Here's a New Year's Resolution For City Hall: Stop Trying to Screw With the Trinity River

Categories: Get Off My Lawn
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Over the holiday weekend I spent a few very enjoyable hours on the Trinity River with Trinity Rivers Expeditions outfitter and canoe guide Charles Allen. We paddled from Trinity River Mountain Creek Preserve near the intersection of Walton Walker and IH-30 in Irving to the Sylvan Avenue Bridge in West Dallas, a distance of a little more than six miles.

That was time enough for a lot of good talk and note-sharing on river and environmental issues but also for a paddling through a couple of good rapids and watching an incredible number of herons, egrets and hawks overhead, not to mention bigmouth buffalo cruising under the boat (a fish, not the mammal, or I'd have a real story).

You get out there -- and remember, we're floating through the big middle of the city -- and you're down below steep banks, so you see only river ahead and trees above you. Most of the time you don't even hear the city. You could be somewhere out in the wilds of Collin County but without the scary banjos.

As you'll see after the jump, I made a tiny little movie of it with the Christmas gift I received from my unfailingly thoughtful and insightful spouse -- a cap-cam. It hooks to my gimme cap and looks like a Bluetooth earpiece. I just love that kind of stuff. I know she knows I will use it less for bird-watching than for spying on people -- walking around City Hall and at Observer story meetings, possibly at home, if I feel I am being abused. If I show up for a meeting with you in a gimme cap, consider yourself on YouTube.

I've had this experience before with Charles. He's so smart about the river. He knows every beaver den, prehistoric Indian shell rim and coyote track from West Texas to the Gulf. He could have saved City Hall all the agony it's going through over that stupid fake amusement-park "rapids" they built downriver from downtown. All they had to do was go for a paddle with him.

That thing is such a mess they had to bar canoes and kayaks from going through it so nobody would get killed. Last time I heard mention of it at City Hall, Assistant City Manager Jill Jordan was telling the city council that the city is engaged in "talks" with the people who designed and built it. Not what I hear: I hear everybody involved with the thing is threatening to sue everybody else, which means the millions the city wasted building it in the first place will be added to millions more for lawyers.

I know what the solution is. Dynamite. Get that sucker outta here!


If somebody had just gone for a paddle with Charles, they would have seen that the Trinity River through the core of the city is a thing of pristine beauty. It even smells good. It didn't need a fake rapids. It has real ones. All they had to do was respect the river and leave it alone.

The rapids in my movie was the lesser one -- really just a limestone ledge we had to get over, enough to capsize you if you don't know how to handle it but no sweat for a guy like Charles. Another one further down river was a better ride -- more standing waves and action.

At some point this year, the city plans to shut off access to the Sylvan Avenue ramp where we took out. Charles told me during our trip that contrary to what Jordan told the council, canoeists are not able to get the city to let them put in or take out below the white water deal. What that means is that the city is screwing up and shutting off canoe and kayak access to most of the Trinity River through Dallas.

The place where we put in was a nature preserve owned by the county and run by the city of Irving Parks Department. It was clean, modest, natural -- quite beautiful.

Later, when we came to a point in the river where Dallas's Calatrava bridge finally loomed into view, it was like we were under attack by a McDonald's from Outer Space. The term "incongruous" fails to convey.

I know this sounds crazy, but real is actually more interesting and powerful than fake. But try telling that to people whose only idea of work has to do with Botox and plastic surgery.

The Trinity River. It's real. Real is good. Nature does not need work. Really.

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70 comments
Jack Rague LeFleur
Jack Rague LeFleur

David Morring is an idiot - this jackass isn't worth listening to. He's some f'n DB that gets every little stoner kid in town to follow his lazy old a$$ around in a plastic boat.

Personally, I couldn't give less of a $hit about this stupid ww park. As an avid paddler, I don't have any desire to boat some lame-a$$ feature in the middle of downtown Dallas. Just no desire. Do I have an opinion on building this thing? Nope. If other people want to use a half-sized feature in their undersized playboat, have at it. For those of y'all uneducated to the world of whitewater paddling, playboating is for D O U C H E B A G S. Playboaters are the equivalent of those dickly little kids skateboarding all around the parking lot of the strip mall. Lame. Real men paddle creekers. End of story. One of you playboatin', paddleparkin' dildos want to challenge that???? I double dog dare you bitchez to try.

