Sorry, Belo, But I Can't Sign Off On Your Stance That Dallas Needs Another "Signature" Bridge

Categories: Get Off My Lawn
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OK, wait, wait, wait. Sorry. I don't get it. I need a little catch-up here. The second Calatrava fake suspension "signature bridge" across the Trinity is going to be a bicycle bridge?

A bicycle bridge?

We're going to spend more than $100 million in tax money to build a make-believe suspension bridge across the Trinity River for bicycles? Do you remember anybody ever telling us that?

No. Look, I'm sure. The Park Cities Ladies Guild -- that's not the right name, I'll think of it -- the private group pushing for "signature bridges" downtown never once told us that one of them was going to be a $100 million-plus bicycle bridge.

The Trinity Trust Foundation -- that's the name. They're the ones who want these signature bridges ... wait a minute, wait a minute, what does that even mean? What is a signature bridge? Is that like a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt? With a little insignia on it?

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In this case the insignia they want is the name of Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish high-fashion architect who designs stringy sort of flingy-dingy wingy-looking things. His name and designs are what would make something a signature bridge, as opposed to a bridge bridge.

Individual bridges are actually being named after rich ladies. The first one, already going up, is called the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. The next one, the one for bicycles, will be called the Margaret McDermott Bridge. The families of these ladies have kicked in large sums of money for the naming rights but nothing like what you and I are kicking in as taxpayers.

The McDermott Bridge was originally supposed to be a freeway bridge. But to make it a signature freeway bridge, instead of a freeway freeway bridge, we taxpayers were going to have to kick in something on the order of two to three hundred million extra in tax money.

Extra. For the signature.

Now the plans for a second Calatrava freeway bridge have fallen apart, so the new idea, apparently, is for a Calatrrava bicycle bridge. But nobody ever quite says it like that. In an editorial last week, The Dallas Morning News said, "The city's new goal is to apply Calatrava designs to pedestrian/bike elements of the project, either incorporated into the service roads, which hug the main bridges on separate spans, or as a standalone structure."

Bicycle bridge.

Caltrava is demanding $10 million just to re-draw his fling-dingy wingy thing from a freeway bridge to a bicycle bridge. Then apparently the city council hopes to spend another $92 million in transportation money from Congress building whatever he draws.

Last week the entire council except for Angela Hunt voted for this idea.

When my wife and I walk in our neighborhood, we have to walk out in the street, because the sidewalks are worse than anything I have ever seen in Mexico. The city has been slashing expenditures for streets, libraries and parks for 10 years. Next year it faces a possible $60-million to $100-million shortfall in a basic operations and maintenance budget of $400 million -- 25 percent. And the council just voted for a $100-million-plus bicycle bridge.

Of the three real mayoral candidates, only David Kunkle has come out against this kind of stuff. Ron Natinsky is solidly in favor of it. And Mike Rawlings, a member of the Dallas Citizens Council where most of these ideas originate, won't say.

I don't know why the damn bicycle bridge isn't the main issue in this election.

And if we can't do a damn thing to stop it, and if we're going to have these stringy thingys all up and down the river while the city crumbles into the dust, I think we should go ahead and name them for the Park Cities ladies' party names. You know, like the names you see in the captions for the party pix in D?

We could have the Bootsy Tuppinflipper Bridge, the Kitten McWhippin Bridge, the Sha-Sha Hunt-Crow-Zamboni Bridge and on and on. Might as well play to the stereotype, if that's the way we're going to roll. We should put up billboards outside of town: "Welcome to Dallas, World's String-Dingiest City."

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73 comments
Muddpi2x
Muddpi2x

I just moved here and asked what the thing was that looked like the plumbers version of the St Louis' Saarenin Arch. I was told it is a "signature" bridge. Kinda ugly.

GreatCaesar'sGhost
GreatCaesar'sGhost

See, James Nowlin. This is why Angela Hunt is always the lone no vote. Because she has common sense in comparison to her colleagues on Council.

Holy Sheets
Holy Sheets

ill sign the bridge if they build it.my signature would save us millions

Oh Really
Oh Really

Don't give yourself so much credit @Wick, I would hardly call you a leader. Since when did you give a damn about West Dallas before there was money it for you from the Trinity Trust Foundation advertising? Or is it because your investors own everything "this side" of the Trinity banks now. Maybe that's the reason you dissed East Dallas for so long, none of them owned anything over there and surprise, surprise, 20 years ago you never cared when the young hipsters were organizing bike clubs, art classes, streetscapes, outdoor street events, or that we took back our schools. In fact, D's favorite thing to say was East Dallas doesn't like change. Translation = my investors don't own anything over there and will not profit from its redevelopment so let's not encourage that sort of thing, there's no money in it for us.

