Saturday, November 26, 2011

According To The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Update No Other Town In North America Has As Much Downtown Waterfront As Fort Worth Texas

Roundabout With The Trinity River Vision
On Tuesday I blogged about the TRINITY RIVER VISION UPDATE VOLUME VI - ISSUE 3 - WINTER 2011 that DP had emailed me in PDF format, in a blogging titled "The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Bridges To Nowhere Built In Slow Motion."

Today the hard copy TRV Update showed up in my mailbox. The hard copy was identical to the PDF version.


An extra page had been inserted. That extra page has a few jaw dropping gems on it.

In a section of that extra page titled "Fort Worth Finally Embraces Trinity River" we are told....

Periodic devastating floods, including one in 1949 that flooded downtown, led the Corps to build high levees to protect the city. As leaders today acknowledge, it also protected the city's residents from using and enjoying the river. J.D. Granger, executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority, joked that the only people making use of the river were skinny sweaty people, i.e. joggers who ran along the green spaces protected by the levees.

Despite the levees, the Trinity River still posed a flood danger during extreme rain events. The solution that eventually emerged was to dig a new channel to connect two sides of an oxbow that wound through the city. The channel, which would mostly cut through abandoned industrial properties, would turn part of downtown into two islands with a small bay between them, and provide miles of river-walks similar to the famous one in San Antonio that has become a mainstay of that city's tourism industry.

First off, a lot of people, besides the skinny sweaty people Mr. Granger mentions, use the Trinity Trails. Bikers, walkers, moms pushing strollers. Has Mr. Granger never been to Trinity Park? There are usually a lot of people in Trinity Park. Some of them are fishing.

Second off, despite the fact that there has been no repeat of the 1949 flood since the levees were built, the Trinity River still posed a danger if it rains real hard? I've seen some rather extreme flooding since I've been here. I have never seen the river get near going over the levees. I have seen other areas of Tarrant County that have turned deadly during extreme rain events. Haltom City, for example. But the Army Corps of Engineers does not care about Haltom City's flood woes.

Third off, the Town Lake has now been reduced to a small bay between two islands? How does that work?

Fourth off, this is the first I've heard that the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle now includes miles of river-walk like the one in San Antonio. That's an impressive plan, copying the famous tourist attraction of another town in your state. That is just kind of sad.

In another section of the propaganda, titled "Trinity River Vision remains focused, on schedule," we are told...

For what developers call the Trinity Uptown component of the Trinity River Vision project, residents can expect an 800-acre mixed use development connecting downtown, the Cultural District and the near North Side. Remaining project components are the Gateway Park master plan and what's dubbed the Trinity River Vision Experience, providing greater river access over 88 miles of river and tributaries.

And then this gem from Fort Worth's director of Planning and Development Department, Randle Harwood.

"We are in a unique position that no other city in North America can claim," Harwood said, citing the amount of waterfront access near downtown as unique to Fort Worth. "I just think that it gives us an economically competitive advantage. You can't create that, although we are creating additional riverfront by using the bypass channel."

No other city in North America has the amount of waterfront access near downtown as Fort Worth does? Who is writing this stuff? Someone borrowed from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram? I've not read such ridiculous propaganda in a long time. The Star-Telegram's bizarre claims about the long defunct Santa Fe Rail Market being the first public market in Texas, that it was modeled after Seattle's Pike Place and European public markets, comes to mind.

The Star-Telegram apparently did not know about the Dallas Farmers Market when it propagandized about the Santa Fe Rail Market. And the Trinity River Vision must not realize that the Trinity River also flows by the downtown of Dallas. And that the Dallas Trinity River Vision will see an actual big lake with a lot of waterfront.

Fort Worth's waterfront puts this town in a unique position no other city in North America can claim?

Apparently New York City, Miami, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver and other towns I'm likely forgetting are not in the same North America that Fort Worth is in.

Besides Dallas I can think of other towns within a day's drive of Fort Worth with a lot of waterfront.

Like Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa, at the head of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, is the most inland river port in the U.S. with access to international waterways. Yes, the Arkansas River is a real river, a real wide river as it passes through Tulsa.

The Trinity River as it passes through Fort Worth is more of a glorified ditch than a river.

Shreveport, Louisiana, with the Red River, also navigable, providing a lot of waterfront, is also a short drive from Fort Worth.

Waco has some nice waterfront on the north side of its downtown, provided by the very scenic Brazos River, which also is a real river, not a glorified ditch, as it passes through Waco.

If the goofball assertions made in the Trinity River Vision Update are indicative of the thought processing going into this project, I fear we will be seeing a way bigger boondoggle than any of us dreamed possible.


Big Ed said...

thank you, Durango, for being a relentless warrior that continuously details the dumb ass thought processes that some use to tout poorly thought out public projects around Fort Worth.

Anonymous said...

Carefully selected words and scrubbed public documentations too often convey mostly "dark grey facts" that might contain an inkling of truth. Just imagine how a first draft document including accurate, truthful, and factual information concerning, all projects, costs, timelines, etc. would probably differ from the clean press release data? How would unmanipulated facts sound to the publics' ears for a change?
In political climates and high stakes projects very little is as it appears to be.
Unfortunately there are far too many times which deserve our skepticism and sinicism, particularly when our hard earned dollars are being squandered.

Life is good so let your smiles shine-out, but smile with skepticism on information coming from any type of political source.