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Old 09-21-2013, 04:30 PM
108 posts, read 245,157 times
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I'm unexpectedly moving to Dallas for an excellent career opportunity. I currently live in Baltimore and rely solely on transit and cycling - I don't own a car. This is a pretty common thing for bigger east coast cities, but I'm wondering how it'll play out in Dallas since I'd like to remain car free. A few questions...

1. I'll be working downtown. If I lived somewhere like Uptown, Deep Elm, The Ceders, or Oak Lawn, it seems I could get by without a car. Are there any other neighborhoods near light rail stations where someone could live car free in Dallas? I've heard the area around Mockingbird station is urban/walkable.

2. How is cycling in the city? Is it generally accepted? I don't mean recreational trails, but urban cycling as a means to run errands and possibly commute. (I've heard the heat arguments, but I often cycled in 100 degree temps in Baltimore and it doesn't bother me)

3. My apartment search: Of the walkable neighborhoods I mentioned previously, where would I be most likely to find a loft style apartment for under $900? 1 bedrooms are fine and I don't need a lot of amenities - just an urban, walkable, reasonable safe neighborhood with some transit access.

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Old 09-21-2013, 04:41 PM
Location: Dallas, TX
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Welcome! Other than what you already mentioned I would suggest looking at the Mockingbird Station or Park Lane mixed use developments - both are right along the main N/S DART line. I've seen a few cyclists downtown who didn't look like recreational or competitive cyclists. From what I've seen, newer urban-style apartments will probably run closer to $1000/mo. or above. Good luck!
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:33 PM
Location: Houston, Texas
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Overall, Dallas isn't a great city for commuting by cycling. Bicycling magazine has consistently ranked it as one of the worst cities to be a cyclist.

However, things have improved in the last few years. Cycling consciousness is growing, there are bike lanes now, and a growing number of cyclists. There's even a blog for those who want live car free: http://www.carfreeinbigd.com/

Deep Ellum is probably your best bet. Your job is downtown and Deep Ellum is east of downtown so it's not a bad ride. There was a Deep Ellum biking group but it doesn't look like their site has been updated in a long time but you might see if you can contact them and maybe they can help you with more info: Bike Friendly Deep Ellum | promoting biking here and biking there

A sister group, Bike Friendly Oak Cliff (across the river from downtown), is very much still active and they might be able to help you as well. Bike Friendly Oak Cliff | A Blog Promoting Two Wheel Love in the OC

There are two DART light rail stations in Deep Ellum. The only problem is that there are no supermarkets downtown or in Deep Ellum so you'd have to leave the area for that. But there are Albertson's and Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Uptown, and a new Kroger across the freeway from Uptown in the CityPlace development.

Rents have been going up everywhere but you should be able to find something for $900-$1000 around there.

Last edited by TrueDat; 09-21-2013 at 05:45 PM..
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Old 09-21-2013, 07:33 PM
Location: Grapevine, Texas
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The problem with car-free living is our weather. In a normal summer, it will be in the 100-degree range from late May through mid-September. Unlike in Baltimore, our weather doesn't cool down in the evenings; lows are often close to 80 degrees, and it is also extremely humid, too. So, as long as you don't mind being a sweaty mess when you arrive at work (and hopefully your work will have shower facilities), I guess you could do it.

Keep in mind that large portions of DFW are not covered by public transit, so, for example, if you want to go to a Cowboys or Rangers game, your options for getting there and back will be limited and expensive.
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:27 PM
Location: AZ for now, soon TX
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Another problem with car-free living is the majority live a distance from their jobs.. It's nearly impossible to get around on the bus system or DART light rail if someone works 10-20 miles from work.

Transit is more limited the more out in the suburbs you go.. That's where most of the people live because it's cheaper and better for families.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:15 AM
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It is definitely possible but takes careful planning - ie, both your job and your apartment / house need to be located on the same light rail line to keep things as simple as possible....or live close enough into downtown that the bus line is a straight shot in (ie, some of the renovated apartments on Gaston just south of Lakewood Village where the bus ride is probably 10-15 minutes with no transfers).

Finding an apartment within walking distance of grocery store / pharmacy/ church (if important to you)/ those places you go at least weekly- is KEY.

I'll echo what other pp's said about cycling in Dallas. We have some great recreational cycling spots like White Rock Lake and the 200+ miles of trails the city is building to connect to one another. What we don't have many of AT ALL is cycling lanes on surface streets. I used to live near White Rock and it always made me nervous seeing the cyclist on Abrams or Fisher on their way to the lake- they act like they think they are cars and the cars are somewhere between oblivious and annoyed to share the surface streets with bikes.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:42 AM
Location: Simmering in DFW
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If you do live in Dallas without a car, I encourage you to do what is needed to get a TX drivers license. That way you can rent a car as needed when you will want to have the ability to go to parts of DFW that are difficult to get to using public transportation.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:28 AM
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I think folks generally hate sharing full car lanes with cyclists. They can seem to be an entitled bunch with lack of awareness. Absolutely no way would I live here without a car.

That said, the above posts have good advice if you choose to do so.
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:06 PM
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If you have lived in Baltimore without a car, I think that you can do it in Dallas, too. They neighborhoods you mentioned are good options. Lower Greenville and/or Henderson Ave might work, too, but you won't find many loft-style apartments. This area is walkable to grocery/restaurants/bars and easy to get downtown by bike or bus. Lower Greenville seems to have a growing number of residents who use bicycles for commuting and day-to-day activities. Of course, you might need to rent a car occasionally to move something large or to do things outside of Dallas proper. I have seen some Zipcars around Dallas, but I am not sure where they are parked or how many there are.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:58 PM
108 posts, read 245,157 times
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Hey guys, thanks for all the responses. It definitely seems doable since I'll be working downtown. Based on your comments I'll be focusing on a broad area of east Dallas, including Deep Ellum and Lower Greenville. I'm going to look at a few downtown lofts as well (the Third Rail Lofts look nice)

I researched Zipcar - there are only a few cars available on college campuses, but Enterprise/Hertz is definitely an option for weekend trips. I'll also be riding your light rail system a lot at first to get a feel for the city and be joining a cycling group after I move. Thanks for the tips.
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