Did you and your buddies use your media company to constantly play up the "danger" in Oak Cliff and West Dallas in an attempt to keep smaller investors at bay so your friends could buy up toward "the vision" and now that it's in the bag and time to redevelop, lo and behold, you suddenly support West Dallas. Praise Jesus, we're so grateful! Oh sorry, I forgot it's Passover. Holy Moses, we're so grateful!

And since you brought up the schools. Did you send your kids to DISD? Despite being from Detroit, Schutze sent his kid to DISD and those of us who did, have every right to complain when things go wrong and brag when things go right - you don't have the right to have an opinion.

Until the Park Cities owns up and shares in the "tax burden" for our Bridge Over Troubled Water and the Arts District, for that matter - then and only then will we care what you think. Actually, most of us outside 75205 will never care what the paid off opinions of Big PC are.

Retire already and unshackle us so we can record our city's history correctly and not through the rose colored glasses of your phony cronies and the guys they select despite reality.

PS....Missed you @FakeWick in @FakeBigD.

wascallywabbit
wascallywabbit

Did you guys hear about the cable car they are going to construct over the Thames in London? Dude, this whole signature bridge thing is like so last week! Wouldn't it be coo...a cable car over the Trinity! Maybe, Calatrava knows a little something about building em.

dallasmay
dallasmay

How about a pedestrian bridge over US 75 and connecting to the katy Trail. At least it would get used.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Jim,

Margaret Hunt and Margaret McDermott: do they or did they live in Dallas?

Or is this another Park City Vanity Public Works Project funded by the great unwashed of the City of Dallas?

Dmkergo
Dmkergo

What up SG? As a Plano denizen, I am so glad I do not reside in the city/county of Dallas; but, sadly our time is coming also, ALOT of bills to be paid-and no dinero. (Fingers Crossed)

Those bridges are a jimungous waste of money, and will define nothing in Dallas; other than failure. Fix the roads. Fix infrastructure!

BTW, is that my idol, the great HST's pic? I'd vote for either HST or JS for mayor.......but sadly HST was shot out of a cannon years ago!

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Wick lives in Chamber of Commerce land where every project is completed on time .No one has to rework redesign or press ahead to make up time due to weather or Material delays .

It comes in at the proposed cost and the ribbon cutting was this afternoon . AndOnly delayed by the "AFTER PARTY PLANNING "

And the budget to maintain the facilities paid right off the top of all tax revenue.

Let everyone eat Cake !

dallasmay
dallasmay

Is there no engineering and design firm in Dallas that that can design an appropriate "Signature" Bridge?

Phelps
Phelps

See Jim, even bad-shotgun handlers like you and teacher-haters like me can agree that fake suspension bridges are stupid.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Makes me happy to live in Plano--we're very anti-bridge. Over passes on Preston? Not on your life, buddy. Not even plain old non-signature land bridges going on here.

The signature bridges will go great with Laura Miller's better version of the Riverwalk.

freddie
freddie

I don't think you are going to get EBJ to secure $92 million to fix sidewalks.

RandyE
RandyE

I don't get the Park Cities Ladies schtick. Makes an easy scapegoat, like "dem Dam Jews", gotta blame somebody- else. But you Dallas Douche bags are doing this to yourselves.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

I searched dallascityhall.com and learned there is such a thing as the "Sidewalk Replacement Program," but there's no information, only a 311 System form to fill out.I guess we get "Signature" bridges but a "less-than-world-class" website.

3rd Wheel Marketing
3rd Wheel Marketing

I think the Calatrava Bike Bridge is a conspiracy by the Oak Cliff Bicycle Hippies', it will probably be one-way and end at a drum circle somewhere.

kika1996
kika1996

I'd like to know who is related to this bridge designer, I could see a bridge for a place that has water, otherwise the one they have is fine. wait, maybe a tollbridge could be put up so you can squeeze just a little harder

JimS
JimS

I will pay for my basic sidewalk if the city will pay the extra cost of having Calatrava design it as a suspension bridge.

abuckley1970
abuckley1970

stringy thingys. LOL

I'm all for bicycles - really I am. good for the body, good for the environment, etc. I'd just settle for your average bridge with a bike lane - the cyclist I know aren't looking for luxury...just safety and a place to ride. I suppose I'm not in the right circles to understand why we need this type of bridge.

