Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why Has Regional Council Not Warned 5 Tarrant County Towns They Are Growing Too Fast?

I saw that which you see here, yesterday morning, via the Seattle Times, prior to the long drive from Wichita Falls to the D/FW Metroplex mess.

This would fit in with our popular series about things we see in online west coast news sources which we would not expect to see in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reporting about a similar thing in the environs of Tarrant County.

Can you imagine "Regional council warns 5 Tarrant County towns they're growing too fast"?

Me neither.

This came to mind yesterday whilst I was heading back to the northwest. Well, Wichita Falls.

When I first moved to Texas it was to a little town called Haslet, to a ten acre ranch. It seemed very rural, even though Fort Worth was across the street where the mailbox was  located.

The puny skyline of downtown Fort Worth could be seen way in the distance to the south. The nearest grocery store was in Keller, several miles to the east, reached via a bumpy pot holed road hyberbolically named Golden Triangle Boulevard.

Now, in what seems just a few years later, what was once rural is now an urban mess of bad planning.

New houses fill the horizon. Multiple shopping areas, including the sprawling Alliance Town Center, and whatever the shopping area is named on the west side of I-35, across from Alliance Town Center.

Why does Fort Worth and Tarrant County allow construction to take place before adequate infrastructure is in place? Like adequate roads? Adequate drainage?


Heading west on Tarrant Parkway. Much of Tarrant Parkway is a multi-lane boulevard. Has been for years. And then you drive over I-35, drive past that other shopping zone, with a Costco, the name of which I do not know, to find Tarrant Parkway carrying a lot of traffic, but then reduced to only one lane going each direction.

You then come to a stop sign at US 81 Service Road, servicing I-287, the freeway one is hoping to get on to head northwest, back to Wichita Falls.

You then come to another stop sign, at Harmon Road. I remember when Harmon Road was a pleasant country drive. Now, where Harmon Road intersects US 81 Service Road you come to a poorly designed roundabout which causes traffic to back up on  US 81 hoping for a break in the Harmon Road traffic, so you can make your way around the traffic circle.

Eventually I was able to make my way half way around the Harmon Road traffic circle to continue on on US 81 Service Road. No sign pointed out where the entry was to I-287. Suddenly you come to what looks like a beat up driveway, veering on to the I-287 freeway, with US 81 Service Road continuing on for a few feet before ending in a big traffic barrier wall.

Can we shout together "THAT SOUNDS DANGEROUS"?

This is just one example. Don't get me started on the road mess around Buc-ee's a few miles north. How muy estupido to approve all this development without coordinating it with the infrastructure.

It is all this badly planned development in north Tarrant County which has led to deadly flash flooding in locations downstream, like Haltom City. You cover thousands of acres of land with buildings and asphalt, where previously open prairie absorbed precipitation, without mitigating the water flow with proper drainage systems, well, you've got a mega-disaster waiting to happen.

Meanwhile, up in my old home zone, 5 towns get warned they are growing too fast.....

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