Thursday, July 5, 2012

Is Plan 2023 Going To Excite You About Downtown Fort Worth?

Around the beginning of June I got email from Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. in which I learned of downtown Fort Worth's brilliant new tourist slogan.

"Downtown Fort Worth: You get it when you get here."

I blogged about this brilliant tourist slogan in a blogging titled I Love Downtown Fort Worth & The Biggest Comic Strip In Texas That Surrounds Sundance Square.

I was not the only one to make note of the brilliance of this tourist slogan. A few days ago Bud Kennedy ignited an amusing comment fest about this slogan, on Facebook.

Today I got the July email news from Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., with that brilliant "You get it when you get here" tourist slogan no where to be seen. Maybe I was not looking in the right place.

In the July email from Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. we learn of PLAN 2023 and are told that Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. is looking for practical and resourceful ideas about improving "our" downtown.


First off, PLAN 2023? 11 years for this PLAN to come to fruition?

I can think of some things downtown Fort Worth can do right now.

One would be to take down the cyclone fence that surrounds Heritage Park and restore Heritage Park to its original glory. What other big city in America, particularly a city which regularly makes the rest of America Green with Envy, would have such an eyesore across the street from its County Courthouse?

It's embarrassing.

Figure out a way to restore what downtown Fort Worth lost due to the Radio Shack Corporate Headquarters boondoggle, as in acres of free parking that made downtown Fort Worth easily accessible.

Cease with outlining downtown Fort Worth's few tall buildings with lights.

It looks tacky.

We learned last month that there is finally going to be a square in Sundance Square, after years of confusing tourists with the Sundance Square signs pointing them to where no square existed. Let's hope this comes to some sort of non-embarrassing fruition.

Make downtown Fort Worth more pedestrian friendly. Maybe close one street to traffic, Main Street, perhaps.

Tulsa has a pedestrian walkway that runs from its convention center to its downtown core, which is closed to traffic. This is quite well done and makes it real nice to walk around downtown Tulsa.

Downtown Portland, Oregon also has a car free corridor that makes it real nice to walk around downtown Portland. Portland also has a real nice light rail transit system that makes it real slick to get around downtown and the rest of Portland.

But, that type thing is way out of Fort Worth's league.

Like having a downtown department store or a full-sized grocery store.

Downtown Fort Worth's sidewalks are very narrow for a big city downtown. I think street parking is allowed on all of downtown Fort Worth's streets. This makes for a sort of claustrophobic walk on the downtown Fort Worth streets.

Downtown Fort Worth's PLAN 2023 has a website which solicits for ideas for PLAN 2023 and asks what excites "you" about Downtown Fort Worth.

I really can think of nothing that excites me about downtown Fort Worth. I did like Heritage Park and thought it was unique, til it was allowed to deteriorate after the Fort Worth Water Gardens Disaster.

I also like the Water Gardens, but they don't actually much excite me and they aren't really all that unique, but they could be part of a cool new pedestrian corridor running from the restored Heritage Park, past the Tarrant County Courthouse, past the Fort Worth Convention Center, to the Water Gardens.

Where cross streets need to cross Main Street, elevated crossovers could be built for the pedestrians.  With the crossovers being broad crossovers, the width of the cool new pedestrian corridor.

Among the many suggestions made by Fort Worthers, on the PLAN 2023 website, one guy said he thought Fort Worth needs what he calls a "Money Shot." Meaning something that people in other parts of America, and the world, would know as being in Fort Worth and which they would want to see with their own eyes, as a tourist in Fort Worth. He suggested Fort Worth needs an iconic image like the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles or the Space Needle in Seattle.

I have verbalized a similar sentiment previously, saying the only thing in Fort Worth that anyone anywhere else might recognize as being in Fort Worth is the Fort Worth Stockyards sign. But that one is sort of an easy giveaway, what with the town's name in the sign.

I can not imagine what could be done in Fort Worth to give the town an iconic recognizability.

Fort Worth seems to have some sort of twisted penchant for extreme goofiness and some sort of strange tendency to shoot itself in the foot.
Thinking that a sporting goods store, Cabela's, would be the #1 tourist attraction in Texas is one example of the clueless goofiness.

A boondoggle called the Trinity River Vision is an example of Fort Worth's strange tendency to shoot itself in the foot. I hope I'm wrong about that one, but I fear I'm not. Have you visited the Cowtown Wakepark yet? Looking forward to the Trinity River Vision's Drive-In Movie Theater? Swimming in Pond Granger?

Maybe the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's giant flood diversion channel, visible from the moon, like the Great Wall of China, will give Fort Worth its first iconic image. Won't that be something? But, it won't be downtown.

1 comment:

Steve A said...

I vote to close Houston Street to motorized traffic. Sam Houston never travelled in any motorized vehicle other than a train. Let us honor him. That'd also tie in with converting Sundance Square from a collection of parking lots.