Wick
Wick

It would seem that Jim Schutze’s every apple contains a worm. Perhaps he should rouse himself from his glowering torpor and take a good look around. For reasons known only to him, I suspect he wouldn’t like what he sees: Citizens smiling, laughing, enjoying neighborly good cheer. Citizens with baby strollers marveling at the magnificent improvements in the Trinity Corridor – improvements that are already a fait accompli in spite of the naysayers who dogged its steps, who indeed have dogged every great public works project since the Great Pyramids of Giza. Citizens attending nightclubs, contributing to a vibrant local economy even while getting a good buzz into the bargain. Citizens lolling about in the Trinity River park, enjoying the sunshine that is our great fortune and bounty in Dallas, Texas, and the fresh air that rouses the constitution and injects new life into the blood. Citizens enjoying good fellowship in the worship house of their choosing. In a word, citizens who are content, however much their contentment irks one Jim Schutze. So how do we best address a citizenry that enjoys unprecedented contentment – such contentment, it hardly needs be pointed out, as is but a wistful dream in Mr. Schutze’s native Detroit?

Should we bemoan the state of our roads? Should we offer criticisms, but no solutions, for a beleaguered but resilient school district? Should we complain about corruption where none exists? Should we, in short, throw refuse from the peanut gallery at those who are the very architects of our contentment? Why, no, we shouldn’t. I say we should praise our local business visionaries for the exceptional leadership they have provided -- regardless of whether such praise would come as anathema to the malcontent likes of Messrs. Wilonsky and Schutze. While the usual suspects mope about the perceived failures of the past, the leaders among us, as ever, have our eyes fixed firmly on a bright future. Join us!

--W

Rixtex
Rixtex

Now why didn't I think of that?

anon
anon

If they have had books written about the genius of their designs, then yes. If not, then no. It's amazing that with as many architects we have in this city, none are considered "world renown".

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Except for that idiotic two-level overpass at Preston and 121.

JimS
JimS

RandyE: So you live in a world where people commonly say, "Dem Dam Jews?" Funny, it's a phrase I hadn't actually heard before.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Don't dial that number. You'll be rewarded with a visit from code enforcement and a fine.

Dallas_Joe_Schmo
Dallas_Joe_Schmo

The city of dallas will quickly get a contractor to your house if you'd like to pay 100% of the cost of repairing your sidewalk. For the 50/50 split, your name goes on a waiting list. Only so much money is budgeted for each year, hence the list grows longer and longer. You'll be moving/dead before your sidewalk gets fixed under the program. Meanwhile, all of the moms in my neighborhood walk their kids and push strollers on the street because it's actually safer than the sidewalks.

Daniel
Daniel

Only if he'll do it on the cheap. And that will cost an additional $10 million.

dallasmay
dallasmay

Or even, I don't know, convert the old continental bridge to a pedestrian/bike bridge when the current Hunt/Hill Bridge is complete. We might even be able to talk some cheerleaders into standing on it and hold up a big cut-out of the state of texas.

anon
anon

I think he stole that line from Sharon Boyd. She's been saying "string things" for a long, long time.

scottindallas
scottindallas

"I suppose I'm not in the right circles to understand why we need this type of bridge." reminds me of a Van Morrison lyric:

"All the restaurant tables are completely coveredand the record company has paid out for the wineyou've got everything in the world you ever wantedright about now, your face should wear a smile"

"That's the way it all should happenwhen you're in, when you're in the state you're inyou've got your pen and notebook readythink it's about time, time for us to begin"

"and over in a 52nd street apartmentsocializing with the wino few,just to be hip and get wet with the jet setbut they fly too high to see my point of view."

"as we gaze out on, as we gaze out on,as we gaze out on...,"

busterkeaton
busterkeaton

But the important folks in Dallas think that if we don't erect these "modern day marvels" we'll slip off into the dreaded, dark waters of SOCIALISM! Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Were's the fake Wick when you need him.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Is anyone else ROFL? Purple prose, thy name is Wick.

"So how do we best address a citizenry that enjoys unprecedented contentment..." A line better suited for a commercial on contented cows for a local creamery, not citizens of a bankrupt town doing its best to be the Detroit of the Southwest.