That said, is Morring a wrinkle in the ballbag of this whole story that gets too much attention on this website? ABSOLUTELY.

Dave, seriously...go F yourself. Quit trying to be the story - it makes you look like a dick.

Dell Cameron
Dell Cameron

Don't have time to read this one, but I like the title...

Jake Risch
Jake Risch

To the Author:

My Name is Jake Risch.  I am a avid whitewater paddler that frequently travels to the DFW metroplex for Business.  I have been paddling whitewater for 15 years and have participated in whitewater paddling expeditions to over 14 countries on 4 continents.  I have trained and worked as a whitewater rafting guide.  I grew up canoing on the pristine wilderness rivers and lakes of northern Maine.  My first job was with a flat water canoe livery service in New Hampshire.  I am an Eagle Scout and was raised with a healty respect forpreserving nature and for the wilderness experiance.

What I am not is a adrenaline starved motor head junkie that is only out for the next rush.  Whitewater paddling has taken me to some of the most amazing and remote places on the planet.  Maintaining the skills required to paddle whitewater at an advanced level takes time on the water and practice.  So when I learned of the Dallas Wave I was excited to have an opportunity to get out on the river durring my business travels.

I have not yet been out to the feature but from the pictures and videos I have seen they do not seem overly dangerous for the unexperianced canoeist.  With a small bit of customer preperation and a short safety talk the outfitter above could give his clients enough knowledge to safely navigate the features and avoid getting "stuck" in the event of a spill.  We regularly have unguided recreational canoeists tubers running rapids of similar difficulty over longer distances on the local river back home. 

Maybe this outfitter needs to take a look at how he can capitalize on this new feature in the river instead of waging a war against it.  Maybe he could expand his business to include whitewater instruction, tubing, whitewater gear rental, ect instead of crying spilt milk.

Respectfully,

Jake RischNew Hampshire

Ruth
Ruth

McDonalds' from outer space...Finally, words to describe it..That's "art" for urban dwellers-blight for naturalists.

Doug Webber
Doug Webber

so can "experienced" canoeists not run those rapids?  I cannot see why you would need to use a "by-pass" to get around these two waves.  Because no one really needs to be on any river if they cannot float their boat down these two little waves.  We have a park here in AR, that's above a take-out on a dam-release river.  I can't really recall anyone ever complaining about this set-up.  Or calling the "Ledge" a death-trap.  Maybe the experienced canoeists in Dallas need to re-learn how to run a river, correctly.

UpUrsJim
UpUrsJim

"Need a fake rapids"? You really havent a clue what youre talking about, that much is VERY obvious. Believe it or not doucher, it really is hard to drown in class 1-2 water, usually just standing up is enough or simply swimming to shore. Nobody would have been killed in those play waves and people would have traveled from other states just to enjoy it. You dont really understand economics and tourism though. Quit spewing your bullshit to people who dont know any better and get stuffed.

Lorraine McPhee
Lorraine McPhee

I am appalled by the negativity present in Schutze's article. This play park is paradise. I have gotten to paddle there twice at different water levels and am very impressed. I frequently travel to other places to enjoy a river feature such as this, and now Dallas has a great wave of their own. Fantastic! The portage is well made and looks easy to use, and as any river enthusiast knows-portaging is a part of paddling. Why can't Allen can just show a photo of the new, easily identifiable bridge to his clients, and tell them when they see it to get out and make a short portage?

