Saturday, March 11, 2017

Why Is Record Construction Frenzy Not Sweeping Downtown Fort Worth?

This blogging falls into the category of things I read in west coast online news sources, usually the Seattle  Times, which I would be shocked to be reading in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about some similar thing happening in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth has been attempting to have itself a construction frenzy in its downtown zone for most of this century.

Early this century Fort Worth copied a voted-on-by-the-Dallas-public public works project known as the Trinity River Corridor Project.

A couple years after Dallas voters approved their Trinity River Corridor Project a copy cat plan was foisted  on the Fort Worth public, without a public vote.

The Fort Worth river project was originally known at the Trinity River Vision. But, years later, is now known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Or, more commonly, America's Biggest  Boondoggle.

One element of the Dallas river vision is three signature bridges over the Trinity River. Two of those bridges have been built.

Meanwhile, Fort Worth's copycat vision also tried to see three signature bridges, but those bridges eventually became three non-signature simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

The construction of Fort Worth's simple bridges began a couple years ago, with an astonishing four year project timeline. However, due to design errors, construction on those simple little bridges has been halted since last March.

No one knows if or when those bridges will ever get built. Or exact details as to the nature of the design errors.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram does not cover local issues, like a bridge building scandal or a public works project's inept mismanagement.

Three paragraphs from the Seattle Times Record construction frenzy sweeps downtown Seattle; more building to come of the sort you likely will never read in the Star-Telegram about similar  activity in downtown Fort Worth.

Seattle’s historic building boom somehow keeps soaring to new heights, and probably won’t slow down anytime soon.

Last June, the Downtown Seattle Association found a record number of buildings were under construction, at least since it began counting in 2005.

But that mark didn’t last long. In its newest tally, released Thursday, the group found 68 major buildings under construction in the greater downtown area at the end of 2016, a new high-point from at least the previous 11 years.

How is it that Fort  Worth has had a supposedly vitally important economic development (along with an unneeded flood control aspect) underway for most of this century with little to show for the effort? Let alone any sort of building boom.

Well, to be fair, and I am always fair, the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision has completed that important aluminum homage to a trash can at the center of the completed roundabout near the wooden V-pier monuments to bad engineering.

Also, to be fair, the TRCCUPID Vision did manage to open a wakeboard park, which quickly became a boondoggle  metaphor for the entire Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision with the wakeboard park's bad design, bad economic model and inept execution.  America's Biggest  Boondoggle has also managed to open an ice skating rink for a few weeks in winter.

And, let us not forget to make note of America's Biggest Boondoggle's success at putting Fort Worth on the map by being the only major American city to host Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Floats in a polluted river requiring regular testing to make sure the e.coli level is low enough to be safe for humans. With this Rockin' of the River taking place at an imaginary pavilion, on an imaginary island, touted as being the biggest urban waterfront music venue in Texas.

Among the downtown Seattle projects currently under construction is another expansion to the Washington State Convention Center. This is a $1.4 billion expansion. Many of the downtown Seattle construction projects are residential towers. And more downtown hotels.

Unlike Fort Worth, market forces are bringing about the hotel and residential construction, without the need for public assistance, such as Fort Worth required to get the town a new convention center hotel.

Maybe Fort Worth could try that increasing the minimum wage thing, which Seattle enacted a year or two ago, and see if that helps stimulate the sleepy town from its moribund doldrums.

Fort Worth also might want to consider hiring real project engineers to direct its projects, rather than giving the job to a local politician's offspring, so as to  motivate  that politician to secure federal pork barrel funds.

Towns wearing their BIG CITY pants do not rely on corrupt nepotism to secure money for their town's projects. Fort Worth might want to consider sending out an Investigative Task Force to try and discover how it is some  towns manage to graduate to wearing BIG CITY pants rather than small town knickers...

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