The Dallas City Council's Bridge Builders: Not Exactly the Best and Brightest

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Forgive me, or just slap me, if this is way too tea-leaves for you, but I can't help trying to read the dregs, you know, trying to see what's behind the burqa, since this city is such a Talibaptist mystery some of the time. And lately I think I definitely see signs that somebody at The Dallas Morning News finally has figured out what I've been hearing for the last year.

This is the dumbest Dallas City Council in the history of ever.

Last Thursday Michael Lindenberger, the paper's transportation writer, did an analysis piece pointing out how stupidly irresponsible it was (my words) for the council to have voted up an authorization for the second so-called signature bridge over the Trinity River -- apparently now it's going to be a separate faux suspension bicycle bridge at a cost of more than $100 million -- without even listening to objections raised by the sole dissenter, District 14 representative Angela Hunt.

In particular, Lindenberger blew up the argument offered by City Manager Mary Suhm that $92 million in federal funding would go away if Dallas doesn't use it for a bike bridge. Utter bullshit (my words).

Today's paper includes a Metro Page column by Jacquielynn Floyd that actually quotes Hunt -- wonder of wonders -- on the fantastic transparent totally un-self-aware deep-seated insecurity (my words) that would make a city want to spend $100 million on a bicycle bridge in order to get attention from other cities -- a mode of behavior high school counselors might call "acting out."

Box of Rocks.jpg
You city council at work.
Today's paper also offers an official editorial urging the council to get a nap, crank up the old IQ a little and actually pay attention tomorrow (whose words do you think?) when the council conducts a hearing on "fracking" -- the hydraulic fracturing gas-drilling method in which drillers use high-pressure fluids to release gas deposits trapped in rock formations.

My interpretation of the fracking editorial? What The News is really saying is something like: "Look, we know the frack boys have been in to see all of you, and the campaign donations are either already flowing or will be, and Dallas Dem Boss John Wiley Perot has already given you your marching orders, but ... really! Really! Don't do another slap-down like you did with Hunt on the bicycle bridge. This is serious. Try to think about what you're doing for a change."

As a journalist, it's interesting to me. I always wonder what it must have been like for thoughtful people who worked as reporters and editors for Pravda in the old Soviet Union. Hard, I guess.

But here's the bigger bottom line. The Leppert/Citizens Council/Mega-Preacher Alliance has given us the dumbest city governance that anybody can remember, and everybody who is really watching knows it.

First you have the public works construction big ticket lobby as represented by the Citizens Council. Then you have the southern Dallas robber baron preachers. You have Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Perot putting it all together for the man. You have the mayor that Tom Leppert left behind -- the inimitable Dwaine ("Aprons") Caraway.

You got you a heap of bad medicine is what you got. And even at the damn News they know it.


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27 comments
Roadsidecouch
Roadsidecouch

The solution is obvious, take 100 million from the profits of the convention center hotel and build it. Who else has a 100 million dollar bike bridge? Why we would be "world class" and trendy because bikes are so cool with liberals and their urban architects.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Mary Suhm's incompetence and general foolishness just make me want to cry. For $100 million, the City of Dallas could have a state-of-the-art network of bicycle trails spanning the entire city.

Someone should do an intervention on the City of Dallas--- it really is killing itself.

Russell Allison1
Russell Allison1

A $100 million dollar bridge for bicycles???

If your family has a relative who is making poor decisions and is incapable of managing their own affairs, on either a temporary or permanant basis, a family member or other concerned party can go to a court and petition for a conservatorship of that person. Presumably, that person would then protect them from their own missteps. Do you think Fort Worth could step in and do something like that for Dallas? It shouldn't be a hard sell to the court hearing the case, just reference the first sentence and it should be a slam dunk.

I can't help but believe that somewhere in circles where such things are discussed, the machinations of Dallas politics are viewed as a comedy routine.

