A view of Tyler Street from Seventh, where traffic moves too fast and wrecks are not uncommon: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The Dallas City Plan Commission last week approved a plan to turn Tyler and Polk into two-way streets.

Plan commissioners unanimously approved the conversion, although a few expressed reservations, saying the proposed plan should’ve been vetted better and that more options should’ve been available for consideration.

The conversion, which is estimated to cost $3.1 million, calls for creating two lanes on Polk, one northbound and one southbound, plus 5-foot bike lanes on both sides, an 8-foot parallel parking lane on one side, and a 1.5-foot door buffer between the parking lane and the bike lane.

The approved plan requires a roundabout where the two streets meet on Tyler between Canty and Winston. And there would be a stop light on the southern end, near Page.

The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, Preservation Dallas and the Winnetka Heights Neighborhood Association voiced support for the plan, along with building owners near Tyler and Davis.

They say the two-way conversion would slow traffic, make the neighborhood more walkable and draw more attention to storefronts. Tyler and Polk became one-way streets in the late ’60s as a “fly-through” from the suburbs to Downtown; this would restore the neighborhood to the neighborhood is was meant to be, rather than a way to avoid the freeways, they say.

Opponents included neighbors in Wynnewood North, who say their commutes already are becoming longer and longer. And with some 1,000 new apartments planned in the Bishop Arts area, traffic will only worsen. It’s intentionally reducing the roadway in an area where the population is increasing.

City Council must approve the plan next.