Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Gazing Into Lake Tandy Thinking About Moving Back To Washington Where Voters Get To Vote
Looking at Dry Tandy Falls and Lake Tandy had me thinking about Dry Falls and crystal clear Sun Lakes in the state from whence I came, Washington.
I've blogged about Dry Falls and Sun Lakes a couple times on my Durango Washington blog in bloggings titled Sun Lakes State Park & Dry Falls and Dry Falls, Sun Lakes, Wind, Riots & Streakers.
I've been thinking about Washington a lot lately. It has been almost 5 years since I've visited the Pacific Northwest.
When I renewed my Texas driver's license, last summer, was the first I realized I'd been in Texas for over 12 years. I was a bit mortified when I realized how quickly 12 years had passed, and how old I will be after the passage of another 12 years.
If I still had a house in Washington I think I'd be moving back. But, my house in Mount Vernon was sold in 2002. There was a house waiting for me when I made the move to Texas, which made moving easy.
When I moved to Texas I knew I was moving to a much more conservative, much less progressive state than Washington. In the years since I moved to Texas, Washington has become even more progressive and even more liberal. While Texas has sort of regressed.
The depressing, non-progressive, regressive state of being in the state of Texas was brought again to mind a couple minutes ago when I got a blog comment from Dannyboy in response to a blogging I blogged yesterday morning.
Dannyboy has left a new comment on your post "The Befuddling Mystery Of Tarrant County & Texas Public Transit":
You are a bit wrong about Tarrant County mass transit. When it was proposed some decades ago, every city in Tarrant County had the vote to join in. Most did not, including Arlington. So it wasn't that there was "no effort" made to include the whole county, it's just that most of the county said "no" and continues to do so. It is a fact of life in North Texas. Mass transit is considered something that poor people use, and consequently, the funding and improvement of such transportation plans are not seen as important in any way. So it is a conundrum that has no simple fix. People don't use mass transit unless they have to because it is crappy in FW, but they don't want to spend anything to make it better because it is for the crappy poor people. Get it? It will never happen in FW until those attitudes change and I don't see that happening anytime soon.
If I am understanding Dannyboy correctly, at some point in time individual towns in Tarrant County voted for or against funding mass transit. With only Fort Worth, apparently, voting yes.
Why would this not be a county wide vote, rather than having each town vote regarding its mass transit participation?
The lack of cohesive mass transit in Tarrant County affects the entire county. Why let Arlington vote no and thus make it impossible for Fort Worth residents to take mass transit to Six Flags? Or to watch the Rangers play baseball at The Ballpark in Arlington?
I remember being very perplexed when the Dallas Cowboys were demanding a new football stadium, with how, when it came time to fund the building of a new stadium, the Cowboys ceased being America's Team, the Cowboys were not North Texas' team, not the D/FW Metroplex's team, not the Dallas County team, not the Dallas team, but instead somehow it was the voter's in little Arlington, in Tarrant County, upon whom it fell to help fund a new stadium and proudly engage in one of the worst acts of eminent domain abuse in American history.
By the 1990s congestion had grown into gridlock territory on Washington's Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge. That infamous bridge connects Tacoma to the Kitsap Peninsula. I remember shortly before I moved to Texas, in 1998, voters in the Washington counties affected by the congestion voted on whether or not to support building a second suspension bridge. The voters voted yes and have been driving over the new bridge since 2007.
If I remember correctly the new Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge cost around $1 billion, about the same cost of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, with key differences being that voters voted on the bridge.
Construction began in 2002, completed 5 years later.
Meanwhile, voters have not voted on the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, and well over a decade since this incredibly important Fort Worth flood control project was begun, very little can been seen of the vision. And what can be seen ain't at all pretty, visions like the Cowtown Wakeboard Park, the world's pre-eminent urban wake boarding facility.
So, why is it in Texas the voters in a county can not vote on a county-wide project? Why can't all the voters in all the counties that make up the D/FW Metroplex vote in a project that benefits everyone?
Like mass transit for poor people.....