Cujo
Cujo

The only thing missing are guest editorials in the DaMn News from Kirk and Miller. That'd win.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Sir, your implication in the photo caption is a grave insult to the relative intelligence of a box of rocks.

heavy metal church lady
heavy metal church lady

Sure, but what forces at the heart of this matter? What Ahab might would call "the principle." The people and entities you describe are the conduits for the principle. (Some knowingly, and some unknowingly.) Writers get paid to write, council members get paid to council, and patrons give up money to get branding.

So, who makes money to build bridges and roads?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Those rocks are racist--they all look the same. I smell something fishy.

Buckeye
Buckeye

Why does that picture just make you want to laugh

yeahIsaidthat
yeahIsaidthat

a gas transmission line is showing up on a map looking as if it runs through West Dallas and along side the new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and under Stemmons into Downtown. Now, if that thing were to leak and blow somewhere along the route.......

wascallywabbit
wascallywabbit

Jim, shouldn't those be "happy rocks" in that box?

Ben
Ben

Who is wearing egg on their face this week for cancelling the grand opening of the Dallas Wave/Standing Wave. It has been advertised for over a year as opening in just a few weeks from now, in early May. Mary Suhm even had a press conference or three about it.

Now it has been pushed back months, closed through the summer. Apparently there are some reservations from the city regarding the current ongoing construction on the Santa Fe Trestle Bridge which is directly overhead the Dallas Wave.

The Dallas Wave/Standing Wave/Whitewater Project has been completed and finished since the first of the year. Months have gone by. Months. Now we are looking at maybe another half a year. Or more. That place will remain Dallas' Vinh Dinh Drop, Charlie's Point.

On a related note, has anyone informed the Texas Parks and Wildlife folks that the Trinity River, per the City of Dallas, is closed from Sylvan Avenue to Cedar Crest? Seems just last week they were getting everyone all excited and lubed up for a canoe ride down the Trinity, the Tuesday after the Dallas Wave grand opening. There is a large banner sign at the Sylvan Avenue Boat Ramp, noting the river closure. Been there since last summer. Will all this change in the next few weeks? The city has claimed over and over and over again that the river is unsafe due to Calatrava Bridge construction and Santa Fe Trestle work.

Wobbles like this on small projects will only be magnified when it comes to larger projects. Same people are running the show when it comes to the small things and the big things. Pisses me off that projects that have not even broken ground yet, will all suffer similar fates.

Literally, the only group of people I saw last weekend using the river were a rather obese family who drove their conversion van (within an inch) of the bottom of the Loop 12 boat ramp, into the river. Getting their front wheel drive Econoline perma-stuck. A van down by the river, indeed.

Holy Sheets
Holy Sheets

they may know it...but i still wont buy it.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Love the pic. It probably went right over the heads of those it represents.

Brad
Brad

JimS,You should also include members of the Fourth Estate and consulting firms in that alliance. Hi, Jim! Hi, Wick! Hi, Mari! Hi, Carol!

OakParkStudio
OakParkStudio

Yeah, but Jim...wasn't the DMN FOR the fake suspension bridge in another editorial they did last week BEFORE they were against it?

Why is it when the paper turns tail and runs the other direction...they always serve up Floyd or Blow to do the Emily Litella...."Nevermind"?

Vote Shamrock
Vote Shamrock

I'm trying Wylie H. I'm trying. With what I have learned so far, I can tell you that it is worse than you think.

Snookie Pie
Snookie Pie

and, don't forget, Miller is supprting Kunkle for mayor

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Yes those rocks are igneous rocks not ignorant rocks like the city council.

Engmofo
Engmofo

So are you allowed in it or not?

Bob
Bob

It's high time for an accounting of the Trinity Bond money.

anon
anon

Assuming they even bother to read this blog, or any other new outlet in town.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

A $100 million dollar bike bridge is the pretty much the Prince Albert of bridges (I'm talking about Prince Albert the cock piercing not the royal), a pointless dongle of no use.

Holy Sheets
Holy Sheets

we could call it the MARGARET GUICHE BRIDGE.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Obviously, you need to get some better porn...

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