Monday, January 15, 2018

Fort Worth Native Gone Since 2006 Returns To Same Backwards Backwater

Of late there has been some effort put forth to try and figure out why Fort Worth is such a backwards backwater. This effort has cost a lot of money, to the tune of several hundred thousand American dollars spent by the City of Fort Worth for a study to determine what seems not that hard to figure out.

UPDATE: Since the above paragraph was written an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram motivated a relating blogging titled Bud Kennedy Fort Worth Fix Gets Over Dallas.

Continuing on where we left off...

This Fort Worth identity crisis issue has been blogged about multiple times, with the first instance, I think, being Why Fort Worth Has Fallen Behind Developing An Identity Crisis in which we learned the depths of this crisis. Concern about Fort Worth's identity crisis spread as far east as Dallas. We blogged about that in Star-Telegram Embarrassing Fort Worth Dallas Rivalry Editorial.

So, a couple days ago, via the Seattle Times, I saw this A Seattle native comes home to find a city that’s changed article which got me thinking anew about Fort Worth's identity crisis.

In this article the Seattle native details her reaction to returning to Seattle after having been gone since 2006. Her reaction to seeing the 2017 version of Seattle mirrors my own, which I had when I was back in Seattle last summer, after not having been in Washington since 2008.

Some blurbs from the article verbalizing perceptions of the sort which matched my own impression of the Seattle metamorphosis...

THE BIGGEST CHANGE, of course, is the city’s new look: far bigger, bolder and more futuristic. (I’m not just thinking of South Lake Union, though I did a double-take the first time I passed the Amazon Spheres.) I’m still trying to identify new towers crowding into an improved skyline and — more than once — have been flustered by changes to places I used to know...

...Weeks later, I was wandering through the newly expanded Pike Place Market, which was heaving with tourists, even on a weekday...

...SEATTLE’S SKYLINE MIGHT be in constant flux, but there’s just as much happening on — even under — the ground... This makes me rather relieved that I don’t own a car, particularly given the city’s impressive gains in public transport. Now RapidRide buses run every 10 to 15 minutes — even in West Seattle, which always seems to draw the short straw in terms of public investment; even regular routes offer improved service and extended hours.

Okay, can you guess where I am going with this?

So, if a Fort Worth native left Fort Worth in 2006, and returned in 2017, what changes would that person see in this town currently suffering an identity crisis from being a backwards backwater?

Certainly that Fort Worth returnee would not be seeing a skyline which had been in constant flux, looking bigger, bolder and more futuristic than when the Fort Worth native last saw their hometown.

What would the Fort Worth native see in downtown Fort Worth different from when last seen in 2006?

Would the returned FW native be shocked at the altered Fort Worth skyline? All the new buildings? Well, there is that unfortunate looking Convention Center Hotel which has been added to the Fort Worth skyline, which the public had to help fund, due to, you know, not many big money conventions being staged in Fort Worth at the level which causes hotel builders to bid on the right to build a hotel, such as what happens in a non-backwards backwater town.

A year before 2006, 2005, J.D. Granger was given the job of executively directing the then named Trinity River Vision, which by 2017 turned into America's Biggest Boondoggle.

The returned FW native would see a bizarre roundabout with a million dollar homage to an aluminum trash can at its center, with cement structures shaped like a V, under construction for years, trying to build simple little bridges over dry land.

The Fort Worth returnee might come upon a large pond and not realize they were looking at the first failure of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle, that being the Cowtown Wakepark, which was dug, and failed, since 2006.

In 2006 when that Fort Worth native left town the downtown had been confusing its few tourists for years by referring to itself as Sundance Square. In 2017 that returnee would find an actual little square, in Sundance Square, built on a couple parking lots and goofily named Sundance Square Plaza Sponsored by Nissan.

The Fort Worth native returning in 2017 would not find any transit improvements, no light rail, of any sort. But that returnee would marvel at the backwards backwater embarrassment known as Molly the Trolley. A bus converted to look like a trolley which transports Fort Worth's few tourists for five bucks a pop.

When the Fort Worth native left in 2006, Heritage Park, that homage to Fort Worth's storied heritage, located at the north end of downtown, overlooking America's Biggest Boondoggle, was already, or was soon to be a boarded up, cyclone fence surrounded eyesore, which is still making eyes sore in 2018, that is, I assume such is the case, since I have not been informed otherwise.

That returned Fort Worth native would find a remodeled 7th Street Bridge which looks cool and is proof Fort Worth can build a good looking bridge, when there is no congresswoman's inept son involved to muck it up. Crossing that bridge the returnee will see all the development, poorly planned, that has happened in the West 7th area, since 2006.

That same incompetent urban planning has created a mess in north Fort Worth since that native left in 2006. Thousands of homes built without any apparent planning. You know, adequate road improvements, and other infrastructure upgrades which make such development work in towns which are not backwards backwaters.

All that concrete covering so many square miles of land which previously soaked up incoming deluges, now rushes in flash flood mode to wreak havoc in towns downstream, such as Haltom City.

When that Fort Worth native left in 2006 no one sane went swimming in the polluted Trinity River. Suggesting such a thing would have been considered nuts. But, that Fort Worth returnee, returned in 2017, would find Fort Worth encouraging its people to get wet in the Trinity River which is even more polluted than it was in 2006, doing so at Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tubes Floats, sponsored by America's Biggest Boondoggle, taking place at an imaginary island with an imaginary pavilion.

Yes, that Fort Worth native, who left in 2006, would return to Fort Worth and quickly wonder if the town has gone totally insane in their absence...

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