RTGolden
RTGolden

Number 2 definition of trap in Webster's dictionary: something by which one is caught or stopped unawares.  By extension, a death trap would be something by which one is killed or maimed unawares.  Anyone with any sense knows that whitewater, of any sort, carries an inherent risk if you are to paddle, swim, surf or fall into it.  As a kid, when some fool tried to shoot Cross Mountain canyon during spring runoff, nobody blamed God or Nature when said fool ended up as part of the river's food chain.  The person was simply an idiot.  An idiot will always find some way to kill himself, despite society's best efforts to thwart him.Jim makes some very large stink here and in other articles about having to portage a few hundred yards in order to avoid this monstrosity.  Got news for ya Jim, portaging is as much a part of enjoying a wild and scenic river as actually being in a boat on the water.  Of course we know you don't really care that much about safety, sanitation, or the environment as you claim, otherwise, in this article, 

http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

you would have attempted to clean up the trash you found in the water rather than just snapping a photo to prove some intangible point in your article.

Face it Schutze, some people go through life singing praises about the water in their glass, you poke a hole in the cup and bitch about the leak.

Paul
Paul

The City of Houston had a similar image problem with Buffalo Bayou, only worse.

Then started the "Reeking Regatta" as a way of showing the natural beauty of Buffalo Bayou.  To go down into the Bayou on the south side of Memorial Park was just a fabulous adventure.

Until there is good publicity about the wonders of the Trinity River and Forest and the removal of the stigma of crime, nothing will happen.

Of course the City's shenanigans are typical of our City's bureaucrats way of exercising their passive aggressive personality on an activity that they have not regulated to death.  See the previous Observer stories on local farmer's markets as an example.

lorlee
lorlee

My objection was the $4M or so that it cost to put in this feature for a very limited number of people.  If people think per capita cost for city pools is high, I hate to imagine what the per capita cost is for this. With the state of the parks in our City and current funding, I think that money could have been better spent on facilities that are used by many more people. 

Steven
Steven

Jim, did your canoe bottom out during the trip and did you do any portaging?

Matt Taylor
Matt Taylor

Jim you have covered this story for two-thirds of a year now with such egregious bias, hypocrisy, and negativity that it has distorted and greyed this project undeservedly. You have absolutely mischaracterized this project through your complete incompetence and unfamiliarity with other whitewater parks around the nation and a lack of understanding of the very specific geologic and fluvial constraints dictating how those parks are designed and built relative to the one on the Trinity (or at least your first article did). And you have complained tirelessly about EVERYTHING! From this project being an attack on the natural state and aesthetics of the Trinity, to the toxicity of the water being a threat to people, to its delayed opening, to your boy Charles Allen’s pseudo-legal trouble (probably well-deserved after he hid in his van at an active work site till he could sneak some clients on to the river). You have resorted to attacks on the people behind the park (as pampered rafting dimwits), framed this whole project with the constant claim that is a deathtrap, and used incorrect terminology with regards to whitewater and river features.  After a tiresome 2010 of articles criticizing this thing I have taken away three things; (1) you have a major affinity for Charles Allen, (2) he is completely against this project, and (3) you have issues with portaging (apparently a concept familiar only to natives of Wisconsin or something).  Seriously Jim, time to step away from this story, you have done an absolutely terrible job.

Ben
Ben

The old settlers of Dallas said that the Trinity River was so muddy that the fish would swim backwards to prevent mud from getting in their eyes. I'm not sure the Colorado based design team responsible for the Dallas Wave took that into account. Like Jim described in his article, the water clarity right now is first rate in the Trinity, 3-4 feet or more. The water clarity has exposed the serious problem developing downstream of the Standing Wave...a large shoal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Now that the Santa Fe Trestle Trail is 99% finished you can also get a good aerial view(in the video) of the fLuMeS oF dOoM bypass channels.

The siltation has made the river so shallow that you can now walk across the river without getting your knees wet at 500 cfs. The problem will only get worse from here on out. You can see the future downstream in the locks at McCommas Bluff Lock #1 or Lock #2 just north of Beltline. The shoals will fill in.

This is nothing new. We are not charting new territory building dams across the river. Our great grandparents did it before us and the Trinity kicked their ass. It will kick our ass too.

I like the Standing Wave. I have kayaked/play boated it, surfed it on a surfboard, boogie boarded it. I hope it succeeds.

