Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A New Urbanism Review...for Later

I had a brief piece of business down by SMU this morning, and, with a little time to kill on the way back, I decided to check out the new Park Lane development across Central Expressway from NorthPark mall. I'd read a lot about it as it was going up, and since there were NOW OPEN banners up, it seemed like a good time to take a long drive and short stroll (once I'm a little more healed, it'll be the other way around) through the place and report back on it here.

But I guess the report will have to wait, as there's just not enough of the place done yet. A quick perusal of the directory (which I should have called up on my iPhone before I arrived) shows that there will eventually be a lot of things there, but right now it just seemed like a lot of downtowns (at least in cities that aren't named "New York" or "Chicago") on an average Sunday--big tall buildings and quiet, empty streets. (They're very clean empty streets, mind you, especially compared to the average downtown.)

So I'll have to come back to this one, literally and figuratively. The one thing i can say thus far is that the area does lack all but a small amount of what to me is an important New Urbanist amenity--close-in street parking. The bulk of the parking is relegated to a bunch of giant garages (this morning, of course, I had my pick of spaces, but I could see it getting crowded when the place builds out a bit more). There are a few street spaces here and there (which require parallel parking instead of the more common diagonal variety), but, by and large, you can't drive right up to your intended store and park there, which is a shame.

Still, I need to see this place again in a few months when it's more vital. I'll do a true review at that time.

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