Friday, May 27, 2016

Burlington's Maiben Park Upgrade Has Me Wondering Anew Why Fort Worth Is So Backwards

A couple days ago Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, emailed me an email with the subject line "Spencer Jack may be on a zip line through Burlington's city park in the future".

All that was in the body of the email was a link to an article in Skagit County Breaking Community News titled Safety Improvements Continue at Maiben Park.

Maiben Park is one of the city parks in the town I grew up in, Burlington, Washington. Maiben Park is across the street from our home location on Washington Avenue.

About a year ago a still unsolved murder took place in Maiben Park. This set in motion a community effort to make the park safer.

Community meetings have been taking place to solicit input from the public. Three paragraphs from the article about this effort...

Burlington, Washington– Burlington Community Leaders having been holding community meetings and asking  residents for input on some big changes that are coming to Maiben Park in the next year.

Some of the upcoming changes include improved L.E.D Lighting, Security Cameras, a separate play area for 2-5 year old children, an expanded  play area for 5-12 year old children that includes a zip line, new park benches, Free Wifi, parking epansions,  new restrooms with shelter and security options, picnic tables, and a new splash pad. Some of the items that will stay the same are the trees and bike jumps, among other things.

In the latest community meeting, which was held on Wednesday May 11th, officials shared  some digital copies of two of the new park diagrams that are now being considered.  The layouts are very similar with the position of the restroom building at different angles as the only major difference between the two options.

What a difference between the town I grew up in and the town I recently escaped from, Fort Worth, Texas.

Fort Worth has a bizarre pseudo public works project which has been dawdling along for most of this century, known as the Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision, or more commonly, as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Every three months America's Biggest Boondoggle mails out a slick propaganda production.

For years, each quarter, those propaganda productions tell the easily duped that The Boondoggle's Vision of the Gateway Park Master Plan includes over 90 user requested amenities.

Signage at Gateway Park's Fort Woof also mentions these 90 user requested amenities. For years I have been asking who these users are and what was the mechanism by which they made these amenity requests.

All I have heard is crickets chirping.

I think growing up in a little town like Burlington, population then somewhere around 3,000, now somewhere around 8,000, and then seeing a big city, like Fort Worth, up close, with a population around 100 times bigger than Burlington, yet so backwards by comparison, is what has long perplexed me about Fort Worth, trying to figure out why the town is so backwards and lacking in so many ways. Like the miles of roads without sidewalks. And parks without modern restrooms.

Decades ago, when I was a kid, playing in Maiben Park, the park had modern restroom facilities and running water for the park's picnickers.

I think, if I remember right, I have verbalized a time or two how appalling I have long found the fact that most of Fort Worth's city parks do not have modern restrooms or running water.

How is it not some sort of universal health code violation to have city parks with picnic tables with no running water to wash ones hands?

As part of the Maiben Park upgrade the park is getting new restrooms. And free wi-fi. Free wi-fi is not a concept alien to Texans. On Wednesday I was in the Texas Star park in Euless, connected to that park's wi-fi.

The towns surrounding Fort Worth have multiple parks with modern amenities. I really don't understand why there is not some sort of Fort Worth sense of civic embarrassment that the town is so backwards with its outdated parks which belong in another century.

Or a Third World country....

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