It burns my hide about the layout and access to the park. The overall design was changed a couple times for the Santa Fe Trestle Trail so that the trail does not even reach Gateway Park or cross Cedar Creek. I was told this was due to the city screwing up the whole zoning with the 8th Street No Tell Hooker Motel. City bulldozed it with great fanfare but left all the legal strings and problems attached. Let someone figure it out in the future. Well, the future is here! Looking back at the news stories from when Tom Leppert climbed a backhoe to break ground, I realize now they were all trespassing on someone elses land. Ooops!

potted meat product
potted meat product

describing the bridge as a McDonald's from outerspace could present an interesting corporate sponsorship opportunity- build a second arch next to the first, and then proceed to paint it yellow.  Eat your heart out, St. Louis arch.

dickyvantastic
dickyvantastic

the start point in Irving is also the start point for one of the best bike paths I've been on. Campion Trails which is soon to connect southern Irving with the trails in Northern Irving will be atleast 20 miles of scenic bike riding along the Trinity, and what used to be Loop12 in ye olden times.

Sam
Sam

Let's be clear, the river between the levees is not nature nor natural - it was moved from its original course, now known as the Trinity Meanders/Trinity Stand Trail.  Nature may have enhanced the man-made channel.  So we are not dealing with some corruption of nature by future city plans.

Johndunn
Johndunn

Quit sucking Charles dick. There is no issue with the kayak park other than his limp dick ass is bitching about a possible portage for a novice!

Max from the Sandspit
Max from the Sandspit

Jim- Numero uno- They are buglenose buffs. Numero Two-o- Your hero's National Ocean Council is about to claim regulatory control over the Trinity and the drainage ditches in Colin County as well as everything else that drains into the oceans. Happy 12/21/12.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Sir, as a resident of Collin County I take issue with your characterization. Our banjos are actually calming and quite welcoming. Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

David Morring
David Morring

The new whitewater park is not dangerous. It's a Class II rapid. It does not create a dangerous hydraulic. In fact, it is a lot of fun. All of you members of the No Fun Society need to get out there an enjoy it. Check out this video from just a couple weeks ago. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... built. Get over it, stop whining, and enjoy the river. 

Hawkayaks
Hawkayaks

I just dont understand this, much like I dont understand a lot of what Dallas "outdoor types" do. I mean, don't get me wrong, this is nothing like a mountain town/city but I would have thought Dallas and Allen would embrace this park. Earlier a woman said the river was for everyone, but evidently not whitewater kayakers. She accused us of not being real stand up men. Wow, thats nice, and pretty much what I would expect of Dallas types. Of all the stretches of floatable river in Dallas we are talking about a couple hundred yards. Mr. Allen why not tell your patrons there is an exciting river feature (hardly a death trap, unless you are handicapped, old, it is cold, or you are just plastered drunk) that they can try to run, paddle the bypass, or portage. And tell them that if they are lucky enough there will be kayakers down there doing tricks, whom they can stop and watch, take pictures of, ask about the sport, whatever. Believe it or not we are actually really nice people and can generate a lot of revenue, even for you Mr. Allen, given the chance. Im just sayin, why not try to spin this in a positive light and see what happens. Might just be better than you think. Lets get some positivity in the Trinity! An idea usually goes through three stages, 1st it is criticized, 2nd it is violently opposed, 3rd it is accepted as truth.

Tim Covington
Tim Covington

Part of the problem with perception of the Trinity in Dallas, is the reality of the smell that people think comes from the Trinity. Whether you are on I-20 or I-30, you can be driving with your windows up and still smell something awful (happened to my wife and I on New Year's Eve morning). Yet, when you are walking down along the river you don't smell it. I don't know what causes the smell, but somebody needs to look into where it is coming from.

Lorraine McPhee
Lorraine McPhee

Go to San Marcos, TX and check out their man made play park. It is really a treasure to their community. Families, dogs, students, tubers, canoists, kayakers, river boarders, waders, swimmers, Safari racers, swift-water rescue pupils, etc. are all out there enjoying it together. I'm certain there are plenty of nay-sayers whenever a play park goes in, but thank goodness the nay-sayers don't always win.

