|Northside Drive I-35 Exit To The Fort Worth Stockyards|
Please make note of the fact that this freeway exit is not landscaped and is littered. We will come back to this later.
The cover story in the most recent edition of Fort Worth Weekly is titled "A Tale of Two Rail Systems." With the subtitle being "Tarrant and Dallas took different public transit routes. Guess who is ahead?"
A Dallas attorney, Walt Humann, is extensively quoted in this story, because the story is about public transit in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and attorney Humann is credited with the founding of DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit).
In the article Walt Humann is quoted as saying...
“But if you are going to be a world-class city, you have to have a great mass- transit system, I think Fort Worth is at a point right now where that issue is gaining more importance. One way that big cities solve the transportation problem is to add different mass-transit options. That’s what world-class cities do. Fort Worth needs to start thinking of itself as a world-class city, because in many ways it already is.”
Can you guess the part of the above quote that had me perplexed? If you guessed it was the part that indicated that in many ways Fort Worth is already a world-class city, you guessed right.
I was baffled. I could not think of a single way in which Fort Worth is a world-class city. Is one of the ways the fact of having that extremely tacky looking Cowtown Wakeboard Park, that is part of the ongoing Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, which Boondoggle Leader, J.D. Granger, says is the World's Premiere Urban Wakeboard Park?
I thought to myself that I don't actually know what makes for a world-class city, so I turned to Google.
The Wikipedia article on this important subject says in part, "A world-class city is a city generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system. The concept comes from geography and urban studies and rests on the idea that globalization can be understood as largely created, facilitated and enacted in strategic geographic locales according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade."
The Urban Dictionary article on this important subject says in part, "A world-class city is a major international destination. Most often it's a major, international political, cultural or commercial center. Includes cities of all sizes and not just the world's largest."
In the Wikipedia list of world-class cities the only town in Texas on the list is Austin. The list is broken down from Alpha towns at the top, like #1 New York City, to Beta towns, and then Gamma towns, of which Austin is one.
Apparently a world-class city comes to be one by being an important political, cultural or commercial center.
Well, Fort Worth does have a Cultural District. I don't know if any other world-class cities name the location of their town's museums as the town's "Cultural District."
Commercial center? Let's see. American Airlines is based in Fort Worth. And bankrupt.
Radio Shack is based in Fort Worth. But had to sell its new corporate headquarters in downtown Fort Worth, a corporate headquarters that was built by abusing eminent domain, taking acres of free parking and closing the world's shortest free subway, which was Fort Worth's only light rail.
Tarrant County College is now located in the defunct former Radio Shack headquarters, because of TCC's own building boondoggle in downtown Fort Worth that ran amok, cost-wise.
Pier One Imports is based in Fort Worth. Pier One Imports built a very nice new corporate headquarters, that Pier One Imports could not afford. So, Chesapeake Energy bought the Pier One Imports corporate headquarters for building space from which to run their shadow government of Fort Worth.
I know the locals take great pride in their collection of museums in the Cultural District. I had never heard of these museums until I moved to Texas. I recently bought the Lonely Planet travel guide to Texas. In the Lonely Planet Texas travel guide one section lists the Top 10 museums to see in Texas. The only one in Fort Worth, on the list, is the National Cowgirl Museum.
I don't think Fort Worth has any particular political influence on the nation or world that is of the world-class city sort. The town is run by an oligarchy, good ol' boy network type system of local government, that does not even allow its citizens to vote on public works projects, like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.
Fort Worth is the only city in America with a population over 500,000 without a department store in its downtown. There is also no grocery store in downtown Fort Worth. On the busiest shopping day of the year, that being the day after Thanksgiving, downtown Fort Worth is a ghost town.
I really don't think a town can be a world-class city with no downtown department stores or grocery stores.
I have never seen a big city with so many streets without sidewalks, as Fort Worth, with so many of its residents walking on dirt paths worn into the ground beside the streets. I really think world-class cities are likely big on having sidewalks.
Would a world-class city allow a park in its downtown, like Heritage Park, to become a closed, chain-link fence surrounded eyesore?
Fort Worth has more holes poked into its ground, by Natural Gas Drillers, than any other city in the world. Maybe this is what Mr. Humann means to be one of the ways Fort Worth is a world-class city.
Maybe someone could ask Dallas attorney, Walt Humann, in what ways he believes Fort Worth is a world-class city and help alleviate me of my bafflement.
Regarding being a world-class city, let's go back to that picture at the top of the freeway exit which leads to Fort Worth's top tourist attraction, the Fort Worth Stockyards.
A world-class city would landscape and keep litter free the exits to its top tourist attraction.
The two little towns in the valley I lived in in Washington, through which the I-5 freeway passes, landscape their freeway exits, those towns being Mount Vernon and Burlington, combined population around 40,000.
Fort Worth does not need to go all the way to Washington to see how grown up cities beautify their towns. Just go visit Grapevine. Or North Richland Hills. Both towns have done real good jobs of landscaping their main roads. And using native plants to do so.
Fort Worth's shabby freeway exits are a shameful thing.
For another example, for Fort Worth, look at what Arlington's done with the new bridges and freeway exits to the Six Flags-Ballpark in Arlington-Cowboys Stadium Entertainment District. It is quite impressive, the landscaping, the pedestrian crossings over the new bridges, the murals.
Maybe the City of Fort Worth should stop ticketing and fining Don Young for growing a native plant Xeriscaped yard, and instead enlist Mr. Young's help in designing some sensible, water-free landscaping for Fort Worth's eyesore freeway exits.
It just occurred to me. There is something called a Citizen's Arrest, where a citizen can arrest someone they see doing a bad thing. Is there such a thing as a Citizen's Citation? If the city can ticket and fine Don Young for growing native prairie grass, could Don Young serve Betsy Price with a citation for allowing the freeway exits to the Fort Worth Stockyards to be a weedy, littered mess?
I think a $500 fine would be apropos for Betsy, along with, maybe, 50 hours of community service. Picking up litter, perhaps.
I'm done now. For now.