Babbit, anyone?

A school district whose high schools consistently earn ratings of the worst in the state, especially the eyesore sitting directly in the sites of both of these esteemed bridges isn't much to gloat about. So far the local land flippers haven't done anything but offload the only commercial development with any pizaazz straight into Denton and Allen.

Is Wick confusing the strollers of upper Manhattan with the strolling lanes of Singleton, or what? Dead Dallas Downtown at night with the neon glow of Broadway?

Upton Sinclair shares DNA with Schutze. Wick shares DNA with.....Rick Perry? Maybe Jack Lowe? the Trinity Trust us to waste every dime we can trying to get a return on swampland bought for pennies per sq foot?

Former Michigander
Former Michigander

I don't think you can necessarily construe the silence of Dallas citizens as contentment. The former citizens of Detroit who were sickened by the city's direction were silent, they spoke with the moving vans that emptied the city of its middle class. A small nucleus remained (i.e. Gross Pointe), attempting to remould time after time the Renaissance of their larger neighbor into their own aesthetic vision, and look what they're surrounded by now.

freddie
freddie

Wilonsky actually loves Dallas with all his heart. Jim seems to hate it but I'm really not sure sometimes.

Harvey
Harvey

Been looking at the swanky Trinity River paintings and sniffing the paint, eh? August 1 in the Trinity Bottoms is a delight. I think I read this guy in a 1898 Dallas Tourist rag. Good leaders, my dear Wick, also thought navigating the Trinity was a jolly good idea. Not every idea is a good one. When too many socialites like something doesn't make it a Jim Dandy good idea.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

"Should we complain about corruption where none exists?"

This is sarcasm, right? JWP = equity? The City Council voting last week to rollback the tightened ethics reform? Mike Rawlings paying big bucks to Willis Johnson and Kathy Nealy to "win" South Dallas and have a gatekeeper if he becomes mayor?

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

This may be the single greatest troll in the history of the Observer comments.

locoDbag
locoDbag

How much do those Parkies pay you Wick? At least this news site talks about pertinent issues opposite of the "D" for douche Mag which has staring contest. Hey Wick, run fast! I think one of the Hunts heirs needs their car valeted.

dallasmay
dallasmay

Well, maybe such an opportunity to design and construct such a "Signature Bridge" is exactly what our amazing architects and engineers need to become "World Renown".

If we absolutely must spend $100M on a pedestrian/bike bridge, then I think we should host a competition for architects and engineering firms in Dallas to design it. Then, maybe other cities will hire our St-architect instead of sending their money to spain.

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

I would like to point out the for decades the Park Cities had deed restrictions prohibiting ownership of property by Jews and non-whites.

You need to pull another inappropriate metaphor out of your ace.

anon
anon

I think he lives in Garland.

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

We just had a kid and have the same issue when going on walks with the stroller

Wick
Wick

Where you see "socialites," I see "stewards of the public good." Class envy is a pernicious disorder, Harvey, but it pleases me to report that there's always plenty of room in the winner's circle here in Dallas, Texas. And that item is followed by a related piece of good news: Initiative costs nothing. Now get going, man!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

I love me some fake Wick, his appearances have been few and far between lately though

Zac Crain
Zac Crain

If you're pissed you lost the staring contest you could have said so in the comments, busterkeaton. Also, I like only some of your films.

anon
anon

Oh and they don't say "Dem Damn Jews", they say something else...

Harvey
Harvey

Ah, the famous shrill cry of 'class envy' from the over-indulged. 'Stewards of the public good' would see to the needs of the community first and not prop themselves up with tinker toys. Change Texas' culture before you decide you want to be a global anything. There's a reason Oliver never fit in with Hooterville. It's not that the people there were stupid (which they were for comedic value - like you) but they were simple - and happy for it. Initiative? I've plenty of that and I don't need boondoggles and stark architecture to prove it. My 2nd great grandfather was in the 1889 OK Land Run. He had no financial fortune - nor did any of my family - but he saw opportunity for any willing to take a chance, and a fortune in the life of his family, and freedom from want. Quality of life is about what you make for the community and families, not what you showcase on your mantle - or Trinity ditch. Dallas hasn't traveled so far from 1889 to warrant global city. It's still an American prairie town - with pole dancers. Oh, and the Charlie Sheen 'winners' attitude isn't really needed here either. Let's win another Super Bowl first.

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