Travis Baucom
Travis Baucom

@lorlee yeah like a shitter for the guy who wrote this article to put his head in!

JimS
JimS

Man, Matt, I'm trying to keep an open mind about playboaters,  but the more you talk, the more you sound like snowmobile/ATV/jet-ski ass-holes.

Matt Taylor
Matt Taylor

Ooops... Forgot what the year was, meant 2011 not 2010.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

I wonder if the City has given any thought to the long term cost or construction of Fixed /Permanent Maintenance operations it is going to need to keep this Water feature safe for everyday operations.

Since it is man made how much liability will the City face for preventable events .

PREVENTABLE EVENT ....When idiot proof meets the better Idiot.

I am sure what the folks in charge can't see as a hazard today will be a clear as can be  when a grieving family's attorney comes in with an expert on how these things should be done and takes them down to the river and shows the city just how far up a creek it really is .

guess
guess

Why??? Is it your turn to??? Feeling a little left out of the cocky sucky, are we?

Boof4food
Boof4food

Perhaps proper education should be proposed in regards to river currents and levels. Ignorance can cause harm anywhere.

JimS
JimS

... and herein we hear the voice of the testosterone-poisioned.

SCamp
SCamp

Just don't wear a Ned Beatty costume to the river.

Montemalone
Montemalone

I think its really the mandolins that get to him.

Heavy Metal Church Lady
Heavy Metal Church Lady

David,

It's great that you Kayak Kidz have a place to hot dog. (That flip thing was pretty cool.) Here's the deal: the river is for everyone. If each of us are just concerned about what the City can provide that fulfills our singular interests, that's pretty shallow.

More than that, there's the secrecy surrounding this debacle that impedes Allen's ability to make a living. What would be interesting is if you Kayak Kidz got political and stood up for what is right. Take up the cause of rectifying that mess down there so that families can canoe through safely. 

That's what real men would do.

Ed D.
Ed D.

The "safe" bypass is the death-trap, not the rapid itself.

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

Wasn't Jim' s primary point is that Mr Allen is currently unable to portage around the rapid because of construction? Why not permit that so we can have multiple uses of the river? 

Lorlee
Lorlee

If this was a multi-user, safe play park, I don't think we would be having this discussion.  I am in favor of doing lots of the things for the Trinity -- just not roads and things that don't seem to enhance the ability of many people to use it.  I was simply questioning the high cost for a very few users.  Sounds like San Marcos has got it right and has a lot of users.  Maybe Dallas could take some hints.  Oh, no, wait,can't work here because you can't swim or wade or other water contact in the Trinity because of the water quality.  During the summer, 90% of the flow is upstream treated effluent. 

Matt Taylor
Matt Taylor

Really Jim the vast majority of the paddlers in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana are stand up people who go too extraordinary lengths to enjoy the outdoors, adventure, and action through an alternative avenue. If defending a project we support and believe in against a slanted and biased reporter who has far more reach than a simple comment on one of the reporter’s articles makes me an “ass-hole” than I guess paint me red. Fact of the matter is you have shown very limited interest in appropriately covering this project from a removed unbiased perspective and gone to great lengths in your articles to make sure what you believe (whether accurate or not) is the prevailing sentiment and characterization of the Dallas Wave. If these last two-thirds a year of articles were your attempt at open-mindedness than I expect a continuation of my criticisms well into 2012. I just hopes the Fox News treatment you are giving this project quits.  

Matt Taylor
Matt Taylor

Most whitewater parks around the country (there are a lot) need very little if any long term maintenance. The issue the Trinity has that a number of other parks do not have is the flow range the park will experience is very large (since the contributing area above the playpark is so huge). However, since the features are in situ and do not rely on boulders or movable objects they should have pretty limited risk of being adversely affected by a high flow event. Really I think the biggest threat given the nature of the river and geology of the area is the movement of sediment, backfilling and causing changes to the pools making the features less retentive (since it would decrease the height of the drop by raising the pool(s)).The good thing Oak Cliff Townie is that there are a number of people using the playpark and looking forward to using that playpark that in the unlikely event of any changes to the park we should know pretty immediately. Through contacts and avenues North Texas paddlers have developed with the city and developers they would be notified pretty quickly. So no fear friend

David Morring
David Morring

HMCL,

Just FYI, the "kid" in the video is my son. And the guy throwing the loop (flip) is a 47-year-old kid. :) 

Stay young and see you on the river!

David Morring
David Morring

I won't get into the debate about whether or not cities should modify rivers or not. Fact is, there are now hundreds of whitewater parks that have been built on rivers through the  U.S. My understanding is that the City of Dallas went to great trouble and extra expense to accommodate Charles Allen's business. They put in the bypass channels for him. They put in a ramp above the rapids and below for people who weren't comfortable running them to portage them. There are hundreds of miles of flatwater on the Trinity for nature lovers to enjoy. This is only 100 yards, if that of whitewater. And it is not a safety hazard as some want to make it out to be. I've had people take inner tubes, canoes and boogie boards through it. Even had people swim through it. Nobody was recirculated or harmed. 

Yes, we like to playboat on these rapids. But this is also a great place to teach youth water safety and boating fundamentals. It's a great venue for Dallas first responders to practice swift water rescue techniques. It's great place for people to hangout and enjoy the river and trail. (On a side note, does anyone complain when they build a biking or hiking trail through nature? If we are going to complain about WW parks then let's not disturb any part of nature and only leave it to the animals.) 

So thanks for your POV, but we are the Kayak Kidz who pick up all the trash along the banks of the river. I don't see anyone else down there removing glass, styrofoam and thousands of plastic water bottles. But me and my buddies are. Before the waves were built, everyone thought the Trinity was a sewer. Hopefully, we can help change that perception and people will come to appreciate it and value it. 

Facebook User
Facebook User

I think he is suggesting that you could get through just fine. When was the last time you went down to the Trinity to canoe? I am sure David would go down with you and show you around. Seems like there is a lot of FUD - wonder what the truth is...

Dookiebrown
Dookiebrown

Death trap? Lol, get out and live a bit! Leaving your couch and driving on 635 is a death trap!

David Morring
David Morring

With all due respect, I've paddled the bypass channels at many different water levels. I have photos and videos of us running them and swimming them. They are not "death traps". I agree that they might not be as friendly as originally hoped and someone might flip over if they are not a competent paddler, but even in that case, they do not hold swimmers nor recirculate them. 

The hundreds of low head dams that the Corps of Engineers have built, including the new dam on the Paluxy in Glen Rose, TX, are death traps. Those are poorly engineered and cause me great concern and fear for those who don't know to avoid them.

But with regards to the Dallas Wave, there is no terminal hole or hydraulic on the wave or bypass channels.

Matt Taylor
Matt Taylor

Charles Allen didn't exactly get in trouble for portaging. He got in trouble for "waiting" in his van at the Dallas Wave while construction was actively happening. Then once the construction workers were at a safe distance he took the "teachers" (clients) he was showing down the river from his van to the end of the Dallas Wave park and put on. Either way you cut it or try and fluff that up it sounds sketchy and slightly devious. I am pretty sure one constant that has remained is that you do not paddle the Wave when there is construction actively happening. And Bill this article isn't even about portaging which is protected in the states navigability statutes like Ben said (stream that averages 30 feet in width from inception to end) it is about access to the river and blowing up the Dallas Wave.  The other thing not mentioned is that the closure of the Sylvan Boat Ramp is temporary while they redo the bridge, making it an active construction site (hence not using it as a take-out). Which really isn’t a big deal if you are willing to paddle just a little bit further downstream to the Loop 12 take-out.

Benjamin0344
Benjamin0344

River patrons are allowed due access to the bank for portaging. The fact that the city of Dallas has denied access undermines state law of open water way navigability. I would be willing to bet trespassing charges for portaging would be dropped if the issue were pressed. This is not crab apple creek! Oh wait, the mass majority of you Dallas folk have no idea what Im speaking of anyway. I'll want the time for this rant back on my death bed!

