Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings recently said it’s time for officials to come up with new goals for improving the city. We agree. And why not take the new year to turn over a new leaf?

Here are nine New Year’s resolutions we have for Big D and the people who live here.

Get this whole bike-sharing thing under control

If there’s one thing that defined Dallas in 2017, it was dockless bike-sharing. A gradual infiltration of bikes became a full-scale invasion, and now it’s up to bikers as well as lawmakers to responsibly manage them. One easy way to contribute: Think about where you’re parking that bike. Is it in someone’s way? For example, right in front of the door to an establishment? (This happens.) Is it blocking the width of the sidewalk? (Really.) Is there a bike rack nearby? Or are you just going to throw that hunk of metal in someone’s yard? 

Dallas City Hall plans to crack down on the companies providing bikes to make them feel like a seamless part of local life rather than a game of 52-Card Pickup. Until then, it’s everyone’s job to not be a jerk. -- Tiney Ricciardi

If you love a restaurant, patronize it

Afrah Mediterranean Restaurant is a good example of a not-new eatery that patrons consistently revisit.  

Afrah Mediterranean Restaurant is a good example of a not-new eatery that patrons consistently revisit.  

Rose Baca/Staff Photographer

This time of year, restaurants close. As they reevaluate their budgets, their leases, and their trendy menus, many restaurants (both good ones and not-so) realize they can’t make it another month or another year. I’ve heard the restaurateur pleas: If you love our restaurant, why didn’t you come more often? And I agree: You can help keep your favorite restaurant in business just by spending money there. The less-good restaurants were going to close anyway. But the good ones can possibly be saved. -- Sarah Blaskovich

Seek out locally-made spirits

5 distilleries in Dallas-Fort Worth where you can savor the flavor of local liquor

“Drink local” is a phrase embraced by North Texas craft beer community, but the same mentality should also apply to spirits. The more than a dozen local distilleries in Dallas-Fort Worth make it easy to stock your home bar and savor the flavor of local liquor out on the town. Start by buying a bottle of Devils River Bourbon, my personal favorite distilled in Dallas. Then visit Fort Worth, where Firestone and Robertson Distilling Co.’s 112-acre Whiskey Ranch recently opened. No matter which distillery you hit, you’re able to take a bottle home with you. Better yet, buy an extra and help your friends get on a local spirits kick, too. -- T.R.

Stop charging for valet

Why Lowest Greenville, the hot restaurant neighborhood in Dallas with a parking problem*, is going to be just fine 

More neighborhoods and restaurants need to take a cue from Lowest Greenville. In 2016, the area instated a free valet parking system, which means anywhere there’s a valet stand between Belmont and Ross avenues, and drivers receive complimentary parking. (Don’t forget to tip!) That’s a good way to build a return customer base, especially during the summer months when walking from parking lot to front door requires bringing a change of clothes. -- T.R.

Drive to Fort Worth more often -- it’s really not that far (and it’s brimming with cool restaurants)

Where to eat in downtown Fort Worth: 16 restaurants worth your while

Fort Worth isn’t just hats and boots -- although a night out at Billy Bob’s Texas is never a bad thing. Sundance Square is full of great shopping and nightlife. Coyote Drive-In is an excellent way to spend an evening on the banks of the Trinity River. Its art museums are world-renowned, the zoo is a must-see and its brewery district should make Dallas hopheads jealous. Worried about the long drive? Take the TRE into downtown Fort Worth and save yourself the gas money. -- Charles Scudder

Look up. Smile more.

Let’s not blame it on younger generations. We’re all obsessed with our phones. As you shop in the suburbs or walk the streets of downtown Dallas, make an effort to look up just a little more and smile at strangers. Say “hello” to your grocery store clerk and “thank you” to your barista. When you can, help people who have less than you do. We all remember to do that around the holidays, but sometimes we forget it come January. -- S.B.

Boycott the Buzz Bike

The buzz bike makes its way down the street during the 35th Anniversary Dallas St. Patrick's Parade and Festival on Greenville Avenue in Dallas.

The buzz bike makes its way down the street during the 35th Anniversary Dallas St. Patrick's Parade and Festival on Greenville Avenue in Dallas.

Vernon Bryant/Staff Photographer

The idea of hopping on the bar-on-wheels known as the Buzz Bike and pedaling around Dallas is enticing. Who doesn’t want to take a city tour with drink in hand? But then you get stuck driving 5 miles-per-hour behind one, or your conversation on a restaurant patio gets drowned out by blaring Britney Spears music. What happened to the good, old fashioned pub crawl that required walking from bar to bar? Uptown, Deep Ellum, Lower Greenville and Bishop Arts are brimming with great spots in easy walking distance. The Buzz Bike needs to bike back to wherever it came from. -- T.R.

Go to [insert major Dallas landmark here]

22 important landmarks in downtown Dallas

We can’t count the number of times a lifelong Dallasite has admitted, “I’ve never been to the Sixth Floor Museum.” Or maybe it’s the Dallas Museum of Art or the original Neiman Marcus or the Granada Theater or Southfork Ranch. (Which, didn’t you know, isn’t in Dallas!) We’ve got a list of 22 important landmarks in downtown Dallas to get you started, and there are tons more outside of downtown proper. The method: Pick one place to visit each month. Many are free. By year’s end, you’ll have visited a dozen spots that’ll make you a more interesting Texan. -- S.B.

Support local journalism

Why? So many reasons, beginning with the upkeep on this new building we’re in. But don’t do it for us. Subscribe because we report the stories that would go untold without us: who's running for office, how's the real estate market, what’s the best place for queso, when are they going to fill the potholes, why is the Texas Legislature talking about bathrooms, and why don’t the kids in the juvenile lockup get to go outside. Local journalism is the elixir that cures ignorance. Drink up. -- Mike Wilson

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