Saturday, April 21, 2018

Is Fort Worth The Vancouver Of The South Yet?

Saw this Is this the future of Seattle transit? A look at Vancouver, B.C. — a city that figured it out years ago article in yesterday's Seattle Times and thought, for more reasons than one, this is the type article I would never expect to be reading in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

First off, the article is well written, detailed, full of facts, maps, photo documentation and intelligent analysis comparing public transit development in Vancouver and Seattle.

Oh, and the article is totally honest and reality fact based, with no embarrassing chamber of commerce type Fort Worth delusional puffery.

Both Vancouver and Seattle have a transit problem for similar reasons. Limited land due to the towns being hemmed in by mountains and water. And being fast growing boomtowns.

Seattle made a big goof way back in 1969 when a rail transit proposal failed with the voters, delaying for decades light rail coming to Western Washington.

Meanwhile Vancouver opened its first rail transit line, called Skytrain, by the time of their world's fair, Expo 86. Over the decades since, the Skytrain has greatly expanded.

By the 1990s Seattle voters knew something had to be done, and so voters began approving transit measures, one after another, with the latest passed a $54 billion bond approved in the November 2016 vote.

Seattle is now playing catch up with Vancouver, public transit-wise.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, Texas, earlier in this century a bizarre public works project was foisted on the public, without a vote, called the Trinity River Vision, which, in its original propaganda, was supposedly gonna turn Fort Worth into the Vancouver of the South.

I am not making that up.

Landlocked, saltwater-free, mountain-less Fort Worth was gonna be the Vancouver of the South.

The pitifully pathetic effort eventually became America's Biggest Boondoggle.

In all the years of boondoggling, Fort Worth has not even managed to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island which was/is supposed to be part of the Vancouver of the South.

And now, this week, we have learned that that imaginary island is so contaminated with toxins it makes workers sick to work on it.

And something of concern to modern locations in North America, like public transit, is not even remotely on the Fort Worth radar screen, as the city builds more and more sprawl without adequate modern transportation infrastructure.

Another huge difference in this Seattle Times article as compared to anything one would read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is the number of comments, intelligent, thoughtful detailed comments. Not dozens of comments, hundreds of comments. The comment flood happens over and over again in Seattle Times articles.

A Star-Telegram article may generate a comment or two, sometimes, and often the comments are, well, embarrassing in their ignorance and wrongheadedness.

Methinks that until Fort Worth gets a real newspaper the town has no real hope of ever lifting itself up from being an American backwards backwater.

Seattle has more than one newspaper, in a town smaller than Fort Worth. I don't know how many newspapers Vancouver has...

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