Solving Dallas' Parking Headaches

Dallas is testing solutions to parking problems that could become more widespread as the city grows.

Some Dallas neighborhoods have more people and cars than their streets were designed to carry -- and City Hall wants it that way.

Dallas is promoting denser urban development to attract many of the one million additional residents that are expected to move to North Texas in the next 10 years.

One example is Henderson Avenue east of Central.

The neighborhood has boomed in the past few years with new apartment complexes, clubs and restaurants that attract many new residents and visitors.

"I love the neighborhood. It's fabulous," said Diane Collier, who moved to the area about a year and a half ago.

She said the area has a lot of street life.

"There's people walking back and forth," she said. "Every week, there are more people walking from the new apartments and from the other neighborhoods."

But in front of her house, a car was parked at a fire hydrant and she says parking and traffic are extremely congested.

"The popularity of that area has grown exponentially," said Dallas Police Deputy Chief Mike Genovesi. "Henderson is a small street. The infrastructure there was not designed for this kind of vehicular and pedestrian traffic."

During the past few months, police, businesses and neighbors worked together on creative solutions.

Now, some side streets have expanded no parking zones. A central valet parking stand has opened to serve several businesses and reduce valet confusion at Henderson and Capitol avenues. Bonham Elementary School on Henderson Avenue serves as a valet parking lot at night to expand parking capacity.

"It has been a problem," Collier said. "I think it's been addressed responsibly."

Under the city's policy to promote more dense urban development, the strategies may be needed in other neighborhoods.

"We will deal with it as it comes," Genovesi said.

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