Monday, December 20, 2010
Fort Worth's Desperate Search For A Visionary To Take The Town To Top-Tier Status
One of those confusing moments came to me this morning as I was reading the letters to the editor in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
I'll copy the letter below and below that I'll comment on the letter.....
Where are our visionaries? Those with big, bold ideas and the drive to see them through? Perhaps not on the City Council, which recently put the brakes on the modern streetcar initiative.
Where are the folks who approved the convention center hotel, supported the Trinity River Vision, Lancaster corridor improvements and new downtown park?
Our city is on a roll. We have momentum that other cities would kill for. But we still lack aesthetics and services that seem so natural to more cosmopolitan cities. Modern streetcars (i.e. efficient, light-rail mobility) are a perfect next step in our evolution to top-tier status.
Dallas has become a national leader in public light-rail transportation, and Denton, too, will soon launch its A train service. That leaves Fort Worth lagging in its vision for solving growing transportation issues, air-quality issues and the continuing vibrancy of our downtown.
We had the government seed money, the feasibility study and popular support. Now it's gone. On leadership one once said, "Search the parks in all your cities, you'll find no statues of committees." When will a visionary leader step up to deliver streetcars to our downtown?
-- Allen Wallach, Fort Worth
Fort Worth is on a roll? With momentum other cities would kill for? What momentum? What roll? The momentum to be on a roll to have the most boondoggles in a row?
Visionaries who approved the convention center hotel, the Trinity River Vision, Lancaster corridor improvements and a new downtown park?
What is this new downtown park the letter writer speaks of? Renovating the Heritage Park boarded up eyesore?
Lancaster corridor improvements? The weeds have been pulled, some lights installed, the Spring Palace is no longer surrounded by cyclone fence. But where are the restaurants and other developments that were supposedly going to occur on this restored corridor?
Fort Worth lacks aesthetics and services that more cosmopolitan cities have, like modern streetcars. And having streetcars are a perfect next step to evolving to top-tier status.
Okay, if streetcars are the next step to top-tier status, what in the world was the previous step? It can't be the Trinity River Vision. All that vision saw was copying what was being done in Dallas with its Trinity River Corridor Project. And then downscaling the Dallas Vision.
Was the previous step to top-tier status allowing one of the few unique things in downtown Fort Worth to become a boarded up eyesore, again referring to Heritage Park's current status. Really, would any town with any pretensions to top-tier status allow a well-designed park to fall into such a state, what with that park being across the street from a county courthouse and adjacent to a jail?
I do agree with the letter writer that Fort Worth is in dire need of a visionary. A visionary with clear vision. Not the type visionary who copies what he or she sees elsewhere.