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Old 01-12-2015, 01:40 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,754 times
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Hi there,

We are a mildly crunchy young family of 4 currently living in the suburbs of norther VA. By crunchy, I mean outdoor loving, diversity loving, organic farm-fresh food and CSA loving, public commute and city-walking loving. There is a chance we will be relocating to the Plano area for my husband's job.

I see that there are a lot of toll-roads. I am really interested in an area where I can walk to local destinations from my house, shop at farmer's markets and participate in CSA's, have access to green places outside. I know this isn't Oregon, but is there a neighborhood that would help meet these interests? I just want to avoid having to drive everywhere all the time.

I have 2 young children and we like to take them for bike rides in our bikes with the bike trailer. Are there good sidewalks in Plano? I've heard there are big, wide roads, and I just picture everyone driving around in SUV's and pick-up trucks, and no body walking on sidewalks unless its downtown. Please forgive the stereotypes, these are just my impressions. I'd love to find out otherwise.

I'd love to know about any other resources that you could share with me about being close to farms, parks, green areas, fresh air, interfaith communities, etc.

Thank you!
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:58 PM
 
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Mostly yikes. There are a few small walkable areas (Shops at Legacy and a small downtown), and there are plenty of farmers markets and CSAs, but you are going to be driving a lot.

Sidewalks are actually pretty good, where they are located (mostly everywhere, but not everywhere). They are ADA compliant with ramps and in newer areas infrastructure like telephone poles and internet boxes are not in the way.

The problem with Plano is mostly that everything is spread really far apart. The aformentioned Shops at Legacy and downtown are a solid 10 miles apart, and between them are mostly just big single family subdivisions with walls and lots of shopping with giant parking lots.

Libraries and rec centers are pretty good too.

Diversity is good. Plenty of stores that sell organic food and such.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Willowbend/Houston
13,403 posts, read 20,288,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabijo View Post
Hi there,

We are a mildly crunchy young family of 4 currently living in the suburbs of norther VA. By crunchy, I mean outdoor loving, diversity loving, organic farm-fresh food and CSA loving, public commute and city-walking loving. There is a chance we will be relocating to the Plano area for my husband's job.
!
Hello,

Plano resident here. Its going to be hit or miss based on your desires.

As far as diversity, great restaurants, and farm fresh food, yes Plano scores quite highly there.

As far as outdoor loving, we do have a couple of nature preserves but this isnt exactly Portland.

As far as urbanity and walkability, no we really dont have much of that.
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:04 PM
 
8,124 posts, read 5,697,149 times
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Texas really isn't the best place for your desired lifestyle. If at all possible, I'd look elsewhere.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:00 PM
 
769 posts, read 487,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabijo View Post
I've heard there are big, wide roads, and I just picture everyone driving around in SUV's and pick-up trucks, and no body walking on sidewalks unless its downtown.
Yep, that's Plano! Except that even downtown Plano (very small) doesn't have that many pedestrians.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:16 PM
 
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I think your best chance would be to try and live somewhere near a DART station (I think they might go close to Plano?) Many places where the DART runs throughout the Metroplex is near good walkable areas. That way you don't have to drive around as much and can get access to the areas you would enjoy. I'm more familiar with the Lake Highlands area in Dallas, so the biking is usually done around White Rock Lake and on Katy Trail, both in Dallas proper. You all might enjoy living in the city moreso than the suburbs. I'd expect you'd find more like-minded people as well. At least from my experience.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,828 posts, read 3,386,407 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabijo View Post
I have 2 young children and we like to take them for bike rides in our bikes with the bike trailer. Are there good sidewalks in Plano? I've heard there are big, wide roads, and I just picture everyone driving around in SUV's and pick-up trucks, and no body walking on sidewalks unless its downtown. Please forgive the stereotypes, these are just my impressions. I'd love to find out otherwise.
Unfortunately you are pretty much 100% spot on. I'd leave DFW in a heartbeat if it wasn't for family. Are there walk-able areas? Absolutely! Are there hiking/biking trails? Absolutely! Are there farmer markets? Absolutely! But to all of those, you're going to drive to said destination then get out and walk to them. To be honest, the Lakewood/White Rock area seems to fit more of what you are looking for, but you're still probably going to be driving a lot more than you currently do.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Dallas
2,084 posts, read 2,447,623 times
Reputation: 3400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabijo View Post
Hi there,

