Friday, December 28, 2018

Flooding Return To Wichita Falls Freshly Appalled By Bad DFW Urban Planning

I headed southeast to the D/FW zone around eight this morning, via a northern route which does not give me a good look at Holliday Creek.

Returning to Wichita Falls this afternoon via a route which takes me directly over Holliday Creek I saw more water running rapid in that creek than I had ever seen previously.

I guess it takes a day or two for the downpours to drain their way into Holliday Creek and then on to the Wichita River.

So, after putting items in need of refrigeration in the refrigerator I got back in my motorized conveyance device and drove to Lake Wichita to see the water spilling over the Lake Wichita Dam spillway.

I had not heard such a cacophony of water roaring since the last time I was at Snoqualmie Falls during a flood, back in my old home state of Washington, back at some point in time late in the last century.

Unlike Snoqualmie Falls the ground was not shaking from the force of the water. However, like Snoqualmie Falls, eventually I did get hit by some misting, though not at the drenching level one experiences at Snoqualmie Falls when it is in full fall mode.

The view you see above is from atop the dam, looking over the spillway at flooded Holliday Creek.

The Holliday Creek floodway seems well designed to move a lot of flood water without creating any problems.

Good urban planning, well, actually the lack of good urban planning, came to mind today as I entered Fort Worth via 287 and saw the mess of new houses crammed together in the area I moved to when first in Texas.

That first location in Texas was the Fort Worth suburb of Haslet, on a road then called Hicks. Later changed to Bonds Ranch Road when a housing development named Bonds Ranch came to be several miles to the west. I have never known why this caused a name change, which I found inconvenient, rendering my address wrong on checks and my driver's license.

At that point in time, at the start of this century, Haslet was a remote rural zone. This vexed me upon arrival. I had never lived out in the country before. It seemed a vexing distance just to get to a grocery store. And the puny skyline of downtown Fort Worth stuck up way in the distance to the south.

The Haslet side of Hicks Road was out of the Fort Worth zone of madness. Fort Worth was on the south side of Hicks Road. Back when I lived there the Fort Worth side of Hicks Road was made up of ranches with big acreage. As far as one could see one saw fields of green, with that aforementioned pitiful Fort Worth skyline way in the distance.

And now, not that many years later, that which was open ranch land may now be the world's best example of bad, maybe non-existent, urban planning.

Before permitting the construction of what appears to be thousands of homes the roads were not upgraded, not added to. Drainage was not installed to facilitate the moving of water which now had nowhere to drain into the ground, due to the ground being covered with homes and driveways and side streets.

Ever since I have been going regularly to Arizona, to the Phoenix zone, I return freshly appalled at the bad urban planning of Fort Worth, and well, other towns in the D/FW Metroplex.

Like today, I turned from Western Center Boulevard, south on to the Denton Highway, also known as, I think, 377, in Haltom City.

For over a year now, every time I make this turn onto that Haltom City road, Arizona Avenue, Alma School Road, Dobson Road, and other roads in Arizona come to mind. Those roads in Arizona are multi-laned roads, like that road in Haltom City.

But the Arizona roads are landscaped, with wide sidewalks on both sides of the road. A landscaped median. Aesthetically pleasing lighting and signage. The roads newly paved, no potholes, no big cracks, no weeds, no feeling like one has suddenly exited America to a third world country.

That lack of good road lighting really vexed me on December 17 when I drove the Haltom City section of the Denton Highway after dark. The road poorly lit, poorly marked. Dangerous.

But, it is the bad urban planning in Fort Worth that is really appalling, and I would think may rise to the level of some sort of criminal irresponsibility. What with people drowning in Fort Worth flash floods due to un-mitigated construction messing up Mother Nature and causing flooding, sometimes in flash mode, with deadly results.

Anyway, it seems so odd how some locations in Texas seem to be modern American towns, with urban planning of the sort one associates with a modern American town. Wichita Falls falls into that modern American town category, or so it seems, in many ways, while Fort Worth is a Texas location that does not quite keep up with that modern American town concept, in so many ways.

For example, I have never seen an outhouse in a Wichita Falls city park. Are there any Fort Worth city parks which do not have at least one outhouse?

This outhouse measurement is just one example of what I mean by that modern American town concept. Modern American towns do not have outhouses in their city parks. This is sort of an easy fix, and a easy indicator of a town's level of development. Or so it would seem, and one very glaring example of very bad urban planning...

No comments: