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We all know by now that Deep Ellum is blowing up. It has become the hottest spot for nightlife and entertainment in Dallas on the weekends. Anyone that frequents the area also knows that parking is scarce on Main and Elm streets day or night, Fridays through Sundays.
Uber and Lyft rides are now the go-to for pick up and drop off in the area, but this has presented another big issue. Ride share drivers searching for usually intoxicated passengers on weekend nights are stalling in the streets, creating blockages.
What brings these traffic slowdowns from annoying to potentially dangerous is the difficulty emergency vehicles would have getting through.
To take on the issue, the Deep Ellum Foundation, along with Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Adam Madrano, are piloting a program that will create designated ride-sharing drop off and pickup zones in Deep Ellum. The program begins April 18, according to Stephanie Hudiburg, executive director of the Deep Ellum Foundation.
There will be five designated pickup and drop off areas in Deep Ellum, including Pryor Street, the intersection of Commerce Street and South Malcolm X Boulevard, Indiana Boulevard and Malcolm X, and North Good Latimer Expressway between Elm and Main, and also Swiss Avenue next to Bottled Blonde.
Dallas isn’t the only city to pilot a program like this. Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Fort Lauderdale are a few places that have already implemented Uber and Lyft drop off and pick up zones in certain neighborhoods. Laguna Beach, California also recently began using geolocation to denote pickup spots.
There’s been a significant amount of growth in Deep Ellum over the past few years and it’s not slowing down anytime soon.
“From 2018 to 2020, there’s an expected increase of 75 percent for residential units in Deep Ellum,” says Hudiburg, which means even more congestion for Dallas’ hippest neighborhood.
Hudiburg says that the Deep Ellum Foundation is “really trying to take a neighborhood-wide approach.” Local businesses were consulted about the ride share idea after a recent survey concluded that parking and congestion was a huge concern for people in the area,” she notes.
“This is the first step in a multi-tier approach.”
It’s all about improving Deep Ellum and making it an even better place to live, work or party.