We are a mildly crunchy young family of 4 currently living in the suburbs of norther VA. By crunchy, I mean outdoor loving, diversity loving, organic farm-fresh food and CSA loving, public commute and city-walking loving. There is a chance we will be relocating to the Plano area for my husband's job.

You are the antithesis of the average Plano person IMO. Honestly, I don't think you'll like it there or anywhere in Texas.

Is their diversity in Plano? Yes, but you can live in a neighborhood with 100 families of every shade, ethnicity, religion, all living in the same cookie cutter homes, living the same materialistic lifestyle, taking the same anti-depressants....

Very few urbanists, walkers, back to earthers, liberals, small-scale farmers, or "different" people in general



I see that there are a lot of toll-roads. I am really interested in an area where I can walk to local destinations from my house, shop at farmer's markets and participate in CSA's, have access to green places outside. I know this isn't Oregon, but is there a neighborhood that would help meet these interests? I just want to avoid having to drive everywhere all the time.

That's not available.

I have 2 young children and we like to take them for bike rides in our bikes with the bike trailer. Are there good sidewalks in Plano? I've heard there are big, wide roads, and I just picture everyone driving around in SUV's and pick-up trucks, and no body walking on sidewalks unless its downtown. Please forgive the stereotypes, these are just my impressions. I'd love to find out otherwise.

Not a stereotype, pretty accurate really.


I'd love to know about any other resources that you could share with me about being close to farms, parks, green areas, fresh air, interfaith communities, etc.

Thank you!
You probably should consider staying where you are, or move somewhere else.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:40 PM
 
11,672 posts, read 21,240,989 times
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There are some city neighborhoods that are more in line with your family's lifestyle, but they will require your husband to commute 45-60 minutes (each direction, on a toll road) to his office. Not sure if he is up for that? If so, then look around White Rock Lake in Dallas (Lakewood, Old Lake Highlands, Lake Highlands, M Streets) or in North Oak Cliff (Kessler Park, Stevens Park, Winnetka Heights). You'll need private schools after grade 5 in North Oak Cliff. These are the more scenic neighborhoods in Dallas, and also some of the more expensive ones ($300k & up, more like $500k to get anything "family-sized"). Neither are particularly conducive to public transit- our DART rail is more commuter oriented than being a primary source of transportation.

Plano is a great suburb- safe, great schools, very diverse, lots of jobs, tons of shopping. But it is flat, architecturally dull, and full generic "suburbia usa" subdivisions separated by 6-8 lane roads.

I tend to agree with the other posters, you'll probably be happier if you stay where you are or move somewhere more outdoorsy/crunchy like Portland, Austin, etc. There are crunchy "pockets" in Dallas, but the city & it's suburbs as a whole are the antithesis of crunchy....which I guess makes Dallas "smooth"?
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,625 posts, read 8,530,078 times
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Ronnie and Turtle are right. I'll add Although Plano does have parks and bike trails, weather here in DFW is not too conducive to outdoorsy activity like biking. There are lots of bike trails but they aren't used much. It's groomed but with twigs of trees planted last year, tends to be dry and often scalding hot. Last month there was a day when the temp in the shade was 62F and I measured temp in the sun to be 116F.

Sidewalks in Plano are sporadic. I tried to ride my bike around when I first got here. Gave the bike away last month. As Turtle said - there is more of what you seek in Dallas than Plano, but still not so much. And riding bikes on any Dallas highway style roads is IMO extremely risky. Even on the sidewalk when it's there, one spill and yer laying in the highway (Dallas is ALL highways) where the cars are doing 60 in the 40mph zone.

Like Ronnie said - Dallas is the antithesis to what you are seeking.
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