Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Can Trinity River Vision Boondogglers Build Bridges Any Faster?

No, anyone familiar with Fort Worth's current sponsorship of America's Biggest Boondoggle, that is not what you might think it is which you are looking at here.

No, it is not a section of one of Fort Worth's pitiful Panther Island bridges, stuck in slow motion construction, barely above the ground, slowly built over dry land.

What you are looking at here is a section of light rail under construction in the Sound Transit zone of Puget Sound. I am guessing this is a section heading into downtown Bellevue.

I saw this Could Sound Transit build light rail faster? It wouldn’t be easy article this morning in the Seattle Times, and once again was struck by the fact that an article like this, with facts such as those contained in the article, about the subject of a local public works project, is not the type thing one would ever expect to read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about something like Fort Worth's Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District, which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Have you seen an article headline in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram along the line of Could Trinity River Vision Build Bridges Faster? Nope, that newspaper has not had a single line of legit explanation as to what the problem has been with the building of those three simple little bridges being built over dry land to possibly one day manage to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Just the first four paragraphs of this Could Sound Transit build light rail faster? It wouldn’t be easy article contain elements one would never expect to read in an article about Fort Worth's hapless project in that town's hapless only newspaper of record...

When Sound Transit successfully sought a record $54 billion tax package to finance eight light-rail extensions, more commuter rail and bus rapid transit in 2016, the agency’s supporters called their campaign Mass Transit Now.

They chose that slogan even though some rail lines won’t open for another 11 to 22 years.

Traffic Lab recently asked readers what they’d like to know about Puget Sound transportation, and the most popular question came from Timothy Chang: “Is it possible to speed up the construction of light rail? If so, how?”

Construction schedules of five to 10 years are typical for major transit projects in the U.S. and Europe, and can’t be compressed much, as Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff has often said. In the Seattle area, planning and engineering take just as long. The best way to speed light-rail delivery may be for politicians and community members to unite early on easy-to-build routes.

Fort Worth locals, how many things can you spot in the above four paragraphs that you would not expect to see in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the town's infamous imaginary flood control boondoggle?

Let's see if we can help.

Imagine the concept of convincing voters to approve a $54 billion bond issue, in 2016. Two years after Fort Worth began construction, with a TNT boom, of its three little bridges over dry land, hoping to one day connect the Fort Worth mainland to that imaginary island. Fort Worth voters have never voted to fund the building of those bridges, in any legitimate sense, any aspect of that which has become such an embarrassing Boondoggle. That 2016 Sound Transit bond issue passage was only the most recent voter approval to Sound Transit proposals.

In the second paragraph we do see something in common between this Puget Sound area project and Fort Worth's Boondoggle. Some rail lines won't open for another 11 to 22 years. The Fort Worth Boondoggle has an ever shifting project timeline, but many observers do not think anyone will be actually able to see the Trinity River Vision for another decade or two.

Something called Traffic Lab asked Puget Sound locals about Puget Sound transportation issues. And got legit feedback. Fort Worth's Boondoggle touts imaginary public input at meetings no one has any record of having happened, which the Fort Worth Boondoggle propagandists tout resulted in almost 100 citizen requested amenities be part of the imaginary vision.

Anyway, it seems just baffling how two areas of the same nation can be so different, one operating in a modern, progressive democratic type fashion, the other fumbling along in third world backwards backwater mode.

So perplexing, all those knuckleheads who run Fort Worth in their old-fashioned Fort Worth Way have to do is go a few miles to the east, to Arlington, or Dallas, to see a town more successfully manage building big things. Or go visit Austin.

You do not have to exit Texas to visit modern America, but you do have to leave Fort Worth...

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