Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Is Fort Worth Really An Anonymous Boom Town?

Yesterday, after I blogged about yesterday's Tarrant Regional Water District Board meeting, specifically mentioning what I thought to be rather dubious remarks by the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Executive Director, J.D. Granger, I got a blog comment from someone calling him or herself Anonymous, which really gave me pause to wonder.

Do I have that "pause to wonder" cliche correct?

Or should it be "pause to think?"

I really am not all that big a fan of pausing to think. Pausing to wonder? Yes, I do like to do that.

Anyway, the comment from Anonymous caused me to  wonder if, unbeknownst to me, Fort Worth is actually a Boom Town....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "At Today's TRWD Board Meeting We Learn Fort Worth Is The Envy Of Other Cities": 

Look at Fort Worth's growth over the last 12 years. Now look at where NCTCOG projects DFW's greatest growth to occur over the next 10 years.....Fort Worth (west and northwest to be more exact). The City of Fort Worth continues to grow and it has indeed been the envy of other City's regarding the rate of growth and the quality of developments that are being built and that are being planned. There are over 10,000 acres of land being planned for development in Fort Worth. A breath of new life continues to be breathed into our Downtown and inner city areas (Sundance plaza, Near South, Linwood, West 7th, Six Points, etc) Further, we continue to diversify our economy and draw good paying jobs to the area. Alliance area is booming, the Chisholm Parkway has opened vast areas for growth (and good growth at that!)

Why are you so down on Fort Worth? Per capita, our permitting numbers are unparalleled. Only Houston beats our single family starts, but that is a pure numbers to numbers comparison. 

Despite the opinion of Anonymous, I am not down on Fort Worth. I am down on hyping that which is not hypeworthy. I do not think it well serves the locals to pretend that Fort Worth is a paragon of any sort, when it is not.

You want to talk to me about all this "good growth"? With some of that "good growth" being a lot of single family housing starts?

Well, you are not going to talk to me about that without talking to me about the Homeless People City on Lancaster. How many years has it been now since Fort Worth sent a task force to progressive cities out west to learn how they successfully managed their Homeless People Problem?

How about the fact that Fort Worth is so ill-served by something as simple as sidewalks? I cringe every time I see a mom struggling to push a stroller on a dirt path beside an un-sidewalked Fort Worth street.

You want to talk to me about Fort Worth Growth? How about growing up to being a city which has modern facilities, such as restrooms and running water, in your public parks? Amenities which long ago became the norm in more developed, modern parts of America.

Regarding this comment from Anonymous, if I am understanding correctly, Fort Worth is the envy of the civilized world due to its unparalleled permitting numbers? With only Houston having more single family housing starts? And due to the quality of its developments? And due to over 10,000 acres of land being developed? And due to having vast areas for growth?

Where to start?

Does the phrase "URBAN SPRAWL" mean anything to anyone associated with thinking opening vast areas for growth is a really really good thing? Without proper planning? Infrastructure development? And, God forbid we think about public transit.

Quality of development? Really? Quality? Sundance Square Plaza is remarkable only due to the fact that after decades of calling its downtown zone Sundance Square, downtown Fort Worth finally has a square, where parking lots existed, previous to the square.

Most big cities in America do not have parking lots at the core of their downtown because that real estate is too valuable to use to park cars.

Downtown Fort Worth may be the most lifeless big city downtown in America. It certainly is the only downtown of a large American city with not one department store. Not one grocery store. And which is a ghost town on the busiest shopping day of the year, that being the day after Thanksgiving.

Are there any other American towns of Fort Worth's size without a direct public transit connection to its airport?

West 7th? You want to bring that up as an example of being an envy generator? West 7th is remarkable only when one compares it to how bad it was before the Montgomery Plaza renovation sparked a boom in that zone. But, was that boom well designed, well planned?


The drive through the West 7th zone is through a congested canyon. No setbacks, no wide sidewalks, limited parking. And it ain't pretty when a flood comes to town.

The idea is boggling, to me, that anyone local takes pride in the fact that the urban blight which surrounds downtown Fort Worth is now, after how long, finally being dealt with, albeit, to my eyes, incompetently, as in put on your Big City Pants, Fort Worth, and vote to tax yourselves to fund the public works projects which this town so direly needs, but which are being dealt with like a poor beggar looking for handouts.

Ma Granger, please give us some pork, we needs us some pork. We can't feed ourselves, Ma Granger. If we give your boy, J.D., a job, will you get us some pork, Ma Granger?

The envy of other cities in America? No. The above sentence is more accurate as to how other towns in America view the Fort Worth Way of growing....

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