All you have to do is get on the Dallas North Tollway or Preston Road… Maybe even a “quick” (ahem, not really) cruise down Main Street, but it’s clear how much this city is changing. New buildings are getting taller and the roads are getting wider. Traffic signals are starting to replace stop signs and some of our major buildings are expanding such as Toyota Stadium, Medical City Frisco, and of course The Star.
Even though we’re still a suburb of Dallas, the entire east side of the DFW Metroplex is “bar-belling” into concentrations of growth in Downtown Dallas and up here in Frisco.
Many residents I have spoken with, talk about how Frisco is a great “family” town or commuter town. With excellent schools, quality housing, and a variety of activities for the family, it’s no wonder people are moving to our city.
However, with the landscape shifting, the challenge is how to keep that small town feel while building the big city amenities, attractions, and businesses. So, the question that comes to mind is “What are we?” or “WHO are we going to be?”
You can only stay “in the middle” for so long before one or the other becomes your identity. Personally, I love the balance of both, but in the same sense I see what’s on the horizon. Let’s take a look at the pros, cons, and in betweens of one of the fastest growing cities in the world… Frisco, Texas.
One of the major attractions of living in a big city is the convenience of public transportation. The ability to jump on a train, subway, or hail a taxi helps residents avoid the complications of waiting in a never ending stream of traffic when trying to go only a few blocks.
Cities like New York and Chicago have been using public transit for years, and if you talk to the people that live there most don’t even own a car or only have one vehicle. Now, it’s not a perfect system and has it’s own set of issues, but it has been proven to work, and if any of you have visited those cities, you know why it’s a huge advantage.
Frisco doesn’t have a public transit system like Plano, Dallas, and even Denton, and it’s mainly due to the implementation logistics that can be a nightmare and a major cost. However if you’ve noticed, the traffic around town is becoming more congested.
Driving less than a mile to get gas, food, or run to a store isn’t a big issue and can be completed as quickly as getting on the subway. Plus, with more people coming to visit Frisco for events such as FC Dallas games, the annual Jimmy Buffett concert, live concerts, and other sporting events, Lyft and Uber are becoming much easier to use than they were just two years ago.
Recently, our new Mayor Jeff Cheney addressed a Town Hall where he discussed population density and his plans to help with the new growing traffic issues. For those who want to know more, attend the Frisco Chamber of Commerce’s “State of the City” luncheon where Mayor Jeff Cheney’s address will lay out his 100 Day Plan to deliver on commitments and critical objectives outlined during the campaign.
Education is always a hot topic for families. Making sure children have every opportunity to learn and receive all the tools they need to succeed out in the world is at the forefront of parental thinking. Often schools and school districts is the main factor when it comes to moving to a city or particular town.
Inner city schooling has had many challenges over the years and at times has been a major reason for families to move to the suburbs. These schools can be overcrowded and understaffed.
If parents are committed to urban living, usually due to work opportunities, private schooling becomes the only considerable option. However, private schools are costly and entry is difficult.
Frisco is known for it’s top tier education and sports programs. Teachers and administrators work hard to make sure that a high quality education is given to every student while dealing with the challenges of a growing class. New schools mean new alignments and lots of students in Frisco have moved schools as they change grades. And, there have been cases where teachers and coaches have started off the year in one school and then are asked to come over to another in the same year. Throughout all this change, Frisco remains a destination for growing families due to it’s high standard of education.
ENTERTAINMENT FOR KIDS AND ADULTS
Living in a city means you have hundreds of places to eat, drink, and visit when it comes to a nightlife or entertainment. Museums, zoos, boutique shopping, dog parks, bars, bistros, sporting events, and more. In Frisco, all these options are right outside your front door. Festivals for the family, trips to the zoo, family dining are just some of the things that you can do on a Saturday afternoon or anytime in the summer.
Maybe you don’t have children and just want to take your significant other out for fun? Living in a city gives you endless options like a night of dancing, wine tastings, or brunch with endless mimosas. The larger a city gets the more options for entertainment become available capable of serving the needs of a diverse ethnicity, a range of children’s ages, and a variety of adult after-hours establishments.
When it comes to family fun, it’s easy to purchase family tickets to the RoughRiders and FC Dallas games for a reasonable price. Both of these organizations offer family ticket pricing for individual games all season.
As far as family dining, places like Blue Goose, 54th Street, and 5th Street Patio Café are perfect dining destinations for families. If you are looking for other parent-and-child-friendly activities, check out Main Event, the National Videogame Museum, Frisco Paintball, and Jungle Joe’s are some alternative spots you can have hours of fun with the family.
A CITY FOR EVERYONE
The struggle of a growing city creates many challenges and I’m glad that I’m not the one making these difficult decisions. I think our elected leaders, business owners, and city council are doing a great job in this process and I look forward to seeing where Frisco grows.
Maybe we can have the best of both worlds though? Great schools, a home town feel with plenty of transportation options and entertainment for everyone without making people feel uncomfortable.
So families, let’s please respect the establishments that are geared toward an adult scene and choose to cater to the 21 and up crowd. Singles, or child-free adults, please realize that being a parent is hard and sometimes just down right tiresome. Let’s all take a breather and be patient because our city is changing and it will only continue to be a better and better place to live.