Dr. Ron Mason
Dr. Ron Mason

The vitriol that you spew is the only effluent that I feel like wading through at the moment, and its nothing but the diffusive prolix of a tedious pedant.

Matt Taylor
Matt Taylor

Treated effluent meets stringent permitting standards dictate by the TCEQ/EPA, so don't worry about that water because in all likelihood it is as clean as the popularly floated Lower San Marcos River or the Illinois River in Arkansas, both of which are below confluences of effluent from wastewater treatment facilities.  How is this not a multi-user park? Once construction is complete and it is opened it will act as another access point for recreationist along the Trinity River.

JimS
JimS

DOESN'T do (above)

JimS
JimS

Allen, for his part, expresses no animosity whatever toward the playboaters. But he generally just do animosity, anyway.

Heavy Metal Church Lady
Heavy Metal Church Lady

David,Thanks for the info. I knew there were probably special terms for the maneuvers. Got it. "Throwing a loop."

As to the other. I'll insert one or two more facts. I've seen this play out before with city projects involving the natural environment and development projects, and I've done my part by standing in front of machinery. Here is what I can tell you: the City treats you and your brethren kind because you fulfill their mission to create a world-class attraction. The rapids can be billed on tourist information; postcards can be made to market the City. 

Allen, on the other hand, is a big pain in the butt for the simple fact that he does not enhance the product in ways that the greater powers that be would like. His modest canoe operation isn't going to land the next Mary Kay conference, though it does represent the spirit of entrepreneurship and environmental stewardship that would be valued in other places. Someday down the road, you may find that you are the pain in the butt to the City because you are perceived as being on the wrong side of the issue. If that day comes, good luck, you'll need lots of it.

There seems to be a great deal of animosity between the Kayak Kidz and Allen. I say bury the hatchet by seeing the issue as a greater social issue that doesn't have distinct sides. You can tell us that the bypass channel is safe, but there is evidence that it is not. As it currently stands, it is an enormous liability issue for the City. And guess who pays if someone were hurt (other than the hurt parties, of course)? Taxpayers. And more than the liability issue, it is a boondoggle and mismanagement of funds. When is that going to end?

Last but not least, the quicker this gets resolved the quicker the park opens and you get to use the rapids legally. And maybe we'll see that impressive loop throwing in person. Better yet, I'd like to see you in City Hall resolving this thing because you love the river and you'd like everybody to enjoy it just as much as you do.

Special thanks to the Kayak Kidz for picking up the trash. That's makes it nice for all of us (who can visit without violating any criminal trespass warnings).

JimS
JimS

You absolutely do deserve props for helping people think of the Trinity as a cool resource, the same way duck-hunters helped save wetlands. Just don't shoot the picnickers. 

cp
cp

Very Well put, Jim. I think the city is supposed to look at something like maximum usability or some other such standard. And recreation to attract the most people will have to somewhere in the middle of both "extremes", if you consider optimum safety (i.e., staying indoors and never looking at river water) to be the one end. The will always, and should always err towards the side of most safety. Hell, just building trails in the forest and they require that everyone wear hard hats, safety goggle and not lop anything off higher than your head. I wonder if they even want the public utilizing some of the public spaces we have. 

So yeah, someone inexperienced to X-Treme kayaking or Kamakazie canoeing will need a safe bypass that they don't have to maneuver quite as hard as Jim had to paddle through that little "rapid" we saw in the video above.  

JimS
JimS

David, I know you mean well, but you need to be more careful about the assurances you give people here. The fact is that there is first-person testimony by experienced canoeists to the effect that the bypass does swamp boats and does hold life-jacketed swimmers underwater. You need to think in terms of a canoe with two adults, a kid, a dog and a cooler. Can they get through? Be sure you know what you're talking about before you tell them they can.I notice that this debate breaks out just like the bike lanes debate. On the one hand, you have people who want easy access, relative safety and moderate risk. On the other, you have the extreme-sports testosterone-poisoning helmet-heads. I guess in heaven there must be glider angels and dive-bomber angels.

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