By: David Conant
The future of Arlington is now. The potential for growth is only limited by what we refuse to do. The changes we could start to make now, can and will make Arlington one of the great cities, not just in Texas or the United States, but in the world.
Arlington is a land-locked city of nearly 100 square miles and almost 475,000 people. We are located in the center of one of the largest metroplexes in the country; and the fastest growing area in the country too. With an idea of what we can become and a foundation to build on, I believe we can make this a city of major influence; a city that would be the model for other cities to follow.
Let’s start from the center, downtown Arlington, the area between Collins and Cooper Street from Division to Abram. This whole area should be car free, creating a walk-friendly and green environment. The streets could be changed into large walkways and lanes for bicycles and other forms of transportation. The railway that goes through the center of Division and Abram would become a major way of transport from Dallas and Fort Worth to Arlington.
There would be a major railway station just south of Front Street, between Mesquite and East Street. This would be a feature attraction downtown, something like Union Station. There will be shops and restaurants and open air spaces. Dart from Dallas and the TRE from Fort Worth could add a line connecting the two cities also. Amtrak runs through here already, and we could add a local line going back and forth through Arlington only. It would be a local shuttle rail for Arlington; maybe with more of a trolley car feel to it. Add a third line just for the shuttle rail that could expand North and South in future to include other parts of the city.
We should replace some of the used car lots on Division with mid to high rise condominiums and apartments. This would bring more people to the central district to create a great vibe to Arlington. This area would also become the central business area between Division and Abram; with skyscrapers, maybe not as high as Dallas or Fort Worth, but we need a skyline
An image that when people see it; is instantly recognized as Arlington. We need to be able to provide an area where business would like to move their corporate offices. A place they would like to call home too. Everything would be created with the environment in mind. Solar
power panels, recycled water, eco-friendly building materials.
This would be a major entertainment section of town too. High scale restaurants and shop in and around the high rises. There would also be more street level restaurants, bars and shops; with food carts and things unique to this area. Throw in some bars with local musicians and other forms of entertainment to complete a total environment to live, work and play in.
We would build underground parking. This would give more space for above ground. Also, create developments that go underground too. If we have a 10-story building going up, then why can’t we build another 10 stories going down? Since we are a land-locked city, digging downward, we would be able to bring more to city.
Building underground would add a dimension of possibilities different than other cities. This would create another vision of what Arlington has to offer.
This is the first part of a series of thoughts about the future of Arlington. I would love to be on the band-wagon that really starts to make this city great.
Please feel free to e-mail(email@example.com) me about any comments you have.