July 11, 2022 – Auto repair and auto shop owners in Dallas, Texas are reacting to a proposed city plan that would alter the Oak Cliff neighborhood in which they run their businesses.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the city wants to turn Oak Cliff into a pedestrian zone. The draft plan was drawn up in March and mentioned that the city was considering banning auto companies, gas stations, restaurants and banks from driving in the area.
However, a new July 1 draft discusses considerations to limit future businesses only instead. Businesses currently located within the proposed development area would be protected by this amendment.
But traders are still worried about the future. There are concerns that upcoming developments in the neighborhood will eventually force out some businesses that have been there for a long time, no matter what the proposed plan suggests.
Gerardo “Jerry” Figueroa, owner of J&E Express Auto Service, has previously started petitions seeking support for neighborhood auto businesses. He teamed up with activist Albert Mata to raise awareness of the plan. The two say they don’t believe there has been enough community outreach in the neighborhood, which is home to predominantly Latino families and businesses.
“I’m all for the things that make this side of Oak Cliff better for the people who live here and don’t try to meet the needs of the people they want,” Mata said in the post.
The next steps for the plan involve its transfer to the city’s planning commission, followed by consideration by the city council for a final vote.