An all-night smoke shop, jaywalkers and apartment crime are among the top concerns of residents who attended a recent Woodbridge neighborhood meeting with new Dallas City Councilman Adam McGough.
The meeting took place last week at the home of Murray Morgan, president of the Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association. The goal was to make McGough aware of the needs of northern Lake Highlands, Morgan says, the area to which McGough arguably owes some of his political success.
McGough asked for the attendees’ top five priorities/grievances, and here’s what came up and how McGough responded:
1. Those big two development projects.
I-635 East improvements and Lake Highlands Town Center. Each project is vital to the future of Lake Highlands. McGough reminded residents to attend open I-635 East caucus meetings, which take place each month now. The I‐635 East Legislative Caucus, which aims to expedite construction and improvements along I-635 from Central to 1-30, and to do so without any managed toll lanes, meets monthly at the Garland Richland College branch. The next meeting is in August — we’ll keep you posted. “We need to keep this at the top of [lawmakers’] minds,” he says. McGough says he aims to call a town hall meeting about and form a task force centered on the Lake Highlands Town Center — he spoke a bit about that the last time he was in the Advocate office.
Residents of north Lake Highlands say they are concerned about the large number of people crossing busy Forest Lane and Skillman Street, and rightly so. Several pedestrians have been killed and injured. McGough says crosswalks are out of the question because they would create a “false sense of security.” He will look into other possible solutions, he says. One neighborhood resident suggested fining jaywalkers and/or making them pay for damages when they cause car accidents.
3. Dirty DART bus stops.
Neighborhood resident Mark Williamson says Lake Highlands north of I-635 has a large number of bus stops — he says he has noticed that the stops around his Woodbridge neighborhood have overflowing trashcans. McGough says DART actually is responsible for the areas surrounding the stops. For what it’s worth, I went around checking a few DART stations post meeting and didn’t find anything overly trashy, but we plan to keep a collective eye on that.
4. That all-night smoke shop.
There is a 24-hour head shop at the Skillman-I-635 intersection that, according to neighbors, attracts loiterers and, some allege, sells K2, an illegal synthetic marijuana alternative. Police who attended last week’s meeting told concerned neighbors that they have inspected the shop on multiple occasions — even have sent in undercover agents — and that the place has to date been compliant with the law and city code.
5. Reconvening the Forest-Audelia Task Force.
Years ago, former city councilman Jerry Allen, involved Lake Highlands residents and apartment owners met regularly to address problems in the densely populated, high-crime Forest Audelia area. These meetings, many leaders and longtime residents concur, led to a reduction in crime and code violations. Director of the Lake Highlands Public Improvement District Kathy Stewart notes that, more than ever before, apartment owners and landlords in the Forest-Audelia area have becoming better neighbors, but Morgan, McGough and other residents concur that north Lake Highlands would benefit from a reconvening of the Forest Audelia task force, in order to promote the continued attention to dense and potentially problematic multifamily communities.
Honorable mention: potholes. McGough says he spent an entire day last week driving around the district with representatives from the Streets department. He plans to tackle the pothole problem at a micro-local level. We’ll be keeping an eye on the roads.