Friday, September 21, 2012

Walking To Fort Worth's East Regional Library With Ross Perot Wondering What Is Wrong With Us

I noticed this morning that I had a some library books due. When one has library books due one must return them by the due date or the day after the due date one is assessed an enormous fine. Something like a dime. Maybe a quarter.

I really don't know what the fine is because I've never been late returning a book.

I decided to be really adventurous and walk to the East Regional Library to return the books. This particular Fort Worth library is closed on Fridays.

Closing libraries and cutting hours is one of those things Fort Worth does that makes me wonder how it is that Fort Worth is such a World Class City that is the envy of much of the civilized world.

Walking to the library I came upon yet one more thing that makes me wonder how it is that Fort Worth is such a World Class City that is the envy of much of the civilized world.

That one more thing is the obstructions blocking the narrow sidewalk that one walks to get the East Regional Library. I put my books down on the sidewalk, then backed up to take a picture. After I made it past the obstruction I found another sidewalk obstruction, so I laid my books down, again, and took another picture.

As you can see, above, the second sidewalk obstruction is a combo, with one obstruction being Mother Nature made and the other obstruction man made, that being a "ROAD WORK AHEAD" sign plopped on the sidewalk. To get around that sign one has to either step out on to busy Bridge Street, or slide oneself between the sign and the guard rail.

I'm skinny so I was able to take the slide by option. I would guess at least 50% of Texans would not have this option available to them, with the dangerous stepping out on the busy street option being their only way around the sign.

I think I have commented regarding Fort Worth's pathetic sidewalks in previous bloggings. It is truly amazing to me how many Fort Worth streets have no sidewalks. The shortest walking route to the library would have had me walking a sidewalk-less hill up Bridge Street. To avoid the sidewalk-less section of Bridge Street I detoured through the Albertson's parking lot.

I really think Fort Worth should address its sad sidewalk situation before it wastes money on unneeded projects, like building an unneeded flood diversion channel and little lake, replacing perfectly functioning levees that have kept the downtown Fort Worth zone flood free for over a half a century.

Years ago, back in the 1980s, Ross Perot sparked some controversy criticizing what he thought was a failing of the United States and its cities, claiming that America "had grown arrogant and complacent after World War II." And due to this arrogance and complacency America was no longer the world's greatest nation, further asserting that America was "daydreaming of its past while the rest of the world was building its future."

Perot said, "Go to Rome, go to Paris, go to London. Those cities are centuries old. They're thriving. They're clean. They work. Our oldest cities are brand new compared to them and yet… go to New York, drive through downtown Washington, go to Detroit, go to Philadelphia. What's wrong with us?"

I doubt Ross Perot has ever been to Fort Worth. He lives in Dallas. But, if he visited Fort Worth, I'm sure he would add Fort Worth to his list of American cities that make him wonder what is wrong with this town?


Steve A said...

It is pretty simple - those other cities got big before the auto came around...

Anonymous said...

That's right Steve A. And then the golden era of Big Three auto manufacturers coupled with post WW!! prosperity and suburban growth gave us a powerful drug, the car culture. Sidewalks went passe. But they are making a comeback--or trying.

Durango's photo says it all. An obstacle path of thorny mesquite and treacherous terrain to get to his local library (and bus stop). Drive from Oakland to Weiler on Bridge at 10:00 p.m. on a Saturday nite. Steepish, curvy, vegetated stretch. Folks are out walking, forced onto the street. No sidewalk.

Amazingly and speculatively, you don't see much news of fatal car/pedestrian encounters on the east side.