Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Fort Worth's Inept Urban Planning Population Growth Bragging Rights

A few days ago in a blog post about Fort Worth Almost Being The Fastest Growing Big City In America mention was made of the fact that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram seemed to be missing an opportunity to do its usual inflated puffery over something to do with Fort Worth which most town's newspapers would not feel the need to be puffing about.

A few days later on Facebook the Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy made mention of the fact that Fort Worth's population had grown in the latest census, passing Jacksonville to become America's 12th ranked city, population-wise.

This was blogged about in a post asking Is Fort Worth The Biggest City In The World? This question was asked after multiple Facebookers commented on Bud Kennedy's post making the observation that Fort Worth's population growth was largely due to the fact that the town annexes open spaces, and has a lot of open space within its borders in which to build homes.

As witnessed by the above photo which illustrates that open space, with the sprawl of homes, in this morning's Star-Telegram article titled Only 2 cities added more people than Fort Worth in 2020 as city climbs in U.S. ranking.

The caption under the photo says "An aerial view of far north Fort Worth shows a veritable ocean of rooftops. The city has grown 24% since 2010 and is now the 12th largest city in the U.S."

Far north Fort Worth was where I lived when first moving to Texas. Actually it was the hamlet of Haslet, the border with Fort Worth was across the street from my abode. At that point in time this seemed to be out in the country, with farm/ranch land what one saw when one looked south towards the puny skyline of downtown Fort Worth, which you can sort of see through the haze at the top of the above photo.

That open farm/ranch land is now filled in with that ocean of rooftops.

Due to Fort Worth's notoriously bad urban planning, that ocean of rooftops has not been accompanied by new parks, or road improvements.

Or, most notoriously, adequate drainage to prevent the deadly flooding which has occurred due to the bad urban planning. 

A few days ago I made mention of the fact that my Access Is Denied: But I Don't Need Permission To Access The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  

Even with my access being denied, I am easily able to gain access, and thus read what I want to read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, such as today's odd article about Fort Worth's population.

Previously I had blogged that it was Seattle which the latest census indicated had grown the most of the big American cities. With Fort Worth having the second most growth.

Somehow the Star-Telegram knocked Fort Worth down to 3rd place, from 2nd, claiming Phoenix was #1, with San Antonio #2.  In the Seattle Times article about this serious population issue, neither San Antonio or Phoenix are in the Top Five, with the Seattle Times version having Seattle #1, Fort Worth #2, Mesa, Arizona #3, Austin #4 and Tampa #4.

The Star-Telegram article about Fort Worth being #3 has some choice Star-Telegram type verbiage, including a gem from Fort Worth's outgoing mayor...

“Fort Worth’s move to the 12th largest city in the United States was expected, but that doesn’t make the news any less exciting,” Mayor Betsy Price said Tuesday in an email to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

What would be exciting would be if Fort Worth matched infrastructure improvement with population growth. You know, things like modern facilities in the city parks, sidewalks alongside the city streets, modern public transportation. That type thing. 

Filling open spaces with more homes, making a sort of bedroom community, does not seem all that exciting.

And then in this paragraph Betsy's elaborates more ironic nonsense...

“Growth, especially the explosive growth we are seeing in Fort Worth, is always challenging for a city, but it is in that growth there is also massive opportunity to build incredible things,” Price said. “In my 10 years as mayor, we’ve worked to capitalize on those opportunities, meeting the needs of a growing city with innovation and resourcefulness, while always maintaining the unique history and spirit of Fort Worth.”

Build incredible things? Like the ongoing Trinity River Vision Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision which has been ambling along for most of this century, so far rendering a large chunk of Fort Worth's central core into being an embarrassing eyesore.

Maintaining the unique history and spirit of Fort Worth? Has Heritage Park, across the street from the downtown Fort Worth Tarrant County Courthouse, re-opened yet? After a decade, give or take a year or two, of being yet one more Fort Worth eyesore.

It would be fascinating to hear Betsy Price try to elaborate on how those opportunities to which she refers, have been capitalized upon, along with some examples of Fort Worth innovation and resourcefulness.

And then there is the final paragraph of this Star-Telegram article, reviving some classic Star-Telegram verbalize we have not seen for awhile...

Besides creating bragging rights for the largest cities, the Census figures are used for crucial things such as determining how many seats in Congress each state should have, and how much funding communities can receive for roads, schools and other government functions.

Oh yes, the all important bragging rights.

Long ago we made a webpage with multiple examples of what was referred to as the Star-Telegram's Green With Envy verbiage, where this that or the other perfectly mundane thing in Fort Worth was making towns far and wide green with envy, or was giving Fort Worth bragging rights. 

For years that type embarrassing verbiage has seemed to have disappeared from the Star-Telegram, only to reappear today, maybe thinking those of us with access denied would not notice...

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