking along public transit routes is the ONLY good solution.

  • Renee

    Sadly I think the uniqueness is already gone.. With all the apartment bldgs going up in the area and the prices of the restaurants and shops, it’s almost turning into Oaklawn..

  • steve byars

    Excuse me. I thought the point of all the new urbanism, complete streets, etc. was to encourage density and walkability. But so typical of Dallas, it’s already morphing into the same BS this town is famous for–cars, cars, and more cars, parking garages and of course, WORLD CLASS VALET PARKING. What a joke! If we’re not careful Bishop Arts and the surrounding area that is so special and unique and so UNLIKE Dallas, will be destroyed by this emerging car centric solution to the so-called ‘problem.’

  • Patrick Kennedy

    Meter the parking with flexible pricing based on demand (keep the revenue in the district – approving the PID would’ve helped – so that revenue can be put towards expanding the streetscape improvements), add density so more of the customer base is local and less dependent on the fickle regional crowd, get that streetcar built, increase bike lanes connecting neighborhoods within 3 miles to BA, make it more difficult to drive on 7th and Bishop so that more cars will park further away and walk a few blocks, relocate the valet stand away from 7th and Bishop so it doesn’t back up traffic all the way back onto Davis.

  • lakewoodhobo

    Bishop Arts is a neighborhood, and parking garages are not a compatible use. The only solution to the “parking problem” is to open more businesses south toward Jefferson, east toward Zang and yes, Wynnewood eventually.

    When the streetcar reaches Bishop Arts, people will be able to park downtown and take the streetcar to and from there. In the meantime, Uber and Lyft are awesome.

  • Colin

    I would contact my council person on that. No private for profit company should be allowed to reserve public property without a permit from the city.

    I would have also contacteded the police to tow the cars blocking me in.

  • Colin

    Run the trolly into BA and a little further west or south. Put in 2 satellite parking lots (skip the garage) on each end of the line where land is cheaper and buildings less interesting and historical.

  • Renee

    yes parking is a major issue. I have a membership to Anytime Fitness in Bishop Arts, which has a parking lot, but I rarely can find a space almost any day of the week. My wife goes to the Dentist in Bishop Arts as well, and had to park about 8 blocks down to get to her appointment. It’s not just an issue Thurs-Sun. It’s pretty much all the time down there. A garage would be the best option so the visitors can park there and residents can have places to park when the have appointments, etc.

  • Dean Rose

    AMEN – Do something please with Wynnewood Village. No one ever wants to touch it. It’s got soo much land and potential!

  • Born and razed in O.C.

    I never had a problem with the parking from Kessler, and Kessler parking is no big deal. I did have a problem with the valet, the valet put cones on the street infont of my house. I moved the cones and parked(in front of my house) and the valet ran over yelling at me saying I can’t park there. I said “I’m parking here it’s my house” and didn’t move. They parked cars two inches from the front and back of the car so I couldn’t move till ten or so.

  • Oak Cliff Townie

    Move Bishop Arts to Wynnewood Village ?

  • OakyDokey

    I’d prefer that we use space further from BA and provide a shuttle. Something that would provide access to more than one section of Oak Cliff. Combine this with a 30 min parking limit in front of stores and you have something interesting! Even a shuttle that would run through Winnetka, up to the new apartments and around would ease parking.

  • David Wilson

    The residents could organize enough Resident Parking Only zones on their streets and force the interlopers to park farther out or pay for expensive valet service.

    The tipping point for Lowest Greenville was back in 2008, when nearly a dozen streets went RPO in less than a year. In a few weeks – not months – five bars closed down. That forced the City to put in a new model for the street.

    The RPO is still in force and still protecting the area.

  • Dean Rose

    Build a Garage. Buy out some of the surrounding less historically significant homes / business and build a garage. It’s only going to get worse.

  • BishopArtsResidentSince’75

    Just don’t block off residential drive ways and leave trash behind and we can all live peacefully 🙂

  • Jon Daniel

    I disagree completely. There are plenty of FREE parking spaces within a 5-10 minute walk of every single restaurant. In most big cities, that would be considered a luxury

  • Wylie H Dallas

    Uberx, Uber, Lyft, etc. If Vonciel Jones Hill, Tennell Atkins and A.C. Gonzalez can’t figure out how to kill them.