Thursday, April 26, 2012

Questions About Fort Worth's New Pedestrian Bridge Across The Trinity River

River Legacy Park Trinity River Pedestrian Bridge
The bright sun wreaked havoc, last night, with my attempts to take a good picture of the pedestrian bridge in Arlington's River Legacy Park that takes walkers, bikers and bladers across the Trinity River.

But, even my limited photo taking ability shows you that this is a fairly substantial looking bridge. A very heavily used substantial looking bridge.

I do not know how much it cost to build this particular bridge. I suspect it was less than $3 million.

Yesterday I was surprised to learn that Fort Worth has a pedestrian bridge under construction, somewhere near Trinity Park, connecting the Trinity Trail to downtown Fort Worth.

Fort Worth's pedestrian bridge across the Trinity River will cost around $3 million. Of that $3 million, $2.3 million comes from federal grants, with the City of Fort Worth adding $459,000 and Streams & Valleys adding $200,000 raised from private donors.

I am a little perplexed about the building of a $3 million pedestrian bridge at this location at this particular time. When and where was this expenditure debated and voted upon?

How many miles of sidewalk could be installed in Fort Worth for $3 million? It seems like sidewalks would be a higher priority than a pedestrian bridge in the biggest city in America with the most miles of roads without sidewalks.

How many of Fort Worth's shuttered public pools could be opened for $3 million?

How many more hours could the Fort Worth Public Library system be open with an influx of $3 million?

A few years back Fort Worth decided to limit access to one of its city parks, that being the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, by charging an admission fee. I don't know of any other city, with World Class pretensions, that charges an entry fee to one of its city parks. Particularly to a park of this nature.

A month ago I was in several city parks in the Phoenix zone. Enormous city parks that dwarf anything in Fort Worth, both in size and the number of people using them. None charged an entry fee.

How does this new pedestrian bridge in Fort Worth fit in with the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle? It is downriver from the Woodshed Smokehouse, which somehow became part of J.D. Granger's Vision for the Boondoggle, even though the Woodshed seemed to be too far upriver to be part of the area that the vision originally saw.

What the City of Fort Worth decides to spend money on, and not spend money on, is very perplexing. And how those spending decisions are made is also very perplexing.

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