UP City Council Clears The Plaza at Preston Center To Improve Parking, Sidewalks

The University Park City Council Feb. 4 approved a license agreement with the Plaza at Preston Center to allow the shopping complex to make sidewalk and parking improvements along its Preston Road frontage.

Public Works Director Jacob Speer said the owners of the shopping center in the 8300 block of Preston Road plan to ‘re-do’ several parking spaces and sidewalks on the east side of Preston Road from Wentwood Drive to just north of Villanova Street.

“What they’re proposing to do is move those parking spaces a little closer to Preston Road than they are today and that would allow for several enhanced amenities — it would allow for greater accessibility on the sidewalks both to parking spaces as well as greater accessibility… up against these storefronts,” Speer said. “It will also enhance the safety of the Preston and Villanova intersection by moving these parking spaces closer to the road… that has the effect of shortening the crossing distance for pedestrians trying to cross Preston Road and that shortened distance and the enhanced visibility… makes for a better, safer configuration.”

Parking Exhibit 02 – Preston Rd 010320 (1)

Speer said the agreement specifies that the shopping center would be responsible for constructing and maintaining the improvements.

Speer said the ownership of the shopping center is confident a proposed 5-foot-wide buffer of brick pavers to separate the area between the travel lane and parking spaces can be increased to seven feet to better address concerns about the impact to traffic on Preston Road.

Photo courtesy The Plaza at Preston Center

“(This) would allow cars parked there to back out, see cars coming, verify that it’s clear before the rear of the car is extended into the travel lane (on) Preston Road. It also lets those Preston Road motorists know that a car is backing out,” he said.

The proposed layout reportedly provides a net increase of five parking spaces and ADA accessibility on both street and retail levels.

In other news:

  • The council approved a proposal from consulting engineers Binkley & Barfield for $71,900 for the surveying and design work ahead of the replacement of traffic signals for the Preston Road and Lovers Lane intersection, the University Boulevard and Douglas intersection, and the University Boulevard and Armstrong intersection.
  • The council approved a contract with GAP Strategies for an amount not to exceed $329,500 to serve as a consultant to assist the city with the 2020 master plan. The last plan was reportedly developed in 1989.
  • The council approved a contract with Dustrol Inc. for $726,465 for milling services to more than 11 miles of streets as well as a contract with Texas Bit for $1,833,418.32 for asphalt replacement on city streets. Mill and overlay costs are eligible for reimbursement from the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority under the transit-related improvement program.
  • The council deferred a request from the owner of the property at 6565 Hillcrest Avenue (the Hilltop Plaza development) to establish a no parking zone on Daniel Avenue from the alley west of Snider Plaza to